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.