Please note that the content on this page is currently under review. Please contact us at 1-800-267-3390 should you have any questions concerning this topic.
The following Q&A may assist eligible nurses who have legal questions about providing professional nursing services during natural disasters, such as wildfires, flooding, earthquakes, etc.
Do I remain eligible for CNPS professional liability protection if I provide professional services during a natural disaster?
Yes. CNPS beneficiaries continue to have access to CNPS services if a legal claim or threat is made in connection with professional nursing services they have provided. The status of an evacuation order or a natural disaster would not impact the professional liability protection that eligible nurses could receive through CNPS core services.
When providing nursing services as part of an emergency response plan, it is important that nurses identify their practice area and limits of expertise so that nursing resources can be allocated most effectively. Nurses should also determine whether they are the most suitable professional to provide the care required.
Can a nurse turn to the CNPS for assistance if their property is damaged by a natural disaster?
No. The CNPS provides professional liability protection, legal advice and assistance to eligible nurses for claims that may result from their nursing practice. CNPS professional liability protection is for services related to nursing and does not apply to property damages. Nurses who have sustained property damage following a natural disaster are urged to contact their home insurance provider.
CNPS beneficiaries who are registered with Nursing Business Solutions (formally CNPS Business Plus) for office or clinic contents coverage are encouraged to call the BMS Group at 1-855-318-6035.
I was personally injured while providing a nursing service through the course of my employment. Am I eligible for compensation from the CNPS?
No. The CNPS provides legal protection when nurses face a civil action or other legal proceedings resulting from the care they provided through their professional nursing services. In the event of a work-related accident, nurses are invited to contact their union, report the injury to their employer or obtain additional information from their provincial or territorial workers’ compensation board.
Despite the provincial evacuation order, my employer has called me back to perform my nursing duties. What should I do?
As returning to nursing duties during a provincial evacuation order could expose you to additional professional risks, you should contact the CNPS at 1-800-267-3390 to speak to a member of CNPS’ legal counsel.
What core services does CNPS provide?
CNPS provides a broad range of legal services for eligible nurses including:
- Assistance with legal proceedings stemming from your nursing work which may include:
- Claims and civil proceedings
- Criminal investigations and prosecutions
- Statutory offences including investigations of alleged human rights infringements, privacy breaches and violations of legal obligations under child protection or “protection for persons in care” legislation
- Witness appearances (including coroners’ or medical examiners’ investigations and more)
- Review of professional service agreements
- Risk-management and education services to help nurses reduce risk in their practice
- (Optional) Supplementary Protection to assist with regulatory matters, including complaints and fitness-to-practise hearings
- (Optional) Nursing Business Solutions (formally CNPS Business Plus), a program sponsored by the CNPS, designed for nurses in independent practice who are looking for business insurance options
Who is eligible for CNPS services?
Currently, the CNPS offers professional liability protection and services to eligible registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). Licensed / registered practical nurses (LPNs) and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) will be able to apply to become CNPS beneficiaries not later than January 1, 2019.
For more information about CNPS services, visit cnps.ca/services.
CNPS beneficiaries can contact CNPS at 1-800-267-3390 to speak with a member of CNPS legal counsel. All calls are confidential.
Updated September 2018
THIS PUBLICATION IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. NOTHING IN THIS PUBLICATION SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE FROM ANY LAWYER, CONTRIBUTOR OR THE CNPS. READERS SHOULD CONSULT LEGAL COUNSEL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE.