The legalization of recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018 brings with it an additional consideration for healthcare professionals such as Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses: Whether personal cannabis usage may compromise their ability to provide safe, competent, and ethical nursing care.
New guidance from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) explains possible impacts and risks to an LPN’s fitness to practice in a new Fact Sheet on Recreational Cannabis.
The key takeaway is that LPNs should be cautious when taking any substance that may cause impairment. According to the CLPNA’s Practice Policy: Professional Responsibility and Accountability:
“Health professionals must be able to assess the implications of their decisions when providing care to clients using critical thinking, critical inquiry and clinical judgment. If a health professional’s capacity to perform these functions is impaired, they may not be fit to practice.”
As a regulatory organization, the CLPNA is authorized to investigate complaints of unprofessional conduct and discipline members to protect the public.