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.