The College Reporter: Spring 2018

Join us for our Annual General Meeting, Awards Banquet and Professional Development Day

The 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is Thursday, May 24 at 3 p.m. The 2018 Awards Banquet will be held that evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Every year, the College holds an LPN Professional Development Day. This is an opportunity for LPNs from across the province to come together and learn about issues that are important to their practice. Click here for more information. This year’s Professional Day is Friday, May 25. The AGM, Awards Banquet and Professional Development day will be held at Delta Hotels Dartmouth.

Registration for our 2018 events is open. The cost of the Annual Awards Banquet is $25.00. The cost of the Professional Development Day is $50.00 and includes lunch and parking. Click the links below for more information:

Click here to register for one or both events. If you have any questions, please reach out to CLPNNS at

While these is no cost to attend the Annual General Meeting, registration is required. Click here to register.

Last Chance! Nominate a Nurse Who Inspires You for a CLPNNS Award

Do you know a colleague who deserves recognition for their commitment to the nursing profession? Consider nominating them for a College award. Each year CLPNNS recognises outstanding LPNs for their unique contribution to the nursing profession and for their outstanding contributions to the nursing community with the Award of Excellence. Our annual award enables members to celebrate their nursing colleagues who have gone above and beyond in the interest of clients, families, colleagues and the community. Click here to nominate an inspirational nurse for an Award of Excellence.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and honours the outstanding contributions made by an LPN over their span of their career (25 or more years). This LPN has played a pivotal role in the practical nursing profession through leadership, advocacy and excellence in practice. The recipient is a role model for the profession, an inspiration to others, a strong communicator, a recognized leader, and demonstrates the principles of inter-professional collaboration. Click here to nominate an LPN for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nominations are open until April 1, 2018. There is no limit to the number of nominations you can submit. These awards will be presented to recipients on May 24 at the annual CLPNNS Awards Banquet at Delta Hotels Dartmouth following the CLPNNS AGM.

Continuing Competence Program Audit

The 2017 Continuing Competence Program (CCP) audit was completed on February 27 and 28, 2018. This year, 99.4% of LPNs selected for the audit submitted their documents on time. In addition, 94.6% of learning documents were validated on the first review of the CCP Committee. Many thanks to the CCP committee, Joanne Pike and Sheila Brophy, for their hard work and commitment to the delivery of safe, competent, ethical and compassionate nursing care.

The Path to One Nursing Regulator Marks a Milestone: Colleges Submit Act for Government Approval

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS) and the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) are pleased to announce that a draft Act for the new nursing regulator was submitted to government on February 12, 2018.

“This is a significant milestone in our journey to create one nursing regulator,” says Sue Smith, CRNNS CEO. “We will continue to accomplish many goals along the way but this is a milestone that we’re especially proud of because our stakeholders were so instrumental in the process. We couldn’t have delivered the proposed legislation we have without the contributions of those who took the time to share their thoughts with us. The Boards and staff of each College are very proud of that.”

This new Act, once approved, will make way for the new nursing regulator and upon proclamation of the new Act, will dissolve CLPNNS and CRNNS as they exist today. This is a process, however, that will take some time.

“Much of our focus for 2017 was on the development of the draft Act because the new regulator would not have the authority to exist without it,” explains Ann Mann, CLPNNS Executive Director. “We’ve delivered proposed legislation and that will go through government’s legislative process but our work continues while we wait. There’s a tremendous amount of work to do operationally, so we’re focusing on what the new organization will need to function immediately and in the long-term.”

The CEO and Executive Director of each College are hoping that the new nursing regulator could be a reality in Nova Scotia in early 2019.

Want to learn more? Click here to read the most recent Q&A document.

New Documents

The Administration of Medications: A Self-Assessment Guide for Licensed Practical Nurses has been updated for 2018. In addition, Health Assessment: Self-Assessment Guidelines for Licensed Practical Nurses were developed in February.  These guidelines have been created to help LPNs self-assess their current knowledge base in medication administration and health assessment. The documents are designed to support your current practice and do not replace formal post-graduate courses.

Coming Soon

Keep your eyes peeled for a joint FAQ with the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia on Recreational Cannabis!


I work in long term care. Occasionally, a client must be sent to the emergency department (ED) for assessment of their condition. Can I make this decision independently or do I need to consult with the RN first? As an LPN, can I accept the client back from the ED if there is no RN on site?

First, always know and follow your agency policy related to transfers.

If the transfer is ‘booked’ and part of the plan for the client and if the team is aware, then you should update the RN about when the client leaves and returns and the client’s overall status and experience.

Ideally, the RN should be notified whenever you have determined there has been a change or decline in the client’s status. Together you can decide the best action for this client, which may or may not include a trip to the ED.

In emergency situations whereby the time associated with an RN consultation could greatly impact the client outcome, you should proceed with the transfer and notify the RN as soon as possible.

Cases where there is a difference of opinion regarding the need for transfer, require finesse and negotiation. You are expected to have a conversation with your colleague about your assessment and why you think a transfer is required. You should also be open to hearing your colleague’s interpretation of the situation.  In the end, you are expected to critically think through the situation taking into account your assessment findings and the input of your colleague and make whatever decision you feel is most appropriate to manage the client. Regardless of your decision, you are required to inform your colleague and document your assessment, your conversation and your actions.

You are accountable for the action you choose, including engaging your colleague in a discussion about the circumstances which may have led to the difference of opinion and strategies to prevent similar situations in the future.

You may receive the client returning from an inpatient or outpatient stay. In doing so, you may perform an assessment and review the plan and orders. Once you have the necessary client data, you are expected to communicate with the RN to determine the next best action. For instance, if the pre-hospital plan is not substantially changed, you both may decide it is sufficient and carry on as before the hospital visit.  If the plan has substantially changed, then you and the RN should collaborate to revise the existing plan of care, to ensure it meets the client’s current health care needs.

Document your action and discussions in the client record (including the collaboration with the RN or others).

Is CPR or first aid certification required for me to obtain and maintain my license? If so, how often do I need to recertify?

CPR or first aid certification are not required for licensure. Information on the requirements for registration and licensure can be found here.

Your employer may require CPR or first aid certification as a condition of your employment. In doing so, they can set out how frequently you need to recertify. We suggest you seek out what is considered current best practice related to CPR and/or first aid re-certification and follow employer policy.

Still have a question? Email a practice consultant at or check out the Frequently Asked Question page.

Internationally Educated Nurses and Practical Nurse Licensure: Pathway to Success 

CLPNNS and NSCC are pleased to offer a free prep course to help Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) understand the role of the LPN in Nova Scotia and assist them in preparing for the National Exam (CPNRE).

The next workshop dates are May 10, 11, 14 and 15.

For those eligible to write the CPNRE, the exam writing windows for 2018 are:

  • June 11 – July 1
  • November 19 – December 9

Funding to support this initiative is through the Labour Market Agreement, Nova Scotia Department of Immigration.

For more information contact Katherine Sullivan at (902) 423-9280 or

Online Learning Modules

The Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and Leadership online learning modules are going through a facelift and IT platform change effective March 31, 2018.  The online learning modules may be unavailable for registration or inaccessible for a few days during this time. Stay tuned to the website for updates!