Licensed practical nurses to have broader role

Minister Shandro met with a group of licensed practical nurses prior to announcing an expansion of the scope of practice.

Government is amending the licensed practical nurses profession regulation to expand the scope of practice for LPNs in five key areas, including administering blood or blood products.

“Our government is committed to strengthening our health system, and one key way to do that is to allow licensed practical nurses and other health professionals to practise to the full extent of their competence and training.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“This is a great day for Albertans and for licensed practical nurses. Enhanced nursing care from an optimized LPN profession will increase quality, continuity and efficiency, and better serve Albertans.”

Valerie Paice, LPN and president, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

To ensure public safety, LPNs will adhere to standards of practice being developed by their regulatory college. The expanded scope of practice will come into effect Feb. 1, 2020.

Quick facts

  • With the regulatory changes, LPNs will be able to:
    • administer blood or blood products
    • dispense certain drugs based on a prescriber’s instructions
    • provide ultrasound for bedside nursing assessments
    • administer intravenous nutrition
    • administer medication by an invasive procedure, such as a central venous line
  • The amendments align with LPN practice in many other jurisdictions across Canada.
  • The changes will reflect current health system needs and LPN competencies; the LPN profession regulation has not been amended since coming into force in 2003.
  • More than 16,000 LPNs work in Alberta. The majority work in Alberta Health Services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community health centres, continuing care facilities, urgent care centres and home care.

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