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Disclosing Health Conditions, Disorders and Addictions

Registration renewal season is fast approaching. When renewing your registration for the coming year, you will be asked to disclose whether you have a health condition, disorder, or addiction that may cause a marked departure in your ability to practise safely, competently and ethically. 

If you do have a condition that fits this description, disclosing it to the CLPNM is the right thing to do.  It is also in your best interest to disclose this information to us as soon as possible.

Here’s why.

The CLPNM has an obligation to ensure that everyone who holds a licence meets the criteria set out in The Licensed practical Nurses Act and Regulation. These criteria include the following:

Licensed Practical Nurses Regulation
6(1) (d) The applicant must not (i) suffer from a physical or mental condition, disorder, or addiction to alcohol or drugs…that makes it desirable in the public interest that he or she not practice practical nursing.

When the CLPNM learns about a health concern that may affect your capacity for practice, we will ask you a few more questions to help us determine the impact on client safety.  Depending on your circumstance, that may be all the information we need.  In some cases, we may need documentation from a health care provider, to help us assess the extent to which the condition presents a risk to the public, if at all.

If you are one of the registrants who require documentation from a health care provider, getting us this information may take you some time. After we receive the information, our assessment also takes time. Each case is different, but in some circumstances, this assessment can take up to 8 weeks.

The earlier you let us know about your health condition, disorder or addiction, the earlier we can get the assessment process underway. This presents you with the best opportunity of having your assessment completed before your current year’s registration expires.

When should you let us know? As per the CLPNM Practice Direction on Fitness to Practice, you should reach out to us anytime you identify that you have a health condition, disorder or addiction that may affect your ability to provide safe, competent and ethical care.

If you disclose a new health concern to us during renewal season, you can do so on your renewal application, but it is important that you complete your renewal application as soon as registration renewal opens. If you wait until late in the renewal period to submit your renewal application, and you have a health condition or addiction we do not already know about, you are taking on the risk that your renewal application might not be processed before your current year’s registration expires.

Note that many people who disclose health conditions on their renewal applications have their applications processed without delay and without restriction. We recognize that many health conditions do not affect safe practice, and even those that might affect practice may not be a risk to the public if the condition is well-managed.

Read more on your professional obligations in the CLPNM’s Practice Direction on Fitness to Practice.   If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us.