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MATTERS

CONDUCT

the operations room Mandatory Reporting: An Employer’s Duty to Report Unprofessional Conduct

O

ften employers are uncertain and perhaps confused about their obligation and duty to report the unprofessional conduct of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA). When a report is received from an employer, the matter is treated as a complaint against the LPN. In 2013, employers reported 70 cases of unprofessional conduct to the CLPNA. This reporting obligation is in accordance with the Health Professions Act (HPA). The legislative requirement establishes the legally-mandated responsibility of the employer to report disciplinary concerns of healthcare professionals. Mandatory reporting is important so that the CLPNA is informed if an LPN is not practicing safely. It also allows the CLPNA to take necessary action to protect the public and assist the LPN to improve competence or correct behavior (if the allegations are proven). According to section 57(1) of the HPA, employers are mandated to report LPNs to the CLPNA when they: • terminate an LPN due to unprofessional conduct; • suspend an LPN due to unprofessional conduct; and • receive a resignation from an LPN prior to the LPN being suspended or terminated for unprofessional conduct. Even if no disciplinary action is taken, an employer may also report an LPN if they have reasonable grounds to believe the LPN is not providing competent professional nursing services. Prompt reporting should occur if an employer has concerns about an LPN’s ability to provide safe nursing care that could potentially place patients or clients at risk. When an employer is evaluating the conduct of an LPN to make a decision to initiate disciplinary action that will result in submission of a complaint to the CLPNA, they should consider the following factors: • Is the LPN providing unsafe care? • Has the LPN potentially breached the ethical and/or practice standards of the profession? • Has the LPN violated the employer’s policies and procedures? • Has there been a pattern of unacceptable behaviour? Is it likely to continue? • Are the public, patients, clients, co-workers and others potentially at risk? • Is there evidence of specific behaviors or incidents that support the employer’s concerns? • Have the outcomes of the employer’s attempts to remediate the LPN’s conduct been unsatisfactory?

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care | volume 28 issue 3

CARE – Fall 2014 | College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta  

In this issue: A unique home visit model of care is making life easier for palliative and geriatric patients in the Edmonton area. Does poor...

CARE – Fall 2014 | College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta  

In this issue: A unique home visit model of care is making life easier for palliative and geriatric patients in the Edmonton area. Does poor...