Position Statement

The Role of the Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse on the Rehabilitation Nursing Team

It is the position of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) that the Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN) is recognized in the rehabilitation setting as a valuable and contributing member of the rehabilitation team.

The Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurse (LVN/LPN) licensing varies by state and is in accordance with their Nurse Practice Act. In all states they care for those who “are sick, injured, convalescent or disabled” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, 1997). ARN supports each state’s individual scope of practice while realizing the valuable role of the LVN/LPN on the rehabilitation nursing team.*

Scope of Practice

Licensed Practical/Vocational nurses represent the entry level into the nursing profession and are integrated into many areas of care. It is the recognized by the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (NFLPN, 2003) that opportunities exist to utilize their skills in “a team effort: to preserve and improve an individual patient’s functioning.”

In general, individual state practice acts require that the practical nurse must work under the supervision of a registered nurse, a physician, and, in some States, pharmacists, podiatrists, or others. 

References

National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses. (2003). Nursing practice standards for the licensed practical/vocational nurse. Retrieved August 2, 2010, from http://www.nflpn.org/pdfs/NFLPN%20Standards.pdf.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. (1997). Chapter 2: The LPN workforce. In Supply, demand, and use of licensed practical nurses. Retrieved August 2, 2010, from http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/nursing/lpn/c2.htm.

Resources

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. (n.d.a). Rehabilitation nurses make a difference [Brochure]. Glenview, IL: Author.

Association of Rehabilitation Nurse. (n.d.b). The Rehabilitation staff nurse role description [Brochure]. Glenview, IL: Author.

Easton, K. L. (1999). Gerontological rehabilitation nursing. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company.

Mauk, K. L. (Ed.). (2007). The specialty practice of rehabilitation nursing: A core curriculum (5th ed.). Glenview, IL: Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. (2004.). Supply, demand, and use of licensed practical nurses. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/nursing/lpn/default.htm#exec.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010). Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses. In Occupational outlook handbook, 2010–2011 edition. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from www.bls.gov/oco/ocos102.htm.

*Check with individual state practice acts for further information

Approved by the ARN Board of Directors July 2010.

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