Assessing a patient’s feet is part of a comprehensive head to toe assessment and is vital to ensuring optimal health outcomes for a patient. The assessment of a patient’s feet may indicate abnormalities or an underlying disease process such as those involving complications with the heart, liver, kidneys, deficits in self care, nutritional disorders, systemic diseases, infectious process and more1.
In Alberta, nurses are able to provide different levels of foot care. All Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) obtain the foundational knowledge to provide basic foot care as part of their entry level education. Advanced foot care would require an LPN to obtain further education and be authorized by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) to perform. Foot care is an essential part of nursing in many care settings. Therefore, it is important to understand the key differences between basic and advanced foot care to ensure that LPNs are practicing within their scope of practice.
Registrants of the CLPNA that have successfully completed a CLPNA approved practical nursing program or equivalent may provide basic foot care. In order for an LPNs to provide advanced practice foot care, they must complete a CLPNA Council approved advanced practice foot care program and have been authorized by the Registrar to practice advanced foot care.
Understanding the difference between basic and advanced practice foot care provides a better understanding of how your practice can meet patient care needs. Assessment and care of the feet is an integral part of nursing care and every nurse’s responsibility. You may wish to consider advancing your nursing practice by completing additional education and obtaining authorization in advanced practice foot care.
- Standards of Practice: Restricted Activities and Advanced Authorizations – College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (clpna.com)
- Competency Profile: Competency Profile for LPNs – College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (clpna.com)
- Practice and Education Requirements: Practice & Policy – College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (clpna.com)
- Advanced Authorization Courses: Restricted Activities and Advanced Authorizations – College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (clpna.com)
1 Gallagher, Diana. (2012) The Certified Foot Care Nurse and the Importance of Comprehensive Foot Assessments, Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. Volume 39 – Issue 2 – p 194-196 doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e318249f8b9
For more information, please contact:
Ask CLPNA or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta), or 780-484-8886.