The BCCNM board on Nov. 24, 2022, approved a new standard for registered midwives: Medications and Substances: Standards, Limits and Conditions. The new standard comes into effect March 1, 2023. The board also approved an amendment to the Registered Midwives Standards of Practice to align it with the new standard. This change also takes effect March 1, 2023.
The new Medications and Substances: Standards, Limits and Conditions will replace the following four existing registered midwife standards:
These four standards will be rescinded as of March 1, 2023.
Shortly before the legacy College of Midwives of BC (CMBC) amalgamated with the BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP) in September 2020, CMBC identified the risk of including extensive clinical drug information in a standard and made the recommendation to remove all clinical content from registered midwife standards.
BCCNM continued the work initiated by CMBC to review and revise the midwifery prescribing medication standards, with a goal to combine and harmonize the four standards referenced above, while setting comprehensive principle-based expectations for registered midwives when prescribing, ordering, dispensing, compounding, and administering medications and substances.
This approach is in line with other midwifery regulators in Canada and is an acknowledgment of midwives' high degree of autonomy and clinical judgment. It also removes the risk of potentially outdated clinical information and aligns with BCCNM's right-touch approach to standard setting.
Please refer to the Registered Midwives Medications and Substances: Standards, Limits and Conditions (not yet in effect) for more information.
The new Registered Midwives Medications and Substances: Standards, Limits and Conditions required a corresponding change to Standard 15 in the Standards of Practice. The revised Standard 15 removes reference to the Midwives Regulation and requires that midwives prescribe, order, compound, dispense, and administer medications and substances in accordance with BCCNM's Registered Midwives Medications and Substances: Standards, Limits and Conditions.
BCCNM recognizes this new standard is a significant change for midwives. The delayed in-effect date of this new standard is intended to give midwives and their clients, clinics, and other key audiences time to prepare. BCCNM will also be providing learning resources to support midwives.
The BCCNM Regulatory Practice team is an excellent resource for all college registrants. We encourage midwives to reach out to our Regulatory Practice Consultants with any questions about this new standard.