Licensed Practical Nurses hold an inherent position of power and influence over patients while providing nursing care. Professional boundaries allow for safe spaces between a nurse’s position of power and a patient’s vulnerability. Maintaining professional boundaries is a foundational part of nursing practice and key characteristic of a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship that is built on trust and respect.
An updated Practice Guideline on Professional Boundaries developed by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) describes how LPNs can meet these expectations. Specifically, the practice guideline:
- Provides an overview of the recently released Standards of Practice on Boundary Violations,
- Offers guidance on how LPNs should apply factors (listed in the Standards of Practice on Boundary Violations) to navigate situations related to sexual boundaries;
- Describes other types of boundaries that LPNs are expected to establish and maintain in addition to those of a sexual nature; and
- Provides common strategies that LPNs can apply to uphold all types of professional boundaries.
In March 2019, the CLPNA released a Standards of Practice on Boundary Violations This document emphasizes the expectations of LPNs for maintaining boundaries related to sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.
This practice guideline replaces the CLPNA’s Practice Statement #6 on Therapeutic Nurse-Client Relationship.