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RPNs accept sole accountability and responsibility for the client-specific orders they give.


RPNs give client-specific orders for activities that are:

  • wi​​thin autonomous scope of practice,

  • within the RPN's individual competence,

  • consistent with any relevant standards, limits and conditions established by BCCNM,

  • consistent with organizational policy, procedures and restrictions.


RPNs only give client-specific orders when organizational supports, processes and resources, including policies and procedures, exist that:

  • outline the accountability and responsibility of the nurse,
  • ensure continuity of care for the client including the requirements and procedures for responding to questions about orders, amending orders and evaluating client outcomes.


RPNs carry out assessments and make an appropriate nursing diagnosis to ensure that the client’s condition can be improved or resolved by the ordered activity before giving a client-specific order.


RPNs give client-specific orders that consider the unique characteristics, needs and wishes of the client, contain enough information for the order to be carried out safely and are:

  • based on evidence

  • clear, and complete

  • documented, legible, dated and signed with a unique identifier such as a written signature or an electronically generated identifier


RPNs ​give verbal or telephone orders only when there are no reasonab​le1 alternatives and it is in the best interest of the client. In these situations, RPNs:

  • Ensure that they have the necessary information  to conduct the assessment required to give the order, which may include gathering information from another health care provider when the nurse  is not able to directly o​​bserve the client.

  • Ask for the client-specific order to be read back to confirm it is accurate.

  • Follow up to ensure that the client-specific order is documented in the client record.


RPNs using documents that set out the usual care for a particular client group or client (e.g. pre-printed orders or order sets) make the information client-specific by adding the name of the individual client, making any necessary changes, dating their orders and signing with their unique identifier.


RPNs identify the specific document (e.g. a decision support tool), in the client's record, including the name and the date of publication, when they reference that document in a client-specific order.


RPNs  follow the RPN standards for Acting within Autonomous Scope of Practice and/or Giving Client-specific Orders when they change or cancel a client-specific order and are responsible and solely accountable for any changes that they make.


RPNs communicate and collaborate with the professional who gave the order, the client and other members of the health care team when changing, or cancelling a client specific order.


RPNs follow legal and ethical obligations regarding consent for the care referred to in their orders.

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1 Reasonable refers to the common understanding that registrants of the psychiatric nursing profession would have as to what is appropriate in the situation.

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We acknowledge the rights and title of the First Nations on whose collective unceded territories encompass the land base colonially known as British Columbia. We give specific thanks to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking Peoples the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), on whose unceded territories BCCNM’s office is located. We also give thanks for the medicines of these territories and recognize that laws, governance, and health systems tied to these lands and waters have existed here for over 9000 years.

We also acknowledge the unique and distinct rights, including rights to health and wellness, of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from elsewhere in Canada who now live in British Columbia. As leaders in the settler health system, we acknowledge our responsibilities to these rights under international, national, and provincial law.​