Vaccination Status and Your Standards
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:
- Code of Ethics
- Standards of Practice
- Duty to Care Practice Direction
- Duty to Provide Care Guidance Document
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 email@example.com. 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