The growing value and recognition of Licenced Practical Nurses is the result of hard work – by our collaborative, competent and professional LPNs, and by the determined efforts of the CLPNA to build on their successes and ours. As our membership grows, so does the influence and the empowered professionalism of LPNs – protecting and serving the public through excellence in practical nursing.


The CLPNA is mandated to protect and serve the public. One way we do that is by responding to complaints and allegations of unprofessional conduct, incompetence and incapacity of LPNs, to ensure the profession’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice are upheld. The complaints process is designed to protect the public and improve the LPN’s nursing practice.

The Complaints Process

The CLPNA receives, investigates and resolves complaints about the practice of licensed practical nurses in accordance with processes identified in the Health Professions Act. The CLPNA is committed to resolving complaints against LPNs based on the principles of procedural fairness, transparency and due diligence. Each complaint is taken seriously and reviewed thoroughly to determine the appropriate course of action. The HPA sets out the approaches for addressing unprofessional conduct to protect the public from incompetent or unethical practitioners. Approximately 1% of the membership is involved in the complaints process each year.

The CLPNA attempts to resolve complaints through informal resolution processes where possible, rather than referral to disciplinary hearings. This year, 40% of complaints were successfully resolved in this manner. Serious complaints are investigated and referred to disciplinary hearing according to the determination of the Complaints Director. Due to the serious nature of several complaints, three LPNs had suspensions issued pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings. Alternatively, when evidence does not exist or is deemed to be insufficient, a complaint may be dismissed.

In accordance with the HPA, employers have a legal obligation to inform the CLPNA when an LPN is terminated, suspended, or the LPN has resigned for reasons of unprofessional conduct.

LPNs embrace change that serves the best interests of the public and a quality healthcare system.
Disciplinary Hearings Summary

A complaint is referred to a hearing when informal methods of resolution are unsuccessful, or when a complaint investigation reveals a serious breach of a practice standard or ethical conduct of an LPN. The Complaints Director may also refer complaints to the Hearing Tribunal for a formal hearing. Based on the evidence, the Tribunal determines if the investigated LPN has met the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the profession. If the LPN is found to be guilty of unprofessional conduct, the Tribunal decides what measures are necessary to protect the public from unsafe practice and determines the appropriate steps required to remediate and rehabilitate the individual nurse.

There were 18 hearings held and concluded in 2014. The 18 hearings consisted of 27 separate complaints.

Disposition of Complaints Closed in 2014

  • Complaint Withdrawn 1
  • Consent Resolution 5
  • Complaints Dismissed 11
  • Hearings Complete 18
  • Section 118 – Incapacity Assessments 2
  • Informal Resolution (Agreement & Undertaking) 30
  • Appropriate Employer Resolution 20
  • Registration Surrendered 3
  • Section 55 – Undertaking - Practicing Without A Permit 49
  • Unresolved 2
  • Appeal Hearings Completed 0
  • Alternative Complaint Resolution Decisions Ratified 0
  • Alternative Complaint Reviews 0
  • Appeals to Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench 0
  • Total Complaints Closed 141

Complaints Currently In Progress as at December 31, 2014

  • In Investigation Stage 49
  • In Review Stage (Legal/Internal) 9
  • Hearing Pending 2
  • Referred to Hearing 4
  • Monitoring Orders (Hearing Tribunal Decision) 26
  • Monitoring Orders (Agreement & Undertaking) 18
  • Total Complaints in Process 108
Historical Comparison 2012 2013 2014
New Complaints Received 108 122 139
Complaints in Process - Previous Years 78 85 56
Total Complaints in Process 186 207 195
Source of Complaints 2012 2013 2014
Employer 61 70 70
Complaints Director 30 39 54
Member of Public 13 7 13
Other 0 0 0
Protection for Persons in Care 4 6 2

Type of Complaints Received

  • Abandonment 3
  • Abuse – physical, verbal, sexual 10
  • Boundary Issues 2
  • Breach of Confidentiality 3
  • Clinical Competence – Health Assessment 2
  • Clinical Competence – Medication Administration 15
  • Clinical Competence – Multiple 26
  • Failure to Provide Supervision 2
  • Conduct Outside Professoinal Services 1
  • Health – Mental 2
  • Inappropriate Business Practices 2
  • Non-Compliance of Orders 2
  • Other 2
  • Practicing Without A Permit 51
  • Theft 5
  • Unethical Conduct 5
  • Workplace Conflict Non-Practice 6
  • Total Complaints Received 139

Hearing Findings

Hearing Tribunals receive evidence, listen to testimonies and consider the facts of the complaint in order to make a well-reasoned decision. The Hearing Tribunal includes members of the profession and the public to support an objective review of the matter.

  • Guilty of Unprofessional Conduct 18
  • Not Guilty of Unprofessional Conduct 0

Hearing Discipline Actions Taken

Where possible, the Hearing Tribunal strives to take a remedial approach when determining orders, to provide the LPN an opportunity to improve their nursing practice. Suspensions and cancellations are orders reserved for more serious offences.

  • Partial Hearing Costs 17
  • Fine 5
  • Education 17
  • Mandatory Disclosure to Future Employers 2
  • Drug Screening 3
  • Reprimand/Caution 14
  • Psychiatrist/Psychologist/Physician’s – Fitness to Practice Letter 4
  • Publication 2
  • Criminal Record Check 1
  • Practice Restriction 0
  • Supervised Practice 0
  • Referral to Attorney General
    *review of matters that may be criminal in nature