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​Below are some questions we often get. Can't find the answer you're looking for? Drop us a line at practice@bccnm.ca.
Does being remote certified by BCCNM prepare me to work in remote settings?

​BCCNM remote certification prepares you to carry out certain activities but working in a remote setting requires additional preparation and depends on your specific role.

BCCNM certified practice preparation focuses on an expanded scope of practice that authorizes RNs to autonomously diagnose and treat a limited number of diseases and disorders by following Decision Support Tools (DSTs).

However, RNs working in remote settings require other competencies such the ability to work independently, with limited resources and to manage a broad range of practice situations, including unpredictable and complex client issues. These broader competencies may be acquired in a variety of ways such as education, experience, mentorship and employer supports.

The Scope of Practice for Registered Nurses​ and the Certified Practice​ page provide more information and guidance on BCCNM certified practice.​

I'm certified in contraceptive management. Can I use my MSP practitioner number to order tests to screen for STIs?
Check with the Ministry of Health—they are best able to answer this question. Check the Information for RNs (Certified) on their website or call the MSP toll-free 1.866.456.6950 or 604.456.6950 for information about using your MSP practitioner number.
Is diagnosing or treating asthma part of BCCNM-certified practice?
Diagnosing asthma is outside a registered nurse's scope of practice. Nurse practitioners are the only nurses who may diagnose asthma. Treating respiratory distress in known asthmatics with a Schedule I medication (e.g., salbutamol or ipratropium bromide) is within the scope of practice for all RNs. If you’re carrying out this activity, you’ll need to meet the RN Standards for acting within autonomous scope including completing additional education and following an established decision support tool.
Can BCCNM-certified practice nurses prescribe?
Yes. In B.C., RNs can prescribe a limited number of medications within the RN scope of practice. Certified practice RNs are also allowed to prescribe medications (including Schedule I) that are within certification decision support tools. Certified practice RNs follow the standards for Acting within Autonomous Scope of Practice, Medication practice standard, and the RN Prescribing standards, limits, and conditions and other relevant standards when caring for clients.
My employer recently certified me to provide procedural sedation. Is this BCCNM-certified practice?
No. Administering procedural sedation is within the scope of practice for all RNs. You’ll need to meet the Standards for Acting within Autonomous Scope of Practice, including having the necessary competencies.
What does "engaged in" certified practice mean?

To meet BCCNM's quality assurance requirements for registration renewal with a certified practice designation, BCCNM-certified nurses (RN(C)s) must attest to having engaged in their certified practice area within the previous three years.

BCCNM does not specify the number of hours, number of clients, or specific diseases or disorders. The intent behind this requirement is to ensure that RN(C)s maintain their competence by staying current and practising in their certified practice area. Maintaining competence means having the knowledge, skills and judgement to assess, diagnose and follow the Decision Support Tools (DSTs). How RN(C)s maintain their competence can vary.

Nurses in clinical support roles (e.g., educators, managers, supervisors) may be able to maintain their competence through activities such as: reviewing the competencies and DSTs, overseeing the clinical practice of other RN(C)s, assisting them to apply the DSTs, observing and evaluating the competence of RN(C)s in clinical settings, and maintaining skills by practising in a lab, role playing, etc.

Ask yourself: Do I have current theoretical knowledge related to my certified practice area? Are my assessment skills current? Am I able to apply the DSTs? If so, then what you're doing may be considered "engaged in" certified practice for the purpose of meeting this quality assurance requirement for registration renewal.

I have Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) certification in gerontology. Does this mean I'm BCCNM-certified?
No. BCCNM-certified practice and CNA certification are different.

A BCCNM-certified practice designation allows you to autonomously diagnose and treat some diseases and disorders, following the Certified Practice decision support tools. This includes activities that otherwise require an order, such as administering, compounding or dispensing Schedule I (prescription level) medications.

Your CNA certification indicates you’ve met specific nursing practice, continuous learning and exam requirements. You can find more information about CNA certification on the CNA website.