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New liability protection provider for B.C. nurses

Posted April 29, 2015

CRNBC is pleased to announce that beginning in 2016, B.C. nurses will receive their professional liability protection, along with numerous associated services, from the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS). This is a significant and welcome change for British Columbians as well as B.C. RNs and NPs.

“This serves our mandate of protecting the public by ensuring any legal claims brought against B.C. nurses are quickly and effectively addressed,“ says Cynthia Johansen, CRNBC Registrar/CEO. “It also gives nurses access to programs and services that will help them better understand their professional legal obligations, manage the risks in their nursing practice and reduce the risk of harm to their patients.”

In order to move to this new plan, CRNBC applied for, and was accepted, as a member of the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) on April 25, 2015. This followed the CRNBC board's decision to close the college's own small “captive” insurance company, reducing risks and exposure to the organization, the public and nurses.

Until the CNPS program is in place in March 2016, the college has purchased commercial policies and transferred management of these policies to the Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC). ARNBC has strongly advocated for membership in CNPS, understanding that registered nurses and nurse practitioners in B.C. are eager for better protection, and will benefit greatly from the education and supports CNPS offers.

"We are thrilled the College has been responsive to the concerns of our B.C. nurses who deserve the best protection available as they support the health and well-being of British Columbians," says Julie Fraser, RN and ARNBC President. "ARNBC is proud to have had a role in advocating for this important change and we look forward to working with both CRNBC and CNPS on this transition."

With CNPS, beginning March 1, 2016 all CRNBC registrants will have access to supports including:

  • Confidential and objective advice to improve safety, quality and reduce exposure to risk
  • Current support for professional practice issues, i.e. right to die, patient handover
  • Summaries of legal cases involving the nursing profession, to assist with identification of potential safety and risk issues for patients and nurses
  • Access to independent legal advice
  • Assessment of contracts

CNPS CEO Chantal Léonard welcomes the decision.

“Our mandate is to help nurses effectively manage their professional legal risks and be appropriately assisted when in professional legal jeopardy,” Chantal says. “We're available to assist our beneficiaries day to day, in every aspect of their practice, and we look forward to providing B.C. nurses all of the benefits of belonging to a legal support system created by Canadian nurses for Canadian nurses.”

Contact

Cynthia Johansen
Registrar/CEO
ceo@crnbc.ca

 FAQs

What is the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS)?
The Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) is a not-for-profit society providing legal advice, risk management services, legal assistance and professional liability protection related to nursing practice to registered nurses and nurse practitioners.
How does CNPS coverage differ from what B.C. nurses currently have?
CNPS offers enhanced professional liability protection for B.C. nurses, providing coverage of up to $10 million per claim. This makes it easier for members of the public to be adequately compensated in the event of professional negligence by a nurse.
CNPS also provides enhanced supports to nurses to help reduce the likelihood of harm in the first place. The college believes these benefits will provide better protection for the public, and that CNPS membership is good for both British Columbians and nurses.
Why has the College made this change?

CRNBC’s board has taken several steps over the past few years to strengthen professional liability protection. CRNBC has closed its own small “captive” insurance company, reducing risks and exposure to the college, the public and nurses, and instead purchased commercial policies with greater protection.

However, in today’s constantly evolving environment, where civil claims against health professionals are steadily increasing and court-awarded payouts skyrocketing, both the public and nurses require and expect even better protection. CRNBC wanted to make a change to meet this expectation. The board determined CNPS was the best option. 

CRNBC has transitioned management of the insurance program to the Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC) until March 1, 2016, when CNPS coverage begins.

What are the benefits of moving to CNPS?

CNPS is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization providing professional liability protection, as well as numerous services, to most of the RNs and NPs in the rest of the country.

The many benefits offered by CNPS include:

  • Confidential and objective advice to improve safety, quality, and reduce exposure to risk
  • Current support for professional practice issues (e.g., right to die, patient handover)
  • Summaries of legal cases involving the nursing profession to assist with identification of potential safety and risk issues for patients and nurses
  • Timely access to independent legal advice
  • Assessment of contracts

Visit the CNPS website for all the details

How much will it cost?

CRNBC has already made the first payment to CNPS, covering B.C. nurses' 2016 fees, from the investment remaining in our former insurance company, as well as funds the board previously restricted to use for the purpose of professional liability protection

During its 27 years of operation, the CNPS has exercised fiscal prudence to build a sustainable fund to pay out claims and for its ongoing operations. It's important to ensure the process is fair to existing CNPS members while allowing CNPS to give B.C. nurses the same professional liability protection it gives to nurses in other provinces, including retroactive coverage for claims for past events. As such, CRNBC will pay a higher annual fee for the first five years to bring B.C. in line with financial contributions from other CNPS members.

The college anticipates fees from CNPS of approximately $63 per RN and $115 per NP. CRNBC’s total fee has decreased over the past few years and CRNBC will continue its efforts to limit fee increases, while meeting its public protection mandate.

Over the long-run this approach is more cost-effective than commercial insurance, brings British Columbians in line with protection provided in most provinces across Canada, and provides many new resources and supports to B.C. nurses.

How will it be administered?

​ARNBC assumed responsibility for administering liability insurance for RNs and NPs in early 2015. The association will continue to work with CRNBC as B.C. transitions to CNPS coverage in 2016.

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