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Diagnostic services that nurse practitioners order include:

  • laboratory,
  • miscellaneous services (such as cardiac stress tests, echocardiograms, Holter monitoring, amniocentesis, etc.), and
  • imaging (including X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, computerized tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging)



Nurse practitioners order diagnostic services, provide appropriate follow-up, diagnose and manage diseases, disorders and conditions within the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and their individual competence.


Nurse practitioners engage in evidence informed diagnosing and management considering best practice guidelines and other relevant guidelines and resources.


Nurse practitioners:



provide the appropriate clinical information when ordering diagnostic tests



establish mechanisms within their practice setting(s) to track and follow-up on diagnostic test results



ensure clients are informed, in a timely manner, of diagnostic test results, implications and needed follow-up



communicate, as needed, diagnostic test results with key providers involved in the client’s care


Nurse practitioners document follow-up (and follow-up attempts) with the client and key providers on significant diagnostic test results, next steps and the care and treatment needed.

Limits and Conditions


Nurse practitioners apply X-rays1 only after completing additional education,2 and when organizational supports, including policies and procedures, are in place to support the safe application of X-rays.​


Nurse practitioners applying X-rays also follow the standards for Advanced Procedures and Activities.


Nurse practitioners apply X-rays in an appropriate clinical setting that is suitable to safely perform the procedure and includes the equipment and supplies needed to manage any emergency situations.


​Nurse practitioners only use Health Canada-approved devices when applying X-rays.


​Nurse practitioners do not take responsibility for the final interpretation of medical imaging studies. Nurse practitioners may initiate appropriate treatment while waiting for the final interpretation from a diagnostic radiologist​.


​Per the Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioners ​Regulation, nurse practitioners do not apply X​-rays for the purpose of computerized axial tomography.
​Additional education is structured education (e.g. workshop, course, program of study) designed so that nurse practitioners can attain the competencies required to carry out a specific activity as part of nurse practitioner practice. Additional education builds on the entry-level competencies of nurse practitioners, identifies the competencies expected of learners on completion of the education, includes both theory and application to practice, and includes an objective, external evaluation of learners’ competencies on completion of the education. The term does not refer to a course or program approved by BCCNM for BCCNM certified practice.
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Ministry of Health contacts

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

We acknowledge the rights and title of the First Nations on whose collective unceded territories encompass the land base colonially known as British Columbia. We give specific thanks to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking Peoples the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), on whose unceded territories BCCNM’s office is located. We also give thanks for the medicines of these territories and recognize that laws, governance, and health systems tied to these lands and waters have existed here for over 9000 years.

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