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Nursing professional responsibility includes professional, legal, and ethical responsibilities and cultural safety. Nurses have a professional responsibility to demonstrate knowledge and judgment and be accountable for their actions and decisions. Nurses must also be aware of how their actions and decisions reflect on their reputation, their employer’s/organization’s reputation and the nursing profession in general.

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FAQs

​Do my clients have the right to know my name?

As a general rule, clients have a right to know who is caring for them. One way of demonstrating accountability is sharing your name and title with your clients.

All nurses have the right to be safe. Health care agencies need to balance clients' interests with staff safety. Agencies should have policies on staff identification, documentation and releasing employee names.

If I am charged with a criminal offence, do I need to tell BCCNM?

Yes. The college requires nurses to report criminal charges. Under the Criminal Records Review Act, nurses charged with a relevant or specified criminal offence must promptly report it to the college.

Report as soon as a charge is laid

We require nurses to contact us as soon as a criminal charge has been laid, before the information is disclosed to us by law enforcement or other third parties. We have an obligation to deal with such information in a transparent and fair manner while pursuing our public protection mandate.

Registered nurses are also required to disclose any outstanding or recently concluded charges every year when renewing registration. Failing to do so is considered to be misconduct under the Health Professions Act and will result in an investigation by our Professional Conduct Review department.

When we learn of a new charge or conviction for a criminal offence listed in the Criminal Records Review Act, we (a) require you to authorize a new criminal record check, and (b) notify your employer that we are requesting a criminal record check because you have disclosed an offence listed in the Act. All nurses must consent to a criminal record check every five years.

Requirements under legislation

The Criminal Records Review Act, helps protect children and vulnerable adults from physical, sexual or financial abuse. Under the Act, convictions include "conditional discharges," ""alternative measures" and "peace bonds" ordered under sections 717 and 810 of the Criminal Code.

Applicants must also disclose charges and convictions

Applicants to the college are required to disclose all outstanding charges and concluded criminal matters when applying for registration.

I forgot to renew my registration. Yesterday my employer told me to stop working and call BCCNM. What should I do?

There are several important reasons why you cannot work as a registered nurse unless you have current practising registration with BCCNM.

  • Under the Health Professions Act, you can only call yourself a registered nurse if you are registered with BCCNM. This assures the public that anyone using one of the protected nursing titles is legally entitled to practise nursing.
  • If you practise nursing without being registered, you are violating your Professional Standards. This standard states that registered nurses maintain current registration. You — not your employer or BCCNM — must ensure that your registration is current.

If you have been practising nursing without being registered, you must stop immediately, inform your employer and contact BCCNM’s Registration, Inquiry and Discipline Department for direction. If you have worked for more than 60 days without practising registration, you will be referred to BCCNM’s Professional Conduct Review Process.

In the meantime, your employer may determine that there is other work you can do that is not considered the practice of nursing and assign this work to you.​