Perhaps not expectedly, the Long Island-based newspaper Newsday has endorsed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-4). They say she has a “mind meld with the middle class”. Whatever.
However, that is not what triggered my pet peeve. This is:
A registered nurse, she was catapulted into public life by tragedy: A
husband killed and a son grievously wounded in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993. McCarthy, 68, of Mineola, has grown beyond the gun control issue that prompted her first run for office in 1996, although it remains an important legislative passion.
While Carolyn McCarthy can be generically called a “nurse”, she is not now, nor has she ever been, a “registered nurse”. Rep. McCarthy trained as, and is, a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN. She is a 1964 graduate of the Glen Cove Nursing School according to Congress.org.
A LPN is limited by the state-level Boards of Nursing in what she or he can do. While it will vary by state, a LPN has a limited number of tasks that can be delegated to them. For example, they are allowed to dispense medications in a long-term care facility. This is not to say LPNs cannot perform the tasks assigned to them well. They can.
However, LPNs are not trained to see the big picture. They cannot assess the patient, they cannot write a care plan, and are not trained to think critically. By contrast, a RN has more education, is trained to assess the patient, is trained to think critically, and can write a plan of care.
Why is this a pet peeve? Because the Complementary Spouse is a BSN-trained Registered Nurse with an advanced practice certificate. She also holds a Masters in Health Science.
If you think about it, Carolyn McCarthy’s views on gun control are, in many ways, a reflection of her training and experience. A gun was used in the murder of her husband so therefore guns must be restricted. She cannot see beyond this to realize that the disturbed individual could have used a knife, a container of gasoline, or a black-powder nail bomb to kill the six victims or that a legally armed individual could have limited the number of victims. She wasn’t trained to see the big picture or to think critically and it shows.