Administering the influenza vaccine

I have recently received a job offer to work in a community clinic administering influenza vaccines and other vaccinations. What should I consider before accepting this position?

Here’s what you need to consider when informing your decision to accept this role:

Authority

Administering influenza and other vaccines involves the controlled act of administering a substance by injection. Though this controlled act is authorized to all nurses, RNs and RPNs require an authorizing mechanism, such as an order or directive, to perform it.

RNs and RPNs can only accept an authorizing mechanism for a controlled act from a physician, dentist, chiropodist, midwife or a NP. For information related to the COVID-19 vaccine, please see our COVID-19 webpage.

Consider who will provide you with an order or directive to perform the controlled act.

Competence

The Medication practice standard states that nurses must ensure they have the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to perform medication practices safely.  Nurses are accountable for determining their individual learning needs and what best helps them achieve their objectives.

Consider your competence to perform the activity.

Safety

Nurses maintain patients’ trust by providing safe and competent care. This includes promoting safe care and contributing to a safe culture within their practice environments, when involved in medication practices. Patient safety is a shared responsibility between nurses and their employers.

Consider how you will ensure safe patient care in your practice environment.

Documentation

Nursing documentation, is an important component of nursing practice and the interprofessional documentation that occurs within the patient’s health record. Nurses ensure that documentation presents an accurate, clear and comprehensive picture of the patient’s needs, the nurse’s interventions and the patient’s outcomes. 

Consider how you will meet the expectations outlined in the Documentation practice standard.

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Page last reviewed June 07, 2022