The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) is the regulatory (licensing) organization for the province’s Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
CLPNA regulates the profession by setting entry-to-practice requirements, establishing, promoting and enforcing standards for registration, practice, and professional conduct, and enhancing the care provided by members of the profession through the Continuing Competency Program.
The Role of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta
CLPNA exists to protect Alberta healthcare users. Our first responsibility is to the public. We regulate the profession of Licensed Practical Nursing, setting and maintaining standards to ensure the public receives safe, competent, and ethical healthcare services. Our focus and commitment to public protection underpins everything we do.
Albertans can be confident Licensed Practical Nurses are regulated through CLPNA’s enactment of government legislation.
The CLPNA’s role includes:
- Setting education and registration requirements to ensure only qualified individuals are licensed.
- Setting and enforcing practice, conduct, and ethical standards that direct how professional services are to be delivered and/or performed.
- Ensuring compliance with healthcare legislation and regulations.
- Setting continuing competency requirements and administering mandatory continuing competency programs to ensure LPNs’ professional knowledge, skill and performance continually evolve.
- Investigating concerns regarding the conduct of an LPN.
- Maintaining a public database of LPN registrants who are licensed to practice in the profession.
- Providing information about the practice of the profession, professional standards, and guidelines.
Self-Regulation and Governance
Licensed Practical Nurses are health professionals regulated by the Health Professions Act (HPA). This legislation gives the CLPNA the ability to govern and regulate the profession of Licensed Practical Nursing in Alberta.
The HPA was implemented by the government to consolidate Alberta’s many health professions under one common piece of legislation rather than multiple health profession specific Acts. HPA legislation also increases public representation on CLPNA Council and in CLPNA complaint investigation and member discipline process.
The CLPNA is governed by a board of directors called a Council, which consists of members of the profession (elected annually by peers) and three government-appointed public members. Public members provide valuable public input, transparency, and representation into CLPNA’s policy and decision making processes.
Council’s role is to regulate the profession and oversee the CLPNA’s management, actions, and policy development within the framework of HPA. This system of governance is called self-regulation. So, while government establishes the healthcare ‘rules’ through legislation and regulation, the CLPNA implements and enforces the ‘rules’ for the profession of Licensed Practical Nursing.
Self-regulation is a privilege, not a right, granted by government on behalf of the public. Self-regulation is commonly used in technically specialized and complex areas, like healthcare, because individual profession’s, have the specific knowledge and expertise necessary to set education, competence, license, and practice requirements and standards.
Members’ Professional Obligations and Accountability
Members are accountable for practicing within professional standards and maintaining and enhancing their professional competence. CLPNA communicates standards of practice, care, and conduct directly with Licensed Practical Nurses. Professional standards and guidelines are also available as public documents.
Every healthcare practitioner is professionally responsible to ensure he/she meets or exceeds their regulatory college’s stated requirements.