The College Mandate: To Protect the Public

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS), or the College, is the regulatory body for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Nova Scotia. The College’s purpose is to protect the public by promoting the provision of safe, competent, ethical, and compassionate nursing services.

The Licensed Practical Nurses Act authorizes LPNs to self-regulate and authorized the creation of the College to manage the day to day activities of the regulatory process. LPNs in Nova Scotia have enjoyed the privilege of self-regulation since 2001. The most current LPN Act was passed in 2006 and the LPN Regulations were proclaimed in 2009. Click HERE to view the Guideline: About the College.

Mandate of Public Protection
The College meets its mandate of public protection through the self-regulatory process. The College aligns its activities with the Objects or Objectives listed Part 1, page 8 of the LPN Act. The Objects are actions which represent public protection and in doing so, create a framework within which all College activities must fall. The Objects include:

  • to serve and protect the public interest;
  • to preserve the integrity of the practical nursing profession;
  • to maintain public confidence in the ability of the practical nursing profession to regulate itself, and;
  • to regulate the practice of licensed practical nurses through the development of various processes.

The privilege of self-regulation could be lost if it is perceived the College is acting outside the objectives or not in the interest of public safety.

Regulatory Functions
Regulatory functions are the core business of the College. They represent broad categories of regulatory work describing how the College meets its mandate of public protection within the LPN Act and Regulations.  The four regulatory functions are:

  • developing registration and licensing processes;
  • setting, monitoring and enforcing standards for practice, and professional conduct and, continuing competence;
  • setting, monitoring and enforcing standards for those entering the profession and PN education, and;
  • approval of practical nurse education programs.

Registration
The College has established annual registration and licensing requirements. The Executive Director/Registrar or designate assesses all applications for licensing. An active and valid license is required before an individual can engage in practical nursing practice. Licences must be renewed by October 31st each year and there is no grace period.

The College has a robust credentialing process to ensure all applicants (including graduates from schools in Nova Scotia, LPNs from other provinces and internationally educated nurses) consistently meet the licensing standard. Successful registration with the College means an individual has been deemed to have the necessary knowledge, skill and judgment to provide safe, competent, ethical and compassionate nursing services. The College also administers the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE).

Setting Standards
The College establishes and monitors standards for nursing education and LPN practice. The standards are guidelines for LPNs, employers, educators, and the public. Standards of Practice are authoritative statements which define the legal and professional expectations of practical nurse practice and the provision of safe, competent, ethical, and compassionate nursing services.

Investigating Complaints
The College protects the public by investigating complaints about the practice of an LPN. Each signed complaint received by the College is thoroughly investigated. The Complaints Committee (whose members include active practicing LPNs and public representatives) review the findings of the investigation(s) and determine how to manage the complaint.

Protected Title
A protected title helps the College achieve its mandate of public safety because only qualified practitioners may use it. Individuals who unlawfully use titles relating to practical nursing are placing the public at risk and negatively impacting the practical nursing profession.

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