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College of Registered Nurses Calls of All RNs & NPs to be Vigilant Against the Spread of Misinformation

On the one-year anniversary since the first case of Covid-19 was announced in Canada, the College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on all Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners to be vigilant against the spread of misinformation related to vaccinations.

Health care professionals dealing with the challenges of misinformation from fringe groups and conspiracy theorists is not a new phenomenon, but the advent of social media during the past decade has thrust these unproven and unsubstantiated narratives into the mainstream. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout our country and around the globe at an alarming rate. The only way to quell the impacts of this virus is to promote the vaccines that have been approved by regulators. As the largest regulator of health care professionals in our province, with the mandate of public protection, our registered members have an obligation to stand up to the growing spread of misinformation and anti-vaccination conspiracies and promote the benefits that vaccines have on the public from verified sources.” -Lynn Power, Executive Director of the College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Regulatory bodies exist to provide oversight. Regulators provide systemic checks and balances which serve to foster public confidence. At a time when trust and confidence in vaccines is paramount in order to fight the spread of Covid-19, the College urges all registered members to ensure their clients get information from sources which are official and factual. 

“As professionals, we are currently presented with the opportunity to promote the indescribable benefit that vaccinations provide to human health and to fight against the misleading stories that make the rounds on various platforms. I have every confidence that RNs and NPs will empower the public to embrace science and evidence and instil confidence in Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to avail of the Covid-19 vaccine.” – Tracy MacDonald, Chair of the College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The spread of misinformation and non-evidence-based theory chips away at the foundations of public confidence from which our institutions are formed. The groups that push these false and unproven narratives pose an existential threat to the protection of our provincial population. As we promote appropriate, evidence-based practice we will also provide a boost to public confidence that will aid in the province achieving the mass immunization rate that will pave the road to a return to a pre-pandemic life.

For more information on the Covid-19 Vaccine visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/vaccine/ and https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/vaccine-safety.html

 To read the the College Connection Winter 2021 edition please click here. 

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