Omission of LPNs in Nursing Home Staffing Proposal Draws Outcry
Nursing home care could suffer and staffing shortfalls worsen if the Biden administration doesn’t allow licensed practical nurses to count toward a proposed staffing requirement for the facilities, professionals in the aging services sector say.
The administration’s plan to boost direct care staff at nursing homes calls for minimum staffing levels for registered nurses and nursing aides in facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. But the proposal sets no required staffing level for licensed practical nurses, who play a critical caregiving role at most facilities.
Some organizations and individuals say that omission could cause facilities trying to lower their costs to simply replace LPNs with less-expensive nursing aides; and then staff RNs only to the required minimum level. “I don’t see any reason that they would do anything else,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition.