Regulation sets out, among other things:
BCCNM RPN registrants (except employed psychiatric nursing student registrants) can use the following reserved titles, subject to registration requirements in BCCNM Bylaws:
Licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners and registered nurses are also authorized to use the title of “nurse".
More information can be found in the BCCNM practice standard
Use of Title.
Scope of practice refers to activities that a group of professionals are educated and authorized to perform rather than what any individual professional can do. Hence,
RPN scope of practice refers to activities RPNs are educated and authorized by the Regulation and BCCNM to perform. These activities are established through the definition of psychiatric nursing in the Regulation and are complemented by RPN standards, limits and conditions set by BCCNM.
Regulation states that BCCNM registrants may practise psychiatric nursing.
Psychiatric nursing is defined as the health profession in which a person provides the following services:
Prevention, treatment and palliation of illness and injury, with a focus on psychosocial, mental or emotional disorders and conditions and associated or comorbid physiological conditions, primarily by assessing health status, planning, implementing and evaluating interventions and coordinating health services.
Regulation does not refer to education, administration and research in the scope of practice statement for RPNs. However, these are all considered part of the practice of RPNs.
Psychiatric nursing can be carried out in a variety of settings. While RPNs often practise in mental health and addictions settings, they also practise psychiatric nursing in other settings with mixed populations. Examples of such settings are corrections services, palliative care, occupational health, residential care, and complex care. Such practice is within RPN scope of practice.
The following are defined terms related to RPN scope of practice that are used throughout this document. For a full description of these terms please see the RPN scope of practice standard in Part 2:
Autonomous Scope of Practice and
Autonomous scope of practice includes the restricted activities listed in section 6 of the
Regulation, and the provision of other care or services that do not involve restricted activities, except for any activities, care or services that are
excluded from autonomous scope of practice, as described below.
Autonomous scope of practice
excludes any activity, care or services:
listed health professional is a health professional,1 who is regulated, and authorized by the
Regulation to give orders for the performance of activities listed in section 7 of the Regulation. Listed health professionals for RPNs are dentists, midwives, naturopaths, physicians, podiatrists, pharmacists, certified practice registered nurses and nurse practitioners. A listed health professional must be registered to practise in British Columbia, except where the client has been transferred from Alberta, Yukon or the Northwest Territories for emergency treatment in British Columbia.
non-listed health professional is a regulated health professional that is not listed within the Regulation. Non-listed health professionals have specialized competence within their health profession's autonomous scope of practice and within their own individual competence that allows them to assess a client and to design or recommend care appropriate for the client's condition. Examples of non-listed health professionals include dietitians, wound care nurse-clinicians, RPNs, and registered nurses (who are not certified practice registered nurses or nurse practitioners).
client-specific order is any instruction or authorization given by a regulated health professional to provide care for a specific client, whether or not the care or service includes any restricted activity (see Part 3 for a complete description including what is not included in a client-specific order). The client-specific order must:
RPNs must provide care only within RPN scope of practice. There are two exceptions to this rule:
In a situation involving an imminent risk of death or serious harm, arising unexpectedly and requiring urgent action: RPNs are ethically obligated to provide the best care they can, given the circumstances and their individual competence.2
Where a formal delegation process is in place: At this time, no activities have been approved for delegation by another regulated health professional to RPNs (see Part 6 for further information about
Restricted activities are clinical activities that present a significant risk of harm to the public and, therefore, may be carried out only by specified health professions. The
Regulation assigns specific restricted activities to registered psychiatric nurses. Under the
Health Professions Act the same restricted activities may also be assigned to other health professional(s). While entry-level RPNs have the education to carry out a variety of restricted activities, RPNs with additional education can carry out more restricted activities.
Part 4 of this document discusses those
restricted activities that are within RPN scope of practice.
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