Administering Naloxone

Nina, an LPN, works in a community-based primary health care clinic on Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Her client, Sam, has been found non-responsive in the clinic’s washroom. Nina knows Sam has a substance use disorder and suspects an opioid overdose. She knows LPNs can administer naloxone without an order.

What’s next?

  • Nina instructs her colleague to call 911
  • Nina assesses Sam and makes a nursing diagnosis of an opioid overdose 
  • Nina determines Sam requires administration of naloxone
  • Nina follows her employer’s overdose response policy and protocol
  • Nina administers an initial dose of naloxone and evaluates Sam’s response
  • Nina continues to evaluate Sam and administers additional doses of naloxone as needed
  • Nina stays with Sam until the ambulance arrives
  • Nina documents according to her employer’s policy

What is entry-level LPN practice?

Entry-level practical nursing education programs teach medication administration via intramuscular, subcutaneous and intranasal routes.

Entry-level practical nursing education programs include some information about substance abuse.

Which CLPNBC limits and conditions apply? 

LPNs compound, dispense and administer naloxone without an order to treat an opioid overdose. See Scope of Practice non-restricted activity #9, page 26.

When acting without an order LPNs follow Standards for Acting without an Order. See Scope of Practice page 9.