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

While no legal requirement prevents an RN or RPN from pronouncing death, there is a distinction between pronouncing death and certifying death. For clarification on the difference, review the definitions by the Canadian Medical Protective Association.

CNO’s practice standard, Decisions About Procedures and Authority, outlines what to consider and your accountabilities when performing any procedure. You should also consider any organizational policies and procedures regarding who may pronounce death where you work.

Page last reviewed June 07, 2022