Lafayette General Medical Center announced last week that it will close its licensed practical nurse program following the graduation of the current class.

LGMC says it’s been following a national trend of hiring RNs over LPNs in many critical care areas of the hospital. The scope of practice for LPNs is limited compared with RNs, who are able to perform more complex procedures and have significantly enhanced decision making power, according to the hospital’s statement.

Approximately 23 students are enrolled in the LGMC LPN school, and they are expected to graduate in February. No new students have been accepted into the school for the 2013 class. Any applicant who has applied will have his or her application fee refunded in full.

“We are closing our LPN school for the right reasons,” LGMC President and CEO David Callecod said in making the announcement. Callecod also said the hospital had seen a dramatic decrease in interest and enrollment for the 2013 class.

LGMC noted that LPN training is still available in the Lafayette area at Acadiana Technical College-Lafayette Campus, 1101 Bertrand Drive.

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