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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillation (AED) are lifesaving techniques useful in emergencies. BCCNM often receives calls from nurses and employers asking if CPR certification is a condition of BCCNM registration.

While BCCNM​ does not require CPR, AED or first aid certification, there are standards applicable to this question. Your Professional Standards and Code of Ethics (RPN) give further guidance.


Do I need CPR, AED or first aid certification to register as a nurse or employed student nurse with BCCNM?

No, nurses do not require these certifications for registration with BCCNM. Your employer may, however, require current certification or training in these skills as part of your role.

BCCNM standards require nurses to be competent in their roles. Individual nurses are responsible for attaining and maintaining the specific skills required for their roles, which may include investing own time, money and other resources.

CPR is not required in my​ current role or by my employer. If a client, visitor or staff member requires emergency care, what standards do I follow?

The Duty to Provide Care practice standard​ provides guidance. It states, "in emergencies, nurses are ethically obligated to provide the best care they can, given the circumstances and their level of competence." This may include calling 911, providing CPR if you are competent to do so, supporting others to provide CPR, getting supplies, etc. Know and follow your employer’s policy on emergency care.​​​​​​

What if my client doesn’t want CPR?

If receiving CPR is not part of a person’s wishes, the nurse has a legal obligation to honour this wish; however, depending on the emergency (e.g. choking, fall, anaphylaxis) other emergency treatment may be appropriate.

Nurses should know if someone else is authorized to consent on the client’s behalf (substitute decision maker, advance directive, representation agreement, under adult guardianship).

When a client’s wishes don’t include provision of CPR, nurses follow the principles in the Consent Practice Standard, and

  1. understand and meet their ethical obligations to recognize, respect and promote the client's right to be informed and make informed choices, and
  2. respect the rights of clients and substitute decision-makers to seek further information, or another opinion, and to involve others in the decision-making and consent process.
My employer requires me to be certified/re-certified in CPR. Am I responsible for getting this on my own?

​Nurses are responsible for attaining and maintaining the specific skills required for their roles. It’s your professional responsibility to ensure you have the knowledge, skills and judgment to carry out your role. Check with your employer if any support is available for CPR certification.​​​​​​​​

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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.

We also acknowledge the unique and distinct rights, including rights to health and wellness, of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from elsewhere in Canada who now live in British Columbia. As leaders in the settler health system, we acknowledge our responsibilities to these rights under international, national, and provincial law.​