There are different types of nurses in B.C. Each category of nurse brings specialized knowledge and skills to health care teams and workplaces. The British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) regulates all nursing professionals in B.C.:
The following applies only to bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) students and employed student psychiatric nurses.
In British Columbia, if an employed student registrant or an employed student psychiatric nurse is employed in a health care setting and carrying out nursing activities, they must hold employed student registration with BCCNM. They must work under the supervision of a named registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse.
Employed student registrants and employed student psychiatric nurses must be enrolled in good standing in an entry-level nursing or psychiatric nursing education program during the employment period.
Licensed Graduate Nurses (LGN) are a class of nurses granted LGN registration in B.C. prior to Oct. 1, 1990. An LGN registrant may perform or provide services as if he or she is a registered nurse registrant.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide nursing services ranging from health promotion, to acute care, to long-term and palliative care. Most work as frontline nurses caring for a wide range of clients at all stages of life.
LPNs work in collaboration with other members of the health care team. Their education and practice — while rooted in the same body of knowledge as other nurses — focuses on foundational competencies within the LPN scope of practice and standards.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) must meet advanced requirements to register as NPs and use the NP title. These nursing professionals are usually educated in a master's program.
In B.C. there are three 'streams' that NPs can be registered in:
BCCNM sets the entry level requirements for anyone applying for registration as an registered nurse (RN) in B.C. This means that the college works with universities and colleges to review their nursing education programs so that anyone studying to become a registered nurse will be prepared to pass the required registration exam.
To become registered in British Columbia a person must have completed a baccalaureate nursing education program, met competence requirements, passed the registration exam and consented to a criminal record check.
Nursing abilities are based in four categories:
BCCNM certified practices are carried out independently and the RN is solely accountable for the diagnosis and treatment of the client.
RNs who successfully complete a certified practice course and evaluation approved by BCCNM must then apply for certified practice designation. In addition, to remain on the register, nurses must annually meet the continuing competence requirements for certified practice.
With BCCNM certification, an RN can diagnose some diseases and disorders and carry out some restricted activities independently that would otherwise require an order.
Categories of certified practice:
Registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) are nurses whose education and practice have a focus on psychosocial, mental or emotional health. They care for people of all ages experiencing issues related to mental health, substance use or behavioural addictions. RPNs have advanced mental health assessment and intervention skills.
BCCNM sets the entry level requirements for anyone applying for registration as an RPN in B.C. This means that the college works with universities and colleges to review their psychiatric nursing education programs so that anyone studying to become a registered psychiatric nurse will be prepared to pass the required registration exam.
To become registered in British Columbia a person must have completed a psychiatric nursing education program, met competence requirements, passed the registration exam and consented to a criminal record check.