Olympia Orthopaedic Associates’ Sylvia Johns on how LPNs solved her center's overnight stay staffing problem

Olympia (Wash). Orthopaedic Associates Director of Surgical Services Sylvia Johns shared how her center addressed overnight staffing issues after total joint replacement by bringing on licensed practical nurses.

Note: This has been edited for style and clarity.

Question: What's something you've implemented at your center that has seen great results that other ASCs could benefit from?

Sylvia Johns: Our center began offering outpatient total joint replacement and complex spine procedures March 1, 2015. One of our biggest challenges was finding staff to cover overnight stays. Our nursing staff had concerns with working nights, as they left their previous jobs to have a routine day shift schedule with no on-call obligation.

To address these concerns, our leadership team decided to use licensed practical nurses at our facility. This was a foreign concept for our team as we had only hired registered nurses up to this point.

Adding LPNs to our staff changed our overnight stay model from requiring two RNs to now requiring one RN and one LPN. Our nursing staff has grown to appreciate and embrace the added level of nursing at our center. We have since hired LPNs to support our presurgical screening and our preoperative teams. All of the LPNs work under the direct supervision of an RN.

With the addition of our licensed practical nurses, we have been able focus our registered nurses on working to the highest level of their licensure.

Have an idea that's worked well at your surgery center? Send it to Eric Oliver at eoliver@beckershealthcare.com.

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