Updated March 16 and
March 26, 2021
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on March 24, 2021,
issued a public health order (replacing her March 14, 2021, order) expanding the number of health professions who are able to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. Midwives, retired nurses, retired midwives and nursing and midwifery students are among the regulated and unregulated health professionals listed in the order.
The order sets out specific requirements, including that the immunization activity be performed in the course of providing an immunization program approved by a medical health officer with responsibility for the geographic area in which it is performed.
Note that the order does not include current practising health professionals whose scope includes providing immunization services for the general population,
such as practising nurses (LPNs, NPs, RNs and RPNs).
This PHO order is designed to create availability within the health profession community and support the provincial vaccination program rollout. It is provided as part of a wider public health initiative that will be overseen by the health authorities. BCCNM is playing a supporting role.
Health professionals who are interested in participating in the immunization campaign, including those authorized in the PHO order, should register their interest online through the COVID-19 Emergency Health Provider Registry (EHPR). If you already work for a health authority, we recommend you also check with your employer about opportunities.
The COVID-19 EHPR is a provincial resource that health authorities can access as needed to connect with health professionals who have indicated their ability to deploy during the public health emergency. This may include non-immunization (e.g., administrative) activities within the immunization campaign and/or other health service roles.
Providers are asked to fill out all fields in the online registration form as completely as possible to ensure health authorities can efficiently and appropriately contact them as needed. If you have questions about this process, please refer to the FAQs in the online registration form or email email@example.com. Be sure to include “COVID EHPR" in the subject line.
Health authorities may also be posting specific positions or expressions of interest in the future. If you apply to those specific postings, you do not need to also sign up for the EHPR.
The PHO order is to be followed by all authorized health professionals engaged in the immunization campaign. All authorized health professionals are to work within their
individual competence, adhere to BCCNM standards (where applicable), and follow their employer/school policies.
The BC Centre for Disease Control has also developed a
list of aligned education recommendations with links to the required courses that may be helpful.
Midwives are authorized to participate in all aspects of the vaccination campaign. They must hold practising or
temporary emergency registration status and complete the required training.
The order applies to: Employed Student Nurses (ESN), Employed Student Psychiatric Nurses (ESPN), and students enrolled in a Registered Nursing program, Registered Psychiatric Nursing program, Licensed Practical Nursing program, or Midwifery program.
All students must have completed the requisite foundational knowledge obtained in their educational program related to intramuscular injections, immunization basics, and medication principles to participate in clinical roles in the vaccination clinics.
The order also specifies who can supervise students. Nurses should refer to the
Regulatory Supervision of Students and
Employed Student Registrant Practice Standards.
Former or non-practising registrants (LPN, NP, RM, RN or RPN) who are granted Temporary Emergency Registration (TER) for the purpose of participating in the COVID-19 response are considered registrants of the college. They can use the title
midwife to describe themselves and use as their designation when documenting. They must meet all of BCCNM’s standards, policies and guidelines, as well as their employer policies.
These individuals are not registrants of BCCNM and are not authorized to use the title
midwife to describe themselves. Retired nurses or midwives not registered with BCCNM are accountable to the health authority that employs them.
These individuals must be supervised by a registrant who is authorized under a health profession regulation, and competent, to perform immunizations.
Health professionals wondering when they are eligible for the COVID vaccine should consult with their employer/local health authority.
Don't see the information you're looking for in the COVID resource pages? Please contact one of our Regulatory Practice Consultants.