Monday, April 26, 2010

CLPNA Does Interesting Survey on Nursing Care in Alberta

We do some work with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta so recognize this blog post is as much about my work as my opinion.

We recently did a random-sample conjoint study of 919 Albertans for the CLPNA on what values Albertans think are most important about providing them with professional nursing care. The results were interesting and more survey results are going to be available at soon.

In the meantime I encourage you to visit the CLPNA site for more information on the roles, responsibilities and relationships of LPNs within nursing, healthcare and with patients.  I strongly suggest you read the blog post on the recent KEP study on the appropriateness of the knowledge and education levels of soon-to-be-graduating nurses in Alberta.

There are some interesting attributes the public sees as most important and what they want from professional nurses, be they RN, LPNs or Registered Psychiatric Nurses. The top three expecations by the public are that nurses are to be skilled, knowledgeable as well as caring and compasionate. There were 15 other attributes in the study and all were seen as important, but those are the top three concerns of Albertans when they think about what is imperative for high quality professional nursing care.

With all the changes, uncertainty and volatility happening Alberta's healthcare system the CLPNA has taken this high road approach to better understanding and focused on meeting its professional responsibility to the public. They decided to go directly to Albertans and ask what they thought was important about high quality professional nursing care.

The CLPNA then went a step further and asked those same randomly selected Albertans how satisfied they were with the performance of the nursing profession in providing the kind of care they expected.  There is lots of good news and some significant indications where there is room for improvement by nurses in those satisfaction results.  We say this survey applies to nursing generally here because we did not differentiate between  nurses, be they LPN, RPN or RNs when we asked the survey questions.

This dual approach of measuring expectations and satisfactions gives the CLPNA a clear picture of public expectations and performance impresssions on some 15 different attributes that relate to professional nursing care. What the conjoint study did was also survey members of the Licensed Practical Nursing profession on the same values. What emerged was nothing less than amazing. The over 1460 working LPNs who did the survey were 99.9% aligned with the public's priority for values and expectations of what constitutes high quality professional nursing care in Alberta.

That degree of alignment between what LPNs see as their role and responsibility with the public and patients has to be reassuring to citizens that LPNs get it. As for LPNs, they too can find gratification in the fact that what they perceive as their jobs and responsibilities as professionals are the same as the people they serve in Alberta.

These survey results have been presented and shared with officials in Alberta Health and Wellness, including the Minister Zwozdesky, Deputy Minister Ramotar, Parliamentary Assistant Sherman and head of AHS, Dr. Duckett along with other senior officals in their offices. The survey information was appreciated and well received in all instances. Now it has to be shared with others in government, other healthcare professionals, stakeholders, health advocacy groups and the general public.

So stay tuned. There are lots more interesting information coming out on the survey results.  We will deal with  the implications for providing high quality health care in Alberta soon, both here on this blog and at over time.

Looking forward to your comments and questions.