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Leaving or returning to nursing practice

Information for current registrants considering leaving practice, or former/non-practising registrants who want to reinstate their registration and return to practice.

Making changes to your registration during renewal?  ​​

If you are planning on leaving or returning to practice during or shortly after the renewal period, there are specific dates and deadlines to be aware of. Learn more​​​. 

​​Understanding your options

View the registration status comparison table for an at-a-glance understanding of your registration options. If you have questions, contact BCCNM Registration Services at​ or 604.742.6200 (1.866.880.7101 toll-free within Canada only).
Registration status comparison
Practising ​Non-practising Former registrant
2024-25 annual fee​  $671.60+other fees​ 
Am I registrant of BCCNM? Yes Yes No
Can I practise or volunteer as a nurse in B.C.? Yes No No
Will I get communication from BCCNM? Yes. You receive the registrant newsletter and any special bulletins. Yes. You receive the registrant newsletter. Special bulletins as applicable​. No
Can I still call myself a nurse/RPN? Yes. You can use: 
  • Registered psychiatric nurse
  • RPN
  • Psychiatric nurse
Learn more​

No. However, you can use the follow titles depending on your qualifications:

  • non-practising registered psychiatric nurse
  • Non-practising RPN
  • Non-practising psychiatric nurse
Learn more​​
No. You cannot use the title "nurse, "registered psychiatric nurse," the abbreviation "RPN," or any of the options in the non-practising category.
Can I be a member of a BCCNM committee? Yes, if you are in good standing with the college (subject to specific committee composition requirements). Yes, if you are in good standing with the college (subject to specific committee composition requirements). No​

​ ​

​​​Leaving practice

If you are leaving practice, you have several options. The documents, process and fees required to reinstate practising registration in the future are the same, regardless of whether you are a former or non-practising registrant. 

Please note: If you are leaving practice due to a disability or illness, check with your employer and/or disability insurance provider before making changes to your registration. Some disability insurance providers may require you to maintain practising or non-practising registration to receive benefits. 
​Maintain your practising registration
  • If you are going on a short-term leave (i.e. within the registration year, or a few months that straddles renewal cycles), you may wish to maintain your practising registration.
Convert to non-practising registration
  • You may be eligible for a pro-rated refund on your practising registration fees.
  • You will continue to receive communication from the college
  • Non-practising registrants can use non-practising nursing titles such as "non-practising registered psychiatric nurse," or "non-practising RPN."
  • See the registration status comparison above for more information
Cancel/lapse and become a former registrant
  • You may be eligible for a pro-rated refund on your practising registration fees.
  • As a former registrant you will no longer be a registrant of the college and cannot use a nursing title or call yourself a nurse. 
  • See the registration st​​atus comparison above for more information.​​

If you are retiring, we thank you for your service and wish you all the best!​

Returning to practice

If you are a former or non-practising BCCNM registrant, you must submit a reinstatement application to return to nursing practice. Please submit your reinstatement application at least eight weeks before your estimated return to work date.

1. Compl​ete your application and pay fee

You must sign in to your BCCNM account​ to apply for reinstatement. Select "Apply" to start your application.

  • You may be asked to consent to a criminal record check (CRC) as an updated CRC is required for any leave from practice longer than 60 days. Please note: Criminal record check results take a minimum of two weeks to be processed and your application cannot be assessed until the results are received. Please ensure you submit your application at least a month before your return to work date to allow for delays.

  • You will pay a reinstatement application fee​ when your application is submitted. Reinstatement fees are non-refundable, so ensure you are ready to proceed before you pay.

  • The registration team will contact you if there are ​outstanding documents that BCCNM needs to proceed with your application.​

2. Prepare your documents

To avoid delays in processing your application, prepare the following documents before you start your application:

  • Notarized name change document or marriage certificate: If you have changed your name since you last held practising registration with us. Learn more about accepted forms of identification.

  • Verification of registration: Complete ver​​ification of registration forms for all jurisdiction(s) you are/were registered since you last held practising registration with us. This form must be received directly from that jurisdiction.

  • Employment verification: Complete employment verification form(s) fo​r each of your nursing employers within the last five years. This form must be received directly from the employer.

3. BCCNM review
BCCNM Registration Services will assess your application to determine whether you meet the requirements for reinstatement. The requirements for reinstatement include that you:

  • Were in compliance with all Quality Assurance program requirements at the time you last held practising registration
  • Meet the practice hours requirement
  • Have maintained your knowledge, skills and abilities as a registered nurse, or have successfully completed an exam or upgrading of your knowledge, skills or abilities
  • Have a satisfactory employment verification
  • Are of good character, including passing the criminal record check​
  • Are fit to practice, and
  • Have paid any outstanding fines or fees

Note: If your registration was cancelled or suspended following an inquiry or discipline committee decision or you have a criminal charge since you last held practising registration you will be asked to provide additional information and evidence. Please contact the registration team for more information.
4. Registration Committee review/decision (if required)
Some applications are complex and require review and decision by the Registration Committee. Learn more about complex applications and Registration Committee review​.
5. Application approved/pay registration fees
If you meet the requirements for reinstatement, your application will be approved and you will be asked to pay your practising registration fee and professional liability protection​.
6. Wait for confirmation of registration from BCCNM
Once you have paid your registration fees, we will send you an email confirming that you have been granted practising registration. Your updated status will also be listed on our nurse verification tool. You must not practise as a registered nurse until you recei​ve confirmation of registration.

Haven't received a confirmation email?
Registration will not be granted until your payment has been received. Before calling to check on the status of your application, please:
  • Double-check that you submitted your application and that your payment went through
  • Check your junk mail and spam folders​​

If you do not meet the practice hours requirement

Practising RPNs are required to have practiced a minimum of 1,400 hours in the preceding five years. If you do not meet the practice hours requirement, the pathway back to practising registration will take more time and requires additional evidence of your current competence to practice. ​Apply for reinstatement of your registration as instructed above. When assessing your application, we will determine if you need to complete additional registration requirements. They may include: ​

  • Completing a competency assessment by the Inspire Global Assessments​, and additional education or exams
  • Completing one of BCCNM’s recognized​ nursing education programs
  • Completing a supervised practice experience​

You may be eligible for funding from the Government of British Columbia to help offset the cost of these requirements. Visit​ for details.​

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.​