The CLPNM is the professional regulatory body for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Manitoba

Our duty is to regulate the profession in a manner that serves and protects the public interest

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CLPNM News

Board of Directors Call for Nominations 2022

The CLPNM is now accepting nominations to fill three LPN positions on the CLPNM Board of Directors. Please review the nomination rules for more information.If you wish to submit a nomination, please complete the call for nominations form and submit no later than...

PHIA Amendments

Amendments to The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) and Regulation came into effect on January 1, 2021. PHIA establishes rules governing the collection, use, disclosure, retention, destruction and protection of personal health information in Manitoba. All LPNs...

CLPNM’s Land Acknowledgement

The CLPNM's Board of Directors has adopted a land acknowledgement.    Please review the CLPNM's land acknowledgement here.  The CLPNM thanks Kris Desjarlais, Director of Indigenous Education at Assiniboine Community College, for his input and guidance in creating this...

Enroll in the Preauthorized Debit Plan

The Preauthorized Debit Plan (PAD) is a prepayment option that authorizes the CLPNM to make 9 monthly withdrawals from your bank account each year and to allocate the funds toward your registration fees for the following year. Withdrawals will begin each year on...

2021 By-Law Amendments

Amendments to the CLPNM by-laws were approved at the CLPNM Annual General Meeting on June 7, 2021. These amendments made the Board's authority to hold virtual meetings more explicit and included new notice requirements for virtual meetings. View a summary of the 2021...

New Practice Resources

New Jurisprudence Education Module

In connection with the release of the new Standards of Practice and Conduct for Manitoba's practical nursing profession, the CLPNM has released an updated, online Jurisprudence Education Module. Note that reviewing this module is optional for most LPNs, but is...

Manitoba’s Practical Nursing Profession Has New Standards!

The new Standards of Practice and Conduct take effect on December 1, 2021. The Standards, which were last revised in 2004, were updated with input from members of the profession, employers, educators, and many others. The CLPNM is grateful to the 760 Manitoba LPNs who...

Revised Competency Documents

The CLPNM has updated its two competency documents, which describe the: entry-level competencies expected of all LPNs upon entry into the profession, and broader nursing competencies that LPNs may develop, throughout the course of their career, within the full scope...

Revised Practice Direction: Nursing Foot Care

The CLPNM has revised its practice direction for LPNs who practise nursing foot care. The updated practice direction will: help LPNs distinguish between basic foot care and post-basic nursing foot care help LPNs understand the risks and responsibilities they take on,...

Revised Practice Direction: Self-Employed Practice

The CLPNM has revised its practice direction for LPNs who practise in a self-employed* capacity. The updated practice direction will: help LPNs distinguish between employed and self-employed practice help LPNs understand the added risks and responsibilities they take...

COVID-19

Vaccination Status and Your Standards

The CLPNM continues to appreciate your commitment and dedication to serving Manitobans. We understand that you are doing your best each and every day to meet the needs of your clients, your community, and the public. If you have questions about maintaining your standards, please reach out to the CLPNM’s practice department at practice@clpnm.ca 

As we know, beginning October 18, 2021, LPNs working in health care facilities or a regional health authority home care program* will be required, by orders under The Public Health Act,  to provide their employer with proof of vaccination or to undergo COVID-19 testing at the frequency directed by their employer.

As October 18 approaches, LPNs who are not yet fully vaccinated may have questions about their professional obligations. The CLPNM is reminding LPNs that:

  • Your Code of Ethics, as a regulated professional, asks you to “recognize your own personal values and beliefs, and take measures to avoid any negative impact on client care nursing practice, and the practice environment.” Your Code of Ethics also asks you to  “take necessary actions to prevent or minimize harm to clients.”
  • Provincial public health orders provide you with the option to undergo COVID-19 testing, and demonstrate negative results, as an alternative to being fully vaccinated. Therefore, while the CLPNM recommends vaccination, the CLPNM also notes that the personal choice to not be vaccinated does not excuse an LPN from attending scheduled shifts.
  • If you have been assigned a shift, as per your employment agreement, you have a duty to provide care.  The duty to provide care refers to a nurse’s professional and ethical responsibility to provide safe and competent nursing care to a client, for the time period that the nurse is assigned to provide service.  Any failure to attend a scheduled shift, without reasonable justification as defined by the employer, may be deemed abandonment of care, a breach of your professional standards.

If you have made the personal choice not to be vaccinated for COVID-19,  please continue to respect your clients’ rights to safe and ethical care and make choices that do not deprive them of access to competent nursing services.

To better understand your professional obligations, please review:

LPNs working outside of the publicly-funded system (ie: self-employed) are also reminded to review their professional obligations. LPNs in the private sector are strongly encouraged to follow the spirit of the public health orders as they relate to vaccination status, COVID-19 testing, and the client’s right to informed consent.

It is important to know that the CLPNM investigates all submitted allegations of LPNs breaching professional standards. If you have questions or are unsure about how best to maintain your standards, in your professional and personal life, please reach out to the CLPNM at practice@clpnm.ca. CLPNM consultants are here to help.

*For a full list of health care personnel who are subject to the Public Health Order, please see the definition of “designated persons” in the Schedule, which is accessible here: https://manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/20212022/orders-soe-vaccination-testing-designated-persons-09242021.pdf

Nursing Practice and Conduct in a Pandemic

Updated: September 24, 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic has put extraordinary stress on the health system and on health care providers. Nurses [i] have been at the forefront of the pandemic response since the beginning. All nurses, by virtue of being members of a regulated profession, hold positions of trust and leadership. Actions and statements made by nurses, whether on duty or off duty, have the power to influence the public.

The CLPNM reminds all registrants that they are expected to practice and conduct themselves in accordance with the Standards of Practice, the Code of Ethics, and Practice Directions of their profession.

The CLPNM also reminds registrants that they must follow Provincial Public Health Orders.

Vaccination for Healthcare Workers

Nurses have a duty to provide clients with safe, competent, and ethical care. This includes taking appropriate measures to protect clients from harm. Protecting clients from harm has always included taking steps to decrease the risk of infection. Public health measures such as handwashing, vaccinations, masking, and physical distancing are effective strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Evidence supports that widespread vaccination shortens the duration of disease outbreaks, maintains public safety, reduces the burden on the health care system, and keeps health care providers safe to care for clients in need. [ii] [iii] [iv] [v]

The Chief Public Health Officer of Manitoba has issued a Public Health Order that will require designated health care workers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. (The deadline previously announced was October 31, 2021. This deadline was revised when the Public Health Order was issued).  Those who cannot be vaccinated for valid medical reasons or who choose not to be vaccinated will be required to undergo frequent COVID-19 testing.

The CLPNM supports Manitoba’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan. It is based on scientific evidence and recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), Manitoba’s vaccine implementation task force, and Manitoba’s public health leadership. Canada also has a comprehensive and stringent system to approve and monitor new vaccines.

Nurses have the professional responsibility to:

  • adhere to policies and procedures of their employment setting [vii]
  • take all reasonable steps to avoid doing harm [viii]
  • recognize their own personal values and beliefs, and take measures to avoid any negative impact on client care, nursing practice, and the practice environment [ix]

The CLPNM recommends that all nurses, who provide direct client care, be vaccinated against COVID-19 (unless legitimate and rare medical reasons preclude vaccination) and encourages registrants to use current science-based sources and ethical frameworks as the foundation for their decision.

Providing Advice on Public Health Orders and COVID-19 Vaccines

Nurses are trusted health professionals. Views and statements made by nurses on important health issues that share or support misinformation can negatively impact the health and safety of the public. When clients ask a nurse for advice or opinion on Public Health Orders and/or COVID-19 immunization, they see the nurse as a trusted resource because of their professional designation. In keeping with this position of trust, the CLPNM expects nurses to provide clients with advice that:

  • is within the practical nursing profession’s legislated scope of practice [x]
  • uses known and accepted best practice and current scientific evidence [xi]
  • provides accurate, unbiased, and timely information to facilitate informed decision-making [xii]

If providing guidance on immunization is not within an individual nurse’s professional role/scope of employment, the nurse must direct the client to a legitimate trusted source for more information or assessment. The preferred source is the Manitoba COVID-19 Vaccine website or the individual’s primary care provider. Nurses are reminded to review the CLPNM’s COVID-19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions and Manitoba Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Practice Guidelines for Immunizers and Healthcare Providers.

Professionalism

The CLPNM reminds all registrants that although they are free to hold their own opinions, nurses must reflect on their professional obligations (and workplace policies) before engaging in public forums.

Nurses are reminded that the standards for the profession do not allow nurses to publicly (whether in-person or virtually) express health care related views that are not supported by scientific evidence, including anti-mask and anti-vaccination opinions. Nurses may wish to encourage respectful discussion about COVID-19 measures without contributing inaccurate, unreliable, or unproven information that is harmful to the public’s best interest.

Nurses are not entitled to use protected titles [xiii], in any form, to spread misinformation as members of a regulated profession. When a nurse communicates with the public and identifies as a nurse, implicitly or explicitly, they invoke their professional position as a nurse and are accountable to CLPNM and the public it protects.

Nurses are required to:

  • display the characteristics and attributes of a professional [xiv]
  • maintain at all times standards of personal conduct which reflect well on the profession and enhance public confidence [xv]
  • adhere to licensed practical nurse legislation, regulations, by-laws, regulatory documents [xvi], while noting that Public Health Orders are part of the regulatory framework referred to here.

Summary

The CLPNM registrants, as members of a regulated profession, are required to support the mandate of the CLPNM to serve and protect the public. [xvii] The CLPNM’s practice expectations are defined in the Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, Entry-Level Competencies, Nursing Competencies for LPNs in Manitoba, and CLPNM Practice Directions. Nurses found to be in violation of CLPNM standards are subject to investigation and possible disciplinary procedures.

Nurses who have questions or concerns about their ability to maintain their standards are encouraged to contact the CLPNM and speak with a Practice Consultant. The Practice Department can be contacted via email at practice@clpnm.ca or by phone at 204-663-1212 or toll-free at 1-877-663-1212, ext. 307.

Additional Resources

 

Social media
Public Health Resources
Covid 19 Vaccine Resources

For More Information

Contact us at
practice@clpnm.ca
204-663-1212 ext. 307
1-877-663-1212 ext. 307 (toll free)

View printable PDF version of this guidance here


[i] In this document, the term nurse refers to all CLPNM registrants, including licensed practical nurses, graduate practical nurses, student practical nurses.

[ii] Bloom, D. E., Cadarette, D., & Ferranna, M. (2021). The Societal Value of Vaccination in the Age of COVID-19. American Journal of Public Health, 111(6), 1049-1054.

[iii] International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities and World Health Organization.  Statement for healthcare professionals: How COVID-19 vaccines are regulated for safety and effectiveness https://www.who.int/news/item/11-06-2021-statement-for-healthcare-professionals-how-covid-19-vaccines-are-regulated-for-safety-and-effectiveness

[iv] Thompson, et al. (2021). Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in ambulatory and inpatient care settings. New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2110362

[v] Canadian Nurses Association (2021). COVID-19 Vaccinations. https://www.cna-aiic.ca/en/coronavirus-disease/covid-19-vaccinations

[vi] Government of Manitoba and Shared Health. COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Health-Care Workers Memo. August 24, 2021; https://sharedhealthmb.ca/wp-content/uploads/covid-19-vaccination-of-health-care-workers.pdf

[vii] CLPNM Standards of Practice, page 7.

[viii] CLPNM Code of Ethics, page 7.

[ix] CLPNM Code of Ethics, page 11.

[x] CLPNM Entry Level Competencies, page 15.

[xi] CLPNM Entry Level Competencies, page 12.

[xii] CLPNM Code of Ethics, page 5.

[xiii] Protected titles include licensed practical nurse, graduate practical nurse, student practical nurse, or any variation, abbreviation, or equivalent in another language.

[xiv] CLPNM Standards of Practice, page 7.

[xv] CLPNM Code of Ethics, page 10.

[xvi] CLPNM Entry Level Competencies, page 15.

[xvii] CLPNM Entry Level Competencies, page 15.

COVID-19 and Your Practice

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, LPNs are expected to:

  • screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and risks, using screening criteria established by Shared Health Manitoba,
  • disclose symptoms or risks for exposure to appropriate authorities, such as the employer,
  • ensure their health status does not place clients at risk,
  • ensure they are familiar with their employer’s policies on COVID-19,
  • regularly visit the CLPNM website and Shared Health Manitoba website for updated guidance, refreshing the browser each time to ensure access to the most up-to-date information, and
  • stay up-to-date on other credible sources of information regarding COVID-19 that may relate to their practice.

More Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are my accountabilities as an LPN during the COVID-19 pandemic?

All LPNs are accountable to meet their professional standards.  In a pandemic situation, meeting standards includes, among other things:

  • Making decisions that are in the best interest of your clients and protecting them from harm.
  • Taking action when client care may be compromised, including identifying strategies to prepare for, reduce and resolve situations that may leave client without the nursing services they need.
  • Protecting patients from infection risks. You can do this by:
    • applying hand hygiene principles
    • choosing appropriate measures to prevent and control infection transmission such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • understanding your workplace’s organizational policies about infection prevention and control
    • working with your employer to develop new policies as needed
    • using sources of evidence to inform your practice

To learn more, refer to Shared Health Manitoba’s Coronavirus Resources for Health-Care Providers and Staff. Note that Shared Health updates its resources frequently, so when visiting its website, you are encouraged to refresh (Ctrl + R) each time.

The following CLPNM resources may also assist you:

2. What are my accountabilities when providing care to a client diagnosed with (or suspected of having) COVID-19?

All LPNs are accountable to meet their professional standards.  See question 1.

In addition, when caring for a client diagnosed with (or suspected of having) COVID-19, LPNs are expected to understand and apply precautionary measures to minimize the risk of infecting themselves, colleagues client and others. To learn more about these topics, refer to Shared Health Manitoba’s Coronavirus Resources for Health-Care Providers and Staff

The following CLPNM resources may also assist you:

3. Can LPNs collect nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 in any setting?

Yes. LPNs can collect nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 in any settings if they have the acquired competence and employer policy and/or guidance. LPNs can collect nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs for a client with a client specific order or following a clinical decision-making tool (i.e. protocol or standing order). 

The following resources may assist you: 

4. Can an LPN provide care for a client receiving mechanical ventilation?

Yes. LPNs must ensure they have the knowledge, skills, judgment and appropriate authority before performing any health care activity or procedure. The CLPNM expects LPNs to practice within their individual level of competency, and in accordance with the CLPNM Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and practice directions. LPNs with the demonstrated knowledge, skill, and judgment, and who are supported by employer policy and/or guidance, may provide care for clients receiving mechanical ventilation.

All LPNs are responsible and accountable for their practice, and must collaborate with their employers to ensure they have the competencies to fulfill their role. As with any new practice or task, if an LPN has never cared for a client receiving mechanical ventilation in practice, the LPN should ensure they receive the necessary (as determined by the employer) training and supervision until both parties agree that the LPN has the required competence to perform the procedure safely.

The following resources may assist you: 

 

5. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my employer has asked me to work in an unfamiliar area. Can I refuse to work in that area?

Nurses from all designations and areas may be asked to work in unfamiliar areas or in new ways to provide nursing services related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge this is an unprecedented time in health care and we recognize your efforts.

Nurses work in the best interests of their clients to set priorities, use critical thinking skills and apply professional, knowledge, skill, and judgment in these circumstances. Nurses seek out credible sources of information and follow best practice guidelines to provide nursing services and minimize the risk of disease transmission to themselves, their clients and others.

If you have concerns about your competence to work in an area, collaborate with your employer to problem solve, so that you can provide safe care and meet relevant standards of practice.

The following CLPNM resources may assist you in your decision-making:

You may also wish to contact the CLPNM Practice Department at info@clpnm.ca or 204-663-1212 (ext. 322)

6. Since the pandemic started, I have been asked to work in another area of the hospital that requires performing activities and procedures I am not familiar with. What are my accountabilities?
LPNs must ensure they have the knowledge, skill, judgment and appropriate authority before performing any health care activity or procedure. There are elements of nursing knowledge and entry-level competencies that transcend to all client groups and practice. While you may not be able to carry a full client assignment in the unfamiliar setting, there are many things you can do competently within your individual scope of practice to support client care in the new area.

When assigned to an area that you are not familiar with:

  • Perform activities that you are competent to perform.
  • Identify your learning needs specific to the new practice setting. Are there ways to address them?
  • Discuss your competency and expected responsibilities with your employer.
  • Seek out and participate in appropriate, employer-approved training opportunities.

LPNs can continue to provide safe client care by seeking advice, collaborating and problem-solving with the health care team, and their employer to identify strategies to continue safe client care during this challenging time.

The following CLPNM resources may assist you in your decision-making:

7. Can I post information on COVID-19 on social media?

There are risks and benefits to posting and it is important to maintain public confidence in your profession.  LPNs should not post information on social media that is not based in evidence or best practice, particularly if it might increase the anxiety levels of the public. For more information on your responsibilities related to social media use, read our Electronic Communication and Social Media Practice Direction.  We encourage stakeholders that are seeking information on the pandemic to access evidence-based information that is available and updated daily from the Manitoba Health COVID-19 webpage or Public Health Agency of Canada webpage. 

Other questions? Contact us at:
practice@clpnm.ca
204-663-1212 (ext 322)
1-877-663-1212 toll free (ext 322)

LPN Practice and COVID-19 Vaccination

On December 9, 2020, Health Canada approved Canada’s first vaccine for COVID-19. The Province quickly followed up by announcing a recruitment campaign to staff the its immunization clinics. The Minister of Health also issued a Ministerial Order, authorizing certain groups to administer vaccinations as part of the provincial COVID-19 vaccination program, after completing a training program offered by Red River College.

The events and announcements of this past week may raise several questions for LPNs, employers, retirees, applicants, practical nursing graduates and practical nursing students.

Are Manitoba LPNs authorized to participate in the vaccination program?
Yes. The Ministerial Order does not explicitly name LPNs among the groups of individuals authorized to participate in the program, because vaccination is already included in their scope of practice.  LPNs should assess their individual competence, and access additional education if a refresher is required.

Do LPNs require a client-specific order to administer a vaccine?
LPNs do not require a client-specific order when the vaccine is administered as part of a publicly-funded provincial immunization program, or a communicable disease response.

Can all practical nursing students participate in the vaccination program?
Eligibility requirements for practical nursing students include: being actively enrolled in the DPN program; being in their second year of the program; having completed the COVID-19 vaccination training program offered by Red River College; and being employed by a regional health authority, Shared Health, or a designated pandemic response service provider. The employer may advise of additional eligibility requirements.

Where can I access the job postings?
https://careers.wrha.mb.ca/job/Flexible-in-Manitoba-COVID-Immunization-Clinic-Manager-MB/543640217/
https://careers.wrha.mb.ca/job/Flexible-in-Manitoba-COVID-Immunization-Clinical-Lead-MB/543527817/
https://careers.wrha.mb.ca/job/Flexible-in-Manitoba-COVID-Immunization-Clinic-Immunizer-MB/543640017/
https://careers.wrha.mb.ca/job/Flexible-in-Manitoba-COVID-Immunization-Clinic-Post-Immunization-Observer-MB/543640117/
https://careers.wrha.mb.ca/job/Flexible-in-Manitoba-COVID-Immunization-Clinic-Client-Navigator-MB/543639917/

If I am a former LPN, do I need to reinstate my licence to administer vaccines as part of this program?
No. You do not need an active licence with the CLPNM if you are a retired LPN, however, you must complete the vaccine administration course offered by Red River College. You must also be employed by a regional health authority, Shared Health, or a designated pandemic response service provider. In addition, you are only eligible if you left the CLPNM register in good standing. You must not hold yourself out as an active member of the profession, or use the titles Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN, when working as part of the vaccination program.

I am qualified to practise nursing in a jurisdiction outside of Manitoba, but I do not hold registration with any nursing college in Manitoba. The Ministerial Order now authorizes me to administer COVID-19 vaccines in Manitoba, when working as part of the provincial immunization program. Am I practising as a nurse when I work as part of this program? Can I call myself a nurse? Can I count my hours as “practical nursing practice” hours?
No. The performance of this task does not qualify as practical nursing practice, for the purpose of CLPNM policy, unless it is performed by an LPN who is registered in Manitoba and who, as an active practising LPN, would be expected to apply their nursing knowledge and judgment, as well as skill, when performing the task. Unless you hold registration with the CLPNM, you cannot use the titles associated with the profession in Manitoba, such as Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN.

LPN Practice and Nasopharyngeal Sample Collection

Can LPNs collect samples by nasopharyngeal swab?

Yes. Collecting samples by nasopharyngeal swab is within the scope of practice of the practical nursing profession in Manitoba.  Manitoba’s LPNs have the authority to perform this activity if they are competent to do so and supported by employer policy.

The recent Ministerial Order, which authorizes certain groups to obtain nasopharyngeal swab specimens, does not mention LPNs.  Why?

On November 30, 2020, the Minister of Health issued a Ministerial Order authorizing certain groups to obtain nasopharyngeal swab specimens for the purpose of COVID-19 testing. The order did not mention LPNs; however, this is because this activity already falls within the scope of practice of the profession in Manitoba. There was no need to provide LPNs with additional authority.

Are LPNs required to take the micro course offered by Red River College?

No. LPNs, in general, are not required to take the Red River College micro course in order to be authorized to collect samples by nasopharyngeal swab. An employer may choose to recommend the course for an individual LPN, or the LPN might choose to take the course, if the LPN would benefit from a refresher of entry-level nursing knowledge and skill.

I am not registered with the CLPNM, or one of Manitoba’s other two nursing regulators. However, I am qualified to practise as a nurse in another jurisdiction, and under the new Ministerial Order, I am now authorized to collect samples by nasopharyngeal swab in Manitoba. Am I practising as a nurse when I collect these samples? Can I call myself a nurse in Manitoba?

No. The order authorizes several groups to perform this task, including several groups of unregulated health care providers. The performance of this task does not qualify as practical nursing practice, for the purpose of CLPNM policy, unless it is performed by an LPN who is registered in Manitoba and who, as an active practising LPN, would be expected to apply their nursing knowledge and judgment, as well as skill, when performing the task.

Protecting the public through fair, consistent and effective nursing regulation