Skip to main content

​The practice hours requirement

In order to maintain practising registration, RPNs must practise a minimum of 1,400 hours within the five-year period immediately preceding each registration renewal. This requirement is one indicator that you are maintaining currency in practice. Practising RPNs must keep a record of the number of hours they practised as an RPN from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each year.​ ​

Alternatives to 1,400 recognized registered psychiatric nurse hours​​​ are: 

  • Successful completion of a psychiatric nursing education program. 
  • Successful completion of a psychiatric nursing re-entry program recognized by BCCNM
  • Successful completion of a supervised practice experience​ approved by BCCNM
  • Successful completion of an RPN degree program — or be currently enrolled in a fulltime program — leading to a degree in psychiatric nursing recognized by BCCNM
  • Completion of a recognized competency-based assessment and required coursework

Practice hours: Knowing what to count  

Nursing practice hours build upon entry-level competencies by applying them to clinical practice, education, administration, or research

You can count practice hours if: 

  • You held practicing registration during the period being reported; 
  • You worked in an RPN role and your role substantially involved providing services with​in the definition of RPN practice; and
  • You practised according to the BCCNM Scope of Practice for RPNs​ and Standards of Practice​.
Ways to acquire RPN practice hours
  • Paid employment in an RPN role
  • Self-employment in an RPN role
  • Professional development activities, such as structured education (e.g., a workshop, course, or program of study) undertaken as part of your RPN practice
  • Regulatory college, nursing union* or nursing association work
  • Volunteer RPN hours can be counted if the position is with an organization such as a children's camp, a special event or humanitarian organization and you are able to provide satisfactory evidence that the volunteer work completed meets the BCCNM Standards of Practice​.

*Nursing practice hours should not be confused with seniority hours in a union.
What CANNOT be counted
You can only count hours where you were engaged in nursing practice. You may NOT count:
  • Time absent from work for reasons such as sickness, vacation, maternity, education, disability, or another type of leave
  • Hours worked in a role that does not require RPN registration (e.g., care aide, housekeeper, dietary aide, emergency medication technicial, practical nurse, registered nurse)
  • On-call hours (but not actually working)
  • Hours working in a job predominantly selling products
  • Time spent caring for family members or friends/neighbours
  • Time spent in a learning capacity (e.g., a course or certificate program) that is not directly related to nursing practice​

Reporting practice hours

You will self-report your practice hours you accumulated during the previous calendar year on your registration renewal application. If a question arises as to whether the hours can be counted for the purpose of meeting BCCNM practice hours requirement, the decision will be made by the Registration Committee.

Do you hold practising registration in more than o​​ne nursing designation? 

You may only claim hours worked towards the designation that you are employed in. For example, if you hold RPN and RN registration but you are employed as an RPN, you can only count those hours towards the RPN practising registration.  ​


900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

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.​