Incapacity is defined as suffering from a physical, mental or emotional condition or disorder or an addiction to alcohol and drugs as defined in the Pharmacy and Drug Act or other chemicals that impair the ability to provide professional services in a safe and competent manner. – Health Professions Act, RSA 2000, c H-7, s 1(1)(s).
To ensure safe client care, nursing requires critical thinking, critical inquiry and clinical judgment. If a Licensed Practical Nurse’s ability to perform these functions is impaired, they may not be fit to practice.
The Health Professions Act provides a way – through examination, treatment and rehabilitation – for the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta to address these situations. These processes are thoroughly explained in the Interpretive Document: Incapacity Under the HPA recently released by the CLPNA.
This updated interpretive document provides applicants and regulated members with information around incapacity and LPNs. It includes the following key pieces of information:
- how the Health Professions Act (HPA) defines ‘incapacity’;
- the authority given to the Registrar and the Complaints Director under the HPA to assess incapacity;
- what applicants and members can expect from these processes; and
- how an applicant or a member can appeal certain decisions of the Registrar or Complaints Director to the Council.