Core Services - Professional Liability Protection

CNPS Beneficiaries are eligible for the following core services:
  1. Legal advice 
  2. Assistance with legal proceedings including:
  3. Risk management and education

1.  Legal advice

  • information about professional obligations and professional liability issues in specific circumstances
  • prompt, confidential access to legal advisors who are lawyers with extensive nursing and/or health law experience
  • explanation of legal steps to be taken and actions to avoid when an incident has occurred
  • pre-contractual review of professional service agreements

2.  Assistance with legal proceedings** including: 

Claims and civil proceedings (up to $10M per claim)***
  • defence of claims and legal actions commenced in Canada and arising from the provision of professional nursing services rendered in accordance with a valid nursing license
  • claims for defamation, libel, slander, breach of privacy, abuse, neglect or discrimination
  • payment of any settlement or any court-imposed damages, costs, legal expenses and fees, generally excluding punitive damages
Criminal investigations & prosecutions (up to $1M per occurrence) 
  • assistance with police inquiries, requests for information
  • investigation of criminal allegations arising from nursing practice
  • defence of  criminal charges arising from nursing practice
  • legal representation available to defend charges from the outset in most circumstances
Statutory offences (up to $1M per occurrence)
  • includes investigations of alleged human rights infringement, privacy breaches and violations of legal obligations under child protection or “protection for persons in care” legislation

Witness appearances

  • legal assistance for nurses compelled to appear as witnesses at legal proceedings
  • legal assistance for nurses involved in Coroners’ or Medical Examiners’ investigations
  • legal assistance in responding to an application for production of client records in a criminal sexual assault case

General legal assistance

  • legal assistance to contain or mitigate a legal risk, appropriately respond to circumstances that could compromise patient safety, or appropriately respond to similarly exigent circumstances.

3.  Risk management and education
  • the CNPS publishes educational material on a wide range of subjects to help nurses understand their professional legal obligations, manage the risks in their nursing practice and reduce the risk of harm to their patients
  • the CNPS provides interactive risk management presentations to nursing groups on specific legal issues related to their nursing practice


Supplementary protection (optional)

CNPS beneficiaries can apply for CNPS Supplementary Protection to be eligible for assistance to respond to a complaint to their regulatory body (college or association). An additional fee applies. Visit or contact us for more information.

The CNPS: a lifetime investment

CNPS professional liability protection is occurrence-based, which means nurses can seek assistance from the CNPS with respect to legal proceedings arising from professional nursing services rendered while they were CNPS beneficiaries, irrespective of when a claim arising from this incident is made or a legal proceeding is commenced. Beneficiaries therefore remain eligible through retirement for assistance with incidents that occurred while they were CNPS beneficiaries.

CNPS protection extends to decisions that rest on the exercise of professional nursing judgment, whether made in the context of providing care, managing the provision of care, research or volunteer services.

Requests for legal representation will be considered on a case by case basis by a committee of nurses to determine eligibility for assistance as well as the appropriate level of assistance.


*    Certain conditions may apply. Contact the CNPS for more information.
**      An individual annual aggregate limit may apply.
***    CNPS professional liability protection generally does not extend to claims for which the nurse’s defence is adequately covered by an employer’s professional liability protection or insurance.


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