Frequently Asked Questions: BC Wildfires


The following Q&A may assist British Columbia nurses who have legal questions about providing professional nursing services related to the wildfires.

CNPS assistance in the context of a natural disaster

Note: CNPS protection extends to registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). As a result, licensed practical nurses, registered practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses are not currently eligible for CNPS protection at this time.

Q.: Do I remain eligible for CNPS professional liability protection if I provide professional services during a natural disaster?

A: 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 RNs and NPs are eligible to 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.

Nurses may have other questions about the British Columbia wildfires. Employees of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and nurses employed by First Nation communities can contact the CNPS at 1-844-4MY-CNPS (1-844-469-2677) with questions related to the provision of nursing services and their professional liability protection.

Q.: Can a nurse turn to the CNPS for assistance if their property is damaged by a natural disaster?

A.: No. The CNPS provides professional liability protection, legal advice and assistance to eligible RNs and NPs 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 have registered for CNPS Plus business insurance for office or clinic contents coverage are encouraged to call the BMS Group at 1-855-318-6035.

Q.: I was personally injured while providing a nursing service through the course of my employment. Am I eligible for compensation from the CNPS?

A.: 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 WorkSafe B.C.

Q.: Despite the provincial evacuation order, my employer has called me back to perform my nursing duties. What should I do?

A.: As returning to nursing duties during a provincial evacuation order could expose you to additional professional risks, you should contact the CNPS at 1-844-4MY-CNPS (1-844-469-2677) to speak to a legal advisor.

Q.: What core services does CNPS provide?

A.: CNPS provides a broad range of legal services for RNs and NPs 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) CNPS Plus, a program sponsored by the CNPS, designed for nurses in independent practice who are looking for business insurance options

For more information about CNPS services, visit cnps.ca/services.


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