Q: Can I administer influenza vaccines to clients in clinics or pharmacies? If so, what should I consider?
A: Yes, nurses play a vital role in administering vaccines to all approved populations, including children under 5. Influenza vaccines may be administered by nurses with the required competence, employed in a variety of practice settings, including primary care offices, health centres, pharmacies, and employer clinics.
Nurses accepting employment to administer influenza vaccines should consider the following:
- You are expected to meet your Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics in all practice settings.
- You must possess the necessary competence (knowledge, skill and judgement) to administer influenza vaccines and manage adverse reactions, including the administration of epinephrine.
- You may obtain the competence to administer vaccines to all approved populations (including the COVID-19 vaccines) by completing employer-based education, such as learning modules, online education courses, or a combination of both.
- You must have an authorizing mechanism such as a direct order, prescription or care directive from an authorized prescriber, provincial or employer protocol to administer a vaccine and to administer a medication for an adverse event.
In Nova Scotia, authorized prescribers include: NPs, RN Prescribers, Physicians, Midwives , Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists
- Confirm with your employer their expectations of your role and follow employer processes. If no policies or processes exist, you are accountable to advocate for and contribute to the development and implementation of them.
- You should be aware of processes and/or risk mitigation plans related to:
- When questions arise regarding orders or care, including eligibility of clients
- When a client requires immediate care, such as the management of adverse events or reassessment
- You should consult and collaborate with the authorized prescriber or other health care provider when necessary.
- Nurses and other regulated health professionals, such as pharmacists, are autonomous practitioners, each accountable for their actions at all times.
- You should contact the Canadian Nurses Protective Society for registered nurses and nurse practitioners and Lloyd Sadd for licensed practical nurses to discuss your liability requirements for your practice setting.
For further information on anything contained within this practice support tool, please contact an NSCN Practice Consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org.