Nurses with the BCCNM certified practice designation have completed additional education, have specialized knowledge and skills, and are registered to practice in one or more certified practice areas.
Scope of Practice for Registered Nurses: Standards, Limits, Conditions
Scope of practice standard: Prescribing
Certified practice (CP) is a term used to describe a distinct BCCNM nursing designation for RNs and RPNs. Nurses who obtain the BCCNM-certified practice designation have an expanded scope of practice and are authorized to carry out activities in Section 6, 7, and 8 of the Regulation, if they meet BCCNM standards, limits, and conditions.
CP nurses practice autonomously to diagnose and treat clients in one or more pre-determined practice areas following certified practice decision support tools (DSTs). RNs with the certified practice designation use the title Registered Nurse (Certified) or RN(C).
Being certified in one certified practice area does not authorize care in another certified practice area. For example, if you are a certified practice nurse in Remote Nursing, you are not automatically certified in any of the other CP areas. Each area requires completion of specific educational courses and BCCNM registration in that area.
To maintain the certified practice designation, CP nurses meet the certified practice annual quality assurance requirements.
Note: Gaining certification through an association like the Canadian Nursing Association or another agency is
not the same as the BCCNM-certified practice designation and
does not allow a nurse to practice in a certified practice area or to use the certified practice title.
Certified practice activities are the restricted activities laid out in
Section 8: Restricted Activities for Certified Practice of the RN Scope of Practice standard. Be familiar with the limits and conditions that you need to meet when practicing in one or more CP areas.
The DSTs mentioned earlier set the parameters for certified practice activities—only those activities included in the DSTs are authorized. Certified Practice DSTs are maintained by the
Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) and can be accessed through their website.
Prescribing is an activity that only nurses with the Opioid Use Disorder certified practice designation are authorized to carry out.
More information on prescribing >>>
Obtaining BCCNM certified practice expands the core competencies of an RN in five practice areas. It is recommended that you discuss with your workplace the certified practices areas you may require to best meet the needs of the client population you care for. The certified practice designation is not appropriate for those seeking to be self-employed.
Remote Certified Practice often occurs in communities that do not have doctors or NPs who practice there. Instead doctors or NPs visit periodically and are available to provide consultation to the RN.
RNs who hold BCCNM certification in Remote Nursing may diagnose and treat minor acute illnesses as set out in the Remote Nursing DSTs.
RNs who hold BCCNM certification in Reproductive Health: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) may diagnose and treat some sexually transmitted syndromes and infections in clients as set out within the STI DSTs. Consultation or referral to a doctor or NP is required for all pregnant or breastfeeding clients.
RNs who hold BCCNM certification in Contraceptive Management (CM) are permitted within their autonomous scope of practice to dispense and/or administer hormonal contraception to eligible clients as set out in CM DSTs.
RN First Call frequently (but not necessarily) occurs in small acute care hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centres, and other settings where there is limited physician or nurse practitioner service available in the community. Registered nurses who hold BCCNM certification in RN First Call may diagnose and treat minor acute illnesses as set out in the RN First Call DSTs.
RNs and RPNs who complete certification can diagnose and treat opioid use disorder (OUD), including the prescribing of controlled drugs and substances. Also, they can issue orders that non-certified practice nurses can act on to compound, dispense, and administer drugs to clients for OUD treatment.
No not currently. Education specific to prescribing is required prior to existing RN(C)s acting as an RN(C) prescriber.
At this time, BCCNM-approved education related to prescribing is not yet available. In the meantime, RN(C)s are still authorized to administer and dispense medications using current processes established by their employer(s).
Medication practice standard
For further guidance on understanding and applying the standards of
practice, contact our team by completing the Standards Support intake form.