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​​​​​​​​​​​​Reserved titles are a central and critical public protection element of B.C.'s health professions regulatory framework.

What will I learn?​​

  • Who can use the reserved title “nurse"
  • What title(s) to use when identifying as a nurs​​e​​


What's in a tit​​le?

The reserved title “nurse" carries significant meaning and conveys a level of knowledge and skill in managing the health care of a client. The Health Professions Act restricts the use of reserved titles, abbreviations of the title, or an equivalent title in another language for use by registrants of a regulatory college. Only registrants of BCCNM may use a reserved nursing title when practicing in B.C.

Adding your signature and title to your entries on the health record reflects your scope of practice and demonstrates accountability for your practice. Use the title that reflects your registrant class and practice.

Using the title “nurse" without proper qualifications is an offence under section 51 of the Health Professions Act, is fraudulent, and may have legal and regulatory consequences.

Test your "use of title" know-how with the scenarios below.

New grad, new title​​

Brianna is a new graduate who recently registered with BCCNM. While preparing to write her nursing exam, she is working in her first job as a nurse. During her orientation, a colleague tells her she should sign LGN, for licensed graduate nurse, after her name. Brianna thought she was supposed to use the title RN provisional but now she's not sure.

What title can Brianna use?

Brianna is right: she has provisional registration and should use the title and sign her documentation as registered nurse (provisional) or RN(P). When Brianna passes the NCLEX, her provisional registration will automatically convert to practising and she can use the title RN.

Licensed graduate nurses (LGNs) are nurses granted registration with the college prior to October 1, 1990. This title is no longer issued. LGNs provide the same service as RNs.  

Role vs. title in documentation

Matt, an LPN, works as a public health nurse and sees his colleagues using “PHN" when they sign their documentation. When he asks about it, he's told it stands for public health nurse and more clearly reflects their day-to-day practice and the care they provide. He thought he was supposed to use LPN, but now he's not sure.

How should Matt sign his documentation?

Nurses sign their documentation using a title that reflects their registration class, such as LPN, RN, RPN, or RN(C). Matt includes his title, LPN, when signing his documentation.

When Matt signs his documentation and includes his reserved title, he reflects his scope of practice and shows professional accountability and responsibility.


Rel​ated BCCNM public notices

Review the following to see how not meeting BCCNM standards of practice can impact your nursing practice.

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