Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillation (AED) are lifesaving techniques useful in emergencies. BCCNM often receives calls from nurses and employers asking if CPR certification is a condition of BCCNM registration.
While BCCNM does not require CPR, AED or first aid certification, there are standards applicable to this question. Your Professional Standards and Code of Ethics (RPN) give further guidance.
No, nurses do not require these certifications for registration with BCCNM. Your employer may, however, require current certification or training in these skills as part of your role.
BCCNM standards require nurses to be competent in their roles. Individual nurses are responsible for attaining and maintaining the specific skills required for their roles, which may include investing own time, money and other resources.
Duty to Provide Care practice standard provides guidance. It states, "in emergencies, nurses are ethically obligated to provide the best care they can, given the circumstances and their level of competence." This may include calling 911, providing CPR if you are competent to do so, supporting others to provide CPR, getting supplies, etc. Know and follow your employer’s policy on emergency care.
If receiving CPR is not part of a person’s wishes, the nurse has a legal obligation to honour this wish; however, depending on the emergency (e.g. choking, fall, anaphylaxis) other emergency treatment may be appropriate.
Nurses should know if someone else is authorized to consent on the client’s behalf (substitute decision maker, advance directive, representation agreement, under adult guardianship).
When a client’s wishes don’t include provision of CPR, nurses follow the principles in the Consent Practice Standard, and
Nurses are responsible for attaining and maintaining the specific skills required for their roles. It’s your professional responsibility to ensure you have the knowledge, skills and judgment to carry out your role. Check with your employer if any support is available for CPR certification.