Understanding the CNPS Advantage

CNPS protection provides registered nurses and nurse practitioners many unique advantages: 

1. Created by nurses for nurses

The CNPS was created in 1988 by visionary leaders in the nursing profession to ensure that Canadian nurses have the legal protection they need when they face a civil action or other legal proceedings arising from their nursing practice, as well as the knowledge to reduce risk in their practice. For over 25 years, nursing regulatory bodies have entrusted the CNPS with the mission of ensuring that the registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed or registered with them are never left without adequate professional liability protection.

Today, the CNPS remains a legal advocate for nurses. It is governed by a Board of Directors composed of registered nurses from across Canada. The Board’s responsibility is to continue to fulfill the CNPS’ mandate as the practice of nursing and the law evolve. Serving nurses is a privilege Board members take seriously. It's a challenge they are well equipped to meet, because like you, they are nurses who navigate the ever-changing health-care system.

2. Many features of CNPS protection cannot be found in traditional commercial professional insurance

  1. We provide occurrence-based professional liability protection and legal assistance. Claims can be commenced many years after care was provided and the CNPS has therefore decided to not impose a time limit on its assistance. Accordingly, nurses continue to be eligible for CNPS professional liability protection for claims arising from care they provided while they were a beneficiary of the CNPS, irrespective of when the claim is commenced.

  2. We focus first on prevention: Preventing an adverse event is more than speaking to you generally about potential sources of liability. It is about understanding how you work, the challenges you face, the most recent legal developments and making our legal resources available to you in your day-to-day practice. As you know, no two cases are exactly the same. This is why CNPS legal advisors are there for you to provide you with real-time legal advice relating to your nursing practice.

  3. Decisions regarding extent of assistance are determined on a case-by-case basis: You cannot predict all circumstances when you may need legal assistance. For that reason, the CNPS was specifically structured to provide assistance on a discretionary basis. This allows us to make decisions on the basis of the specific circumstances of each case, rather than on the strict inclusions and exclusions of a policy, and to best tailor the assistance to what you need.  It gives us the freedom to intervene at the earliest opportunity to prevent a future legal problem. The CNPS has developed principles which guide the exercise of this discretion. Learn more about the circumstances in which our beneficiaries can generally expect to receive assistance.

  4. When you call for assistance or advice, you speak with a lawyer with extensive experience in health law and the nursing profession. This means that it is appropriate for you to disclose confidential information because it will remain protected by solicitor-client privilege.

  5. We are in constant evolution: We actively monitor changes in the nursing and legal environments and adapt our services to best meet your needs. Here are a few examples of how CNPS services have evolved in the last five years:
    • Increased professional liability protection from $1 million (RNs) and $5 million (NPs) to $10 million for each RN and NP.
    • Improved legal representation and defence with criminal prosecutions arising from nursing practice by providing assistance at the outset instead of leaving the nurse to defend the charges on their own and reimburse only in case of a successful defence.
    • Introduced new service for the review of professional service agreements: contracts are usually drafted in the interest of those who prepare them; nurses need to know in advance if their contract puts them at risk of greater liability or contains provisions that are contrary to their professional obligations.
    • As of 2016, the CNPS offers supplementary protection as an optional service to provide nurses access to legal assistance with respect to matters before their regulatory bodies. CNPS beneficiaries may register for CNPS Supplementary Protection for an additional fee.

We encourage you to compare the CNPS range of services to other professional liability protection plans. You need to consider these important questions.

3. The CNPS is a not-for-profit organization

As a not-for-profit organization, we cannot and do not aspire to financially profit from what we do. Whether you access our services as a group or individually, we strive to bring you our services at the best cost possible. Fees in the individual categories are necessarily higher than the group rates, but remain substantially less than fees for commercially-available products. We reassess the appropriateness of our fees every year because legal claims are inherently unpredictable. Our beneficiaries can expect that we will adjust our fees as necessary in accordance with trends in claims, which we monitor very closely. Fortunately, an increase in claims will usually generate a relatively small increase in fees given the large number of beneficiaries.

More questions?

Contact the CNPS at 1-844-4MY-CNPS (1-844-469-2677). 

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Upcoming Webinars & Events

Upcoming webinars image


August 16, 2017 - Social Media and Technology (Replay with Live Q&A)


September 13, 2017 - L’infirmière, la documentation et le droit (French-language webinar)


September 14, 2017 - Legal Risks for New Grads


October 11, 2017 - Public Health and Community Nursing and the Law


November 8, 2017 - RN Prescribing and Risk Management


Become a CNPS Beneficiary