New Competency Profile for Licensed Practical Nurses in Alberta

I am deeeeelighted to share that the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta has launched the 2015 updated Competency Profile for Licensed Practical Nurses!

And most exciting for me is the section on Palliative Care!

Have a look at the new Competency Profile for Licensed Practical Nurses, in particular (document) pages 142- 146 for the Palliative Care Profile. I was honoured to be asked to provide input in the development of these competencies, and am thrilled with the outcome of this document. These are the most specific palliative care competencies for LPN/RPN practice that I know of.

Why are palliative care competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses important?

When I started writing our new text for Practical Nurses (to be published in 2016), I looked for any competencies for Practical Nurses. I looked at the CASN competencies for Registered Nurses. I looked at the National education standards for “Unregulated Care Providers”, the “Ontario Personal Support Workers Vocational Learning Outcomes”, the European Interprofessional Competencies… but did not have a set of competencies that focused on the role of the Practical Nurse.

It is important to have competencies to use when developing and offering education. It is helpful to have competencies to standardize education within a province and across the country. As an individual, it is helpful to have competencies to help identify areas to learn and grown.


If I have missed competencies, and if you know of other competencies for Practical Nurses, or Vocational Nurses (as they are sometimes referred to in the USA), please leave a comment below, and/or email me.

CLPNBC conference – Living Excellence in Practice

The CLPNBC conference was held at the Vancouver Italian Cultural Center. The Cultural Center was built on the site of an old dump, built with vision, collaboration, volunteer labour, and lots of determination…. it is an incredible site, providing great place for celebration and education. Fitting to meet there with the LPNs who are growing in leaps and bounds in their full scope practice, and meeting new challenges head on.

I was asked to speak about Living Excellence in Practice. The quotes I especially enjoyed include: Excellence, the state or quality of being exceptionally good.
Excellence is not a skill it is an attitude. Ralph Marston
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle
“To strive for excellence is to do the best that you can do” Betty Davies, RN, PhD

We discussed the idea that if excellence is an attitude, a habit, and a striving… then we can be excellent whether we are new grads, have a few years experience, or have been working for thirty years in nursing.

We talked about what excellence in practice and excellence in education feels like, tastes like, and looks like. We then talked about the LPN not only as a learner, but also as a teacher!

Being a hospice nurse, I could not talk without discussing death and dying, and ways that excellence might be included when caring for the dying and their families.

For example, excellence might include using the “D” word when touring a family through a residential care facility prior to the admission of their loved one, or talking about decreasing intake with family when they are concerned about their loved one not eating enough.

The energy and the input from the LPNs was inspiring.

Thank you CLPNBC for the invitation to speak, and thanks to all who contributed to the discussion and helped make it a great learning experience.



College of LPNs of BC conference in Vancouver

The College of LPNs of BC is sponsoring a one day conference on Friday June 10, 2011 at the Italian Cultural Center in Vancouver.

Stephanie Staples is the keynote speaker, she will speak on “Life Support for Nurses” and help participants develop a personal wellness plan.

Katherine Williams will speak about “Workplace Bullying: Causes, Targets & Solutions”. She speaks from a personal and professional perspective.

I am honoured to be invited to speak on “Living Excellence in Practice”.

We look forward to meeting people at our Life and Death Matters exhibit. Please do drop by and say hi!

For more information go to: