As the regulatory authority for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) has a responsibility to the public to ensure safe, competent, and ethical nursing practice. Under the LPN Profession Regulation, LPNs are authorized to administer vaccines for the purpose of immunization. LPNs are expected to understand concepts such as communicable diseases and infection prevention and control as well as follow legislative and employer requirements.
Much of the world, including Alberta, is still responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. One recognized response measure is immunization. Despite this response measure, LPNs may encounter patients who may feel hesitant about vaccines.
Vaccine hesitancy is a delay in acceptance of vaccines or a refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccine services. The WHO acknowledges that health care professionals are amongst the most trusted resources of information when making decisions regarding vaccination.
In moments where a nurse may encounter vaccine hesitancy, nurses are reminded of the expectation to use evidence-informed information when discussing immunizations. When providing education about immunizations to patients or the public, LPNs should be aware of the effects of their personal values and beliefs, and support patient decision making by directing queries to credible sources. Evidence-informed practice should always guide nurses’ conversations with patients and decision making.
LPNs Role in Immunization Education
LPNs play a critical role in promoting safety, including education regarding vaccinations and immunizations. As professionals with a code of ethics and standards of practice, all nurses should have a comprehensive understanding of vaccination-related health supported by validated, science-based evidence.
Social media is an easy route to share opinions and information online. This makes it extremely difficult for readers to decipher what is trustworthy and credible information supported by evidence. There are many outlets that perpetuate information regarding vaccinations that are not scientifically based. The impacts of this information can be harmful to patients and pose barriers in creating supportive discussions with patients around immunizations. LPNs should approach these conversations respectfully with patients and navigate patient’s personal choices with evidence-informed practice.
LPNs have a professional responsibility regarding informed decision-making. It is important that LPNs do not influence the decision-making process of patients by sharing personal opinions regarding vaccinations. All information shared must be current, relevant, and evidence-informed from a reputable and credible source. Any misunderstandings or misinformation should be corrected through patient education.
EVIDENCE-INFORMED IMMUNIZATION SOURCES
To ensure that all LPNs have access to the most recent and valid vaccination information, here are some key credible sources:
For more information, please contact:
Ask CLPNA or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta), or 780-484-8886.