Robin Williams and the stigma of mental illness

Posted on: September 10, 2014 by CLPNA

by Dr. Austin Mardon and Catherine Mardon

(Special to the CLPNA supporting World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10.)

We were just as shocked as everyone else to hear of the death of Robin Williams. The comments we heard included that he was in a better place, that his pain was gone now, that his decision to end his suffering was brave. All I felt was sadness. There are times that I envy those with depression. I have Schizophrenia. There are so many more treatments available to combat depression than we have to fight schizophrenia. My medications carry some really scary side effects as well. There have been times in my life that I’ve felt like giving up on the fight. Thankfully, I have never thrown in the towel. Mental illness runs in my family. I’ve lost relatives to suicide. I know what Mr. Williams’ family is going through right now. At least we got to grieve for our loss privately rather than in the glare of massive public interest.


How to complete your Learning Plan

Posted on: September 02, 2014 by CLPNA

Learning PlanEach year, as part of annual Registration Renewal, Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses participate in the Continuing Competency Program (CCP) by building a Learning Plan.

1. Assess your professional nursing practice

Through self-assessment and reflection, assess your professional practice using Standards of Practice and the Competency Profile for Licensed Practical Nurses. Through assessment of your current role and responsibilities, you will be able to identify personal strengths and areas in practice that you would like to strengthen.

2. Plan your learning

Prepare your Learning Plan: Based on your assessment, choose a minimum of two learning objectives that you want to complete to improve your knowledge, develop your skills and enhance your competence.

Learning Activities can include:


Flu season calls for immunization specialization

Posted on: August 29, 2014 by CLPNA

ad_FluShot_300x200Vaccination is a restricted activity for Alberta LPNs that, first, requires completion of an approved immunization course and, second, authorization by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) to be performed.

RELATED – Approved Immunization Courses

LPNs completing these programs must notify the CLPNA to have the authorization approved. A copy of a certification of completion must be emailed to, faxed to 780-484-9069, or mailed to the CLPNA directly. LPNs are not fully authorized and not covered by LPN insurance for the specialized practice of immunization until it is approved by CLPNA and added to their practice permit.

READ – CLPNA’s Practice Statement #7 – Specialized Practice

The Immunization specialization is one of four restricted activities regulated by the Health Professions Act and the CLPNA. The others are Advanced Orthopedics, Operating Room, and Renal Dialysis.

Questions? Contact a CLPNA Practice Consultant at, 780-484-8886, or 1-800-661-5877 (toll free in Alberta).

Fact Sheet: Authorization for Bladder Scanning with Supervision

Posted on: August 19, 2014 by CLPNA

Bladder Ultrasound(UPDATED Aug 21/14) To clarify any confusion related to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) performing ultrasound bladder scanning, the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) has released their latest Fact Sheet:

FACT SHEET: Authorization for Bladder Scanning with Supervision (PDF)

For many years, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) have been applying non-ionizing radiation in the form of ultrasound imaging for the purposes of bladder scanning as defined in the CLPNA Competency Profile for LPNs (2005, 2nd Ed.) This has been supported by CLPNA and is considered part of the LPN scope of practice.


International nurses must now apply to National Nursing Assessment Service

Posted on: August 12, 2014 by CLPNA

National Nursing Assessment Service logoEffective August 12, 2014, to become a nurse in Canada (except Quebec and Territories), all internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicants must first apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) for document evaluation and verification. NNAS will open their website for applications at 11:00am MST (1:00pm EST).

NNAS provides a single, simple point-of-entry to become assessed for any one of the three categories of professional nursing in Canada – licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, and registered psychiatric nurse.

RELATED – Frequently Asked Questions about National Nursing Assessment Services (NNAS)


Council Vice President and District Reps announced

Posted on: August 05, 2014 by CLPNA
CLPNA Council 2014

CLPNA Council 2014

On September 1, Fort McMurray resident Dieda John, LPN, assumes her first term as Vice-President of the Council of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA). President Jo-Anne Macdonald-Watson, LPN, will continue into her second term.

At the same time, several other Council members will begin their terms as District Representatives by acclamation.

Terms run from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2016.

The next scheduled Council meeting is on October 24.


Internationally educated nurse’s applications to CLPNA closes Aug 11

Posted on: July 16, 2014 by CLPNA

National Nursing Assessment ServiceThe College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) will stop accepting internationally educated nurse’s (IEN’s) applications effective August 11, 2014.

RELATED – For IENs – Applying for Registration through CLPNA

After this date, all internationally educated nurses who want to register with the CLPNA must first apply directly through National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), a national online application service developed by nursing regulatory bodies across Canada. This new streamlined application process will go into effect on August 12 at 1:00pm Eastern Standard Time (11:00am in Alberta).

RELATED – How to Apply for Registration through NNAS

NNAS is the mandatory first step for any internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicant who:

  • is a graduate of a nursing education program outside of Canada; and
  • is not currently registered to practice as a nurse anywhere within Canada as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN).


Continuing Competency Program Validation deadline Aug 5 for 2000 LPNs

Posted on: July 15, 2014 by CLPNA

CCPV logoTime is counting down for participating CLPNA members to complete their Continuing Competency Program Validation (CCPV) by August 5.

Members involved in CCP review their Learning Plans from Registration Renewal in 2012 and 2013, provide confirmation of completion, and reflect on how their learning enhanced their nursing competence.

Webinars, an instruction guide, online Q&A’s, and phone support is provided.

Participation in CCPV is a mandatory part of registration with CLPNA according to the Health Professions Act (HPA), Licensed Practical Nurse Alberta Regulation 2003.

For more, visit Continuing Competency Program Validation (CCPV), or contact, 780-484-8886 or 1-800-661-5877.


Learn by Heart: LPNs pioneer an Education Coach role – CARE Magazine

Posted on: July 04, 2014 by CLPNA

CARE magazine Summer 2014Nursing mentorship and teamwork help build a ‘magnet’ unit at Red Deer Regional Hospital’s Unit 31 with Licensed Practical Nurses relishing their role as Nurse Education Coaches. Explore this and so much more in the Summer issue of CARE Magazine.

Included: More about CLPNA’s ten-year Strategic Plan; LPN Awards of Excellence celebrate the best in nursing practice, leadership and education; One family’s special LPN connection.

RELATED – Previous issues of CARE magazine

CARE magazine shares healthcare information for and about Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) such as nursing practice, regulation, interdisciplinary teams, provincial and national nursing news.


2014 LPN Awards of Excellence winners and nominees

Posted on: July 03, 2014 by CLPNA
2014 Awards of Excellence Winners

2014 LPN Awards of Excellence Winners – (left to right) Mohamed Abazinab, LPN; Charlotte Hnatiuk, RN; Lynn Bursaw, LPN; Stephanie Miller, LPN

Diverse in background but united in spirit, this year’s nominees and recipient of the 2014 LPN Awards of Excellence represent the best the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and associated health professions have to offer.

These special nurses were celebrated during the Awards Dinner on May 1 in Edmonton at the annual Conference of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA).

LPN winners received a commemorative crystal award and $1000. Award recipients are selected by a committee of the Fredrickson-McGregor Education Foundation for LPNs on behalf of CLPNA.

RELATED – About the LPN Awards of Excellence

Feature article in CARE magazine

A four-page article about the Award Winners is featured in the Summer 2014 issue of CARE magazine: