1. Johnson-Dennis, Nicole MBAc, MSNc, BSN, RN, PHN
  2. Gingrich, Gloria BSN, RN

Article Content

Building succession planning into nursing culture

I'm writing regarding the article "Planting Seeds of Succession" by Angela S. Prestia, MSN, RN, NE-BC; Susan M. Dyess, PhD, RN, AHN-BC; and Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in the March issue. I found this article particularly interesting because it's written from a position that describes the concerns of current nurse leaders in regard to finding future nurse leaders. Many new nurses are under the impression that nurse leaders have disregarded them as being important to the future of nursing. New graduate nursing positions have become so scarce and difficult to obtain that the picture being painted is that nobody wants to invest in new graduate programs or new nurses. This article gives a very different perspective, showing that nurse leaders are concerned with the shortfall of RNs that the profession will face as retiring nurses move on to the next phase of their lives.


The article also points out that nurse leaders are in a crucial position to provide guidance to the next generation of nurse leaders. It's important for nurses to pass on the knowledge they've obtained to the next generation of nurses, whether on the floor or in leadership. Effective succession planning through early identification and development of emerging nurse leaders must go beyond the organizational level. This development of nurses and nurse leaders must be a culture on the level of the nursing profession. New nurses will learn the most from those nurses who take the time to foster their learning and guide them in their professional growth. Nurses must stop the idea of "eating their young" and help support those who'll become the future of the profession.


The importance of LPNs

I'm writing in regard to the column "The Advantages of Utilizing LPNs" by Karen Livornese, MSN, RN (August 2012). I'm a BSN-prepared RN who's a faculty/clinical instructor for an LPN nursing school. I supervise my students in a medical center hospital where they practice in all areas of the hospital, including the ICU and ED. I pass medications with the students and teach them how to practice critical thinking in holistic care.


All of the licensed staff are very respectful toward my students and enjoy mentoring them. However, the hospital administration recently announced that LPNs are being replaced with RNs on the telemetry unit. Several of the RNs have voiced concern and some have reported that they left other hospitals when the LPN role was removed. I've been a nurse for a long time and have seen this trend before. After losing too many RNs who burn out from working understaffed, patient care quality deteriorates and the hospital brings back the LPNs.


I started out as an LPN and learned so much working in a large medical center on a medical-surgical and intermediate care unit floor. That knowledge inspired my motivation to become an RN. The hospital started an LPN-to-RN program and reimbursed for tuition based on grades, with a 1-year contract to stay on as an RN. My entire education was paid for. I'm happy that I'm able to prepare student LPNs, and I always encourage them to pursue lifelong learning-most of them plan to pursue RN licensure and beyond.


Most institutions need to realize that LPNs are a very important part of nursing and can function in acute care roles under the supervision of RNs. LPNs are our future RNs and should be thought of as the second level of nursing practice, performing direct patient care and administering medications. Bring back the hospital LPNs...We need them!


Nicole Johnson-Dennis, MBAc, MSNc, BSN, RN, PHN


Gloria Gingrich, BSN, RN