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Confirmation or verification of death by registered nurses

This guide outlines considerations around confirmation or verification of death by registered nurses.


Confirmation or verification of death is defined as deciding whether a person is actually deceased. Confirmation or verification of death can be undertaken by a registered nurse, however you must check your employer's policies to determine local agreements about the circumstances in which this can be done. Certification of death requires a registered medical practitioner.

Please read Care After Death: Registered Nurse Verification of Expected Adult Death (RNVoEAD) guidance (3rd Edition, November 2019) from the Hospice UK website for more detail. 


For specific information on COVID-19, please also see COVID-19 guidance on DNACPR and verification of death.

If a patient's condition improves significantly following a decision that death is imminent, the appropriate medical practitioner should be consulted.

The registered nurse verifying/confirming death must also consider the health and safety of others to ensure they are protected, e.g. from infectious illness, radioactive implants and implantable devices.

You must check your employer's own policy on this area for specific details as applicable to your workplace.


Find answers to your questions about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and work.

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Page last updated - 30/05/2022