BCCNM has revised the scope of practice limits and conditions for nurses practicing in the area of medical aesthetics. Registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) providing medical aesthetic services are required to meet the BCCNM standards of practice.
BCCNM defines “medical aesthetics" as elective, non-surgical clinical procedures that include the performance of a restricted activity (activities listed in sections 6 and 7 of the Nurses (Registered Psychiatric) Regulation) and are primarily intended to alter or restore a person's appearance.
Key regulatory terms and concepts relevant to medical aesthetics:
Listed health professional
RPNs ensure they have the skills and knowledge to provide medical aesthetic procedures safely, competently, and ethically, and work within their scope of practice. New limits and conditions to the RPN nursing scope of practice have been added to ensure safe care for clients.
Having to complete additional education.
Having a client-specific order to undertake a procedure that involves an injectable drug or substance or an implantable device (implantable devices include sutures used in procedures like thread lifts).
Only being permitted to administer injectable drugs or substances or implantable devices for medical aesthetic purposes when the ordering (or responsible) health professional is or will be present within the facility during the procedure and immediately available for consultation.
Following organizational policies.
Midwives, certified practice registered nurses, registered nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses are not permitted to give an order for medical aesthetic procedures. For other health professionals, contact their regulatory college.
Note: BCCNM does not endorse or approve additional education for medical aesthetics. It is the responsibility of the nurse to ensure that any education and training they take provides them with the competencies required to perform medical aesthetic procedures safely. Nurses work within their scope of practice.
Yes. Administering both Botulinum Toxin Type A and Type B (e.g., Botox®) and dermal fillers are within the RPN scope of practice as set out in the nursing regulations. Botox® is a Schedule I medication and most dermal fillers are either Schedule II medications or substances.
Before administering Botox and dermal fillers, RPNs need to:
Successfully complete additional education to ensure they have the knowledge, skills, and judgment (competence) to perform any medical aesthetic procedure.
Have a client-specific order when administering an injectable drug or substance or administering an implantable device.
Ensure the ordering (or responsible) health professional is or will be present within the facility during the procedure and is immediately available for consultation.
Make sure they can meet all relevant BCCNM standards of practice.
Be aware of any restrictions or conditions that regulators for the listed health professional giving the client-specific order may have related to the activity.
Ensure adequate resources are available to manage the unintended consequences of the activity.
Follow organizational policies.
Professional liability protection is a registration requirement for practicing RPNs and is provided by the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS). Nurses pay for their professional liability protection annually during BCCNM registration renewal.
CNPS offers a supplementary protection program. This program is not a registration requirement but is available as an option for B.C. nurses. To learn more about the program, visit the CNPS website.
Professional liability protection
Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC
Review the following consent agreements to see how not meeting BCCNM Standards of Practice can impact your nursing practice.
Breaching privacy and confidentiality
Talk to one of our regulatory practice consultants: