The College Reporter: Summer 2018

The College is Seeking Your Input

We have developed a short survey to capture your perceptions about your current practice, what may be preventing optimized practice and the conversations you are having with others about what it means to be an LPN. We will use this data to help design and develop practice supports for all LPNs so you may continue to provide safe, competent, ethical and compassionate care to your clients.

This survey will close on Friday, July 20, 2018. The survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

Click here to start the survey.

Answering Your Questions About Cannabis

The Government of Canada has committed to the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2018 and medical cannabis has been legal for many years now. Nurses and members of the public have many questions including: What is the difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis? Can a nurse work if they are authorized to use medical cannabis? Find out the answers to these questions and more by checking out our new Cannabis Questions and Answers. This resource provides answers to frequently asked questions related to what nurses need to know about cannabis use, fitness to practice, meeting the standards of practice and upholding the professional presence of the nurse.

Click here to read the Q&A.

Continuing Competence Program Audit Update

The 2018 audit of 2017 documents is complete. Of the members audited, 100% of those selected achieved compliance with the audit requirements. Click here to see the program statistics for the last seven years. The program will undergo full evaluation beginning this month. The program evaluation framework includes: literature search and environmental scan, a member survey, a participant survey and a policy and process review. The evaluation will be complete by August 2018.


AGM, Awards Banquet & Professional Development Day

Annual General Meeting

On May 24, the College held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Delta Hotels Dartmouth. Thank you to everyone who attended for your enthusiasm and engagement. The meeting was chaired by the Board Chair, Jason Reeves. Both he and the Executive Director, Ann Mann, highlighted the College’s activities of the past year.

Mike Casey of the firm Collins Barrow Inc. presented the financial statements of the College. There were no questions in relation to these reports. There were no resolutions or motions presented at the AGM.

Did you miss the 2018 AGM? 

If you want to learn about the College’s priorities and accomplishments in 2017, click here to review the CLPNNS 2017 Annual Report. The report highlights how we are promoting the provision of safe, competent, ethical and compassionate nursing services by LPNs and how we regulate nursing practice in the best interest of the public.

Awards Banquet

On May 24, CLPNNS hosted an evening of celebration with nearly 100 attendees. This year four LPNs received Awards of Excellence and one LPN received our Lifetime Achievement Award. Click here to learn about this year’s outstanding award recipients.

Professional Development Day

The College’s Professional Development Day took place on May 25. There were 125 nurses in attendance to learn about cannabis legislation and opioid response in Nova Scotia; the nurse’s role in addressing opioid use/misuse in Nova Scotia; and the science of cannabis.

Reviews of the day have been very positive and we have received great suggestions for future events. As soon as available, results from the evaluation will be posted on our website. Click here to read previous year’s evaluations.

We are waiting for permission from the speakers to post their slides on the website and will have them up as soon as possible.

Social Q&A

The College used a tool, Social Q&A, to facilitate the Q&A portion of the Professional Development Day by allowing participants to ask questions and vote for the questions they wanted answered from their devices for CLPNNS staff to answer. This was very successful, resulting in a number of questions submitted and discussed. We will share the questions and answers we received on the website in the next two weeks. In the meantime, click here to check out the Frequently Asked Question section on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

It used to be that LPNs could only manage wounds 2.5 cm or less. Has this changed? 

Entry-level competencies in 2005 stated that LPNs could manage wounds 2.5 cm or less. This was a starting point and the expectation was then, and continues to be, that as LPNs increase their proficiency and competency in wound care, the capacity of their practice to manage wounds grows. In 2011, the starting point is related to the nurse’s individual competency and the needs of the client and not so much a specific depth of a wound.

LPN practice is contextual to the needs of the client. As long as clients are responding to the interventions and outcomes are reasonably anticipated and predicted, LPNs practice independently within the plan of care which has been established to manage the wound. When clients fail to achieve expected outcomes and/or responses become unpredictable, the LPN must consult with another care provider (generally an RN) to work together to adjust, modify, revise, or change the existing plan of care.

Below are assumptions about LPNs and wound care:

  1. LPNs cannot develop a client’s initial plan of care independently; however, LPNs are expected to do so in collaboration with another care provider (generally the RN). This is outlined in the Licensed Practical Nurses Act (2006). Initial is defined as the first plan, if when a client arrives from one area to another area with a plan in place, this would be considered the continuation of a plan.
  2. LPNs can manage wounds, at whatever depth or packing requirements, as long as they have the necessary knowledge, skills and judgement (competence) to do so. Competence can be achieved in a variety of ways such as attending work sponsored education programs, workshops, additional certification or on the job clinical learning. Once competent, LPN practice can be independent (when a plan is established and the client is responding to the plan) or collaborative (when a plan is not fully formalized or the client’s condition or wound bed is changing or not responding as anticipated).
  3. Employer policies create the employment context and in doing so, may set up a practice that is less than the professional or individual scope of practice. For example, if an employer policy states that LPN practice is restricted to packing wounds 4 cm and less on the buttocks only, then in this agency LPN practice is limited to the parameters as set by the policy regardless of the professional or individual scope of practice.
  4. The leadership role of the LPN involves engaging the entire care team in conversations about making sure that the organizational polices match current entry level competencies, nursing research and best practices.

Still have a question?

Email a practice consultant at or check out the Frequently Asked Question page on our website.

Congratulations are in Order! 

Best wishes to the more than 230 practical nurse graduates from six NSCC campuses across Nova Scotia who wrote the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE) in May and June.

Congratulations to the following graduates who received Excellence in Clinical Practice Awards from CLPNNS:

  • Jess Boudreau (NSCC Marconi Campus)
  • Tracy Van Camp (NSCC Ivany Campus)
  • Arielle d’Entremont (NSCC Burridge Campus)
  • Kathy Reeves (NSCC Kingstec Campus)
  • Stephanie Henderson (NSCC Pictou Campus)
  • Victoria Shaw (NSCC Truro Campus)

Changes to Nova Scotia Medical-Surgical Placement Sites for Athabasca University Post-LPN BN Students

Effective May 1, 2018, the NURS 401: Professional Practice with Adults Experiencing Health Alterations (Medical-Surgical) clinical course will no longer be offered in Nova Scotia for LPNs enrolled in the Athabasca University Post-LPN BN program. Learners will be required to travel to Alberta to complete this program requirement.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and Athabasca University made this decision after careful review of student enrollment and an assessment of both organizations’ ability to offer the clinical oversight necessary for this course in the accredited Post-LPN BN program.

The NSHA and Athabasca University are continuing to work together to attempt to support students who wish to complete NURS 437: Professional Practice in Family Health Promotion and NUR 441: Consolidated Professional Practice (final preceptorship) clinical courses in Nova Scotia.

Students with questions or concerns about this change are invited to contact Athabasca University at or Nova Scotia Health Authority at for assistance.


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