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BCCNM board approves revisions to RN and RPN standards, limits, and conditions related to prescribing


Oct 4, 2022

The BCCNM board on Sep. 29, 2022, approved revisions to the Scope of Practice for Registered Nurses and Scope of Practice for Registered Psychiatric Nurses related to prescribing. These changes take effect Nov. 7, 2022.

Summary of changes

The changes to the RN and RPN prescribing standards, limits, and conditions clarify requirements for prescribing, including when the standards apply, who is authorized to prescribe and what conditions must be met before prescribing. In particular, the differences between 'prescribing' and 'giving a client-specific order' for a medication are now more evident.

The amendments to RN and RPN prescribing standards, limits, and conditions: 

  • Require RNs who prescribe medications to meet the requirements for RN certified practice designation* and/or requirements under the provincial Public Health Order Registered Nurse and Registered Psychiatric Nurse Public Health Pharmacotherapy to diagnose and treat opioid use disorder.
  • Require RPNs who prescribe to meet the requirements under the provincial Public Health Order Registered Nurse and Registered Psychiatric Nurse Public Health Pharmacotherapy to diagnose and treat opioid use disorder.
  • Amend the introduction to the RN Prescribing and RPN Prescribing standard to clarify when these standards apply.
  • Rescind the RPN Limits and Conditions on Prescribing Specific Medications.
  • Amend the RN scope of practice Limits and Conditions for Opioid Use Disorder and the RPN scope of practice Limits and Conditions on Prescribing for Opioid Use Disorder to provide clarity that these requirements also apply when diagnosing opioid use disorder.

Review the revised scope of practice documents

Questions?

Email practice@bccnm.ca

*Important note re: prescribing by certified practice nurses

It is imperative to note that BCCNM-approved education related to prescribing is not yet available. Education specific to prescribing is required prior to existing RN(C)s acting as an RN(C) prescriber. Organizations will need to implement processes to support RN(C) prescribing. In the meantime, RN(C)s are still authorized to administer and dispense medications using current processes established by their employer(s). Read more >

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With great respect, we acknowledge that BCCNM’s office is located on the unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking peoples - Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.​