Understanding Fitness to Practice
Assessing, maintaining, and reporting on fitness to practice is a professional responsibility for LPNs.
What Makes Someone Fit to Practice?
Being fit to practice means that an LPN has the physical, mental, and emotional health to practice safely, competently, and ethically.
Fitness to practice may be compromised by:
- illness or injury;
- being under the influence of any substance that impairs physical, emotional, or mental health;
- ongoing or chronic conditions, disorders, or addictions; and
- undergoing certain types of treatments.
What Is an LPN’s Responsibility?
LPNs have a professional responsibility to assess and maintain their fitness to practice. LPNs demonstrate that they are meeting this responsibility by doing the following:
- Self-assessing their fitness to practice on an ongoing basis.
- Maintaining wellness to meet the requirements of their role.
- Telling someone if they are unable to practice.
What Happens When You Report Fitness to Practice Concerns?
LPNs manage fitness to practice issues with their employer throughout the year. During renewal, LPNs must disclose to the CLPNA if they are currently off work on a leave of absence due to a condition, disorder, or treatment that impairs their ability to practice in a safe and competent manner.
Just because a fitness to practice concern exists doesn’t mean that an LPN will be determined unfit to practice. Depending on the circumstances, any risk to the public could be mitigated with practice accommodations or restrictions. Practice modifications support safety and guide a successful transition back into the workplace.