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​Scope of Practice FAQs

Below you'll find FAQs on a variety of RN scope-related topics. Don't see the information you're looking for? Email practice@bccnm.ca and we'll be happy to assist.

The dietitian wrote an order for my client that includes enteral feeds and multi-vitamins. Can I act on this order?

Yes, it's within an RNs autonomous scope of practice to act on orders given by a dietitian (non listed health professional) for a client's therapeutic diet or nutritional plan if all the following conditions are met:

  • the client is stable and on an established diet
  • the nurse meets BCCNM standards, limits, or conditions related to the activity
  • the activity is within the nurse's individual scope of practice, and
  • workplace policies and processes exist that:
    • clarify the accountability and responsibility of the nurse and the non-listed health professional, and
    • outline the requirements for the non-listed health professional to complete an assessment and to ensure that the ordered activity is in the best interest of the client.

If the above conditions cannot be met, the nurse cannot act on the dietitian's order and must obtain a client-specific order from a listed health professional – i.e., physician or NP.

The Dietitians Regulation authorizes dietitians to assess nutritional needs, and design, implement and evaluate nutritional care plans and therapeutic diets. Dietitians recommend Schedule Ill and unscheduled vitamins and minerals as part of a nutritional care plan or therapeutic diet. Dietitians have clinical expertise in the design of nutritional care plans and therapeutic diets. Nurses seek advice and receive direction from dietitians in these clinical areas to provide safe and effective care to clients.

Do I need a client-specific order for my client’s oral diet?

Determining oral diet is a non restricted activity, which means a nurse, or another health professional, can decide a client’s diet. However, employers/organizations may narrow scope of practice around determining client diet and set specific polices and procedures (see Controls on Practice on the Scope resource page). Review your employer’s policies and guidelines so you are aware of any restrictions that apply.​​

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With great respect, we acknowledge that BCCNM’s office is located on the unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking peoples - Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.​