New Public Health Order re: LPN Practice and Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections

This notice is relevant to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who participate in the treatment of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.

On May 30, 2023, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer signed a Public Health Order authorizing and directing communicable disease nurses, who are currently providing communicable disease responses services on behalf of a health authority, to comply with the following three protocols while attending to a patient:

Communicable Disease Management Protocol – Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) Infection

Communicable Disease Management Protocol – Gonorrhea

Communicable Disease Management Protocol – Syphilis

The protocols contain information and practice directives for testing, treatment and reporting of these communicable diseases.

LPNs who practise through a health authority, or an entity funded by a health authority (see definitions below), and who are involved in the care of clients who present with symptoms of these diseases, must comply with the protocols.

LPNs must also self-assess and confirm that they have the competencies necessary to engage in the treatment of STBBIs under this order.

Online education is being developed to provide nurses, who have not previously been engaged in this work, with the competencies necessary to do so. The first education session is planned for June 20, 2023, at 9:00 am. Additional dates will be scheduled thereafter. Registration is now open through regional learning management systems (LMSs). Please contact your employer for information on how to register.

Note that LPNs administering medications, in accordance with the Public Health Order and the applicable protocols, do not require a client-specific order for the administration of medication to treat these infections. Please refer to the protocols for specific information.

The order applies to a public health nurse as well as to a “communicable disease nurse,” defined to include a person who is:

a) registered and authorized to practise in Manitoba as a registered nurse, a registered psychiatric nurse or a licensed practical nurse, but who is not currently appointed or designated as a public health nurse in Manitoba, and

b) currently providing communicable disease response services on behalf of a health authority as defined in The Health System Governance and Accountability Act, the Government of Manitoba, the Government of Canada, an Indian Band or any entity funded by a health authority, the Government of Manitoba, the Government of Canada or an Indian band to provide the services.

The Order, which was made under Section 44 of The Public Health Act, is in effect from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024 unless extended.