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Can an RN or RPN pronounce death when death has occurred?

There is no legal requirement that would prevent an RN or RPN from pronouncing death; however, there is a distinction between pronouncing death and certifying death.

The Practice Standard: Decisions About Procedures and Authority outlines the considerations and accountabilities when performing any procedure. In addition, you should consider if there are specific organizational policies and procedures regarding who may pronounce death where you work.

Page last reviewed July 14, 2016