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Scope of Practice FAQs

​Below you'll find FAQs on a variety of RPN scope-related topics. Don't see the information you're looking for? Email practice@bccnm.ca and we'll be happy to assist.

If a dietitian gives a client-specific order for enteral feeds for my client, am I allowed to administer them?

Yes, it’s within an RPN’s autonomous scope of practice to act on orders given by a dietitian (non listed health professional) for enteral feeds if the following conditions are met:

  • the client is stable and on an established diet
  • the nurse meets BCCNM standards, limits, or conditions related to the activity,
  • the activity is within the nurse's individual competence, and
  • organizational/employer policies, and processes exist that:
    • clarify the accountability and responsibility of the nurse and the non-listed health professional and
    • outline the requirements for the non-listed health professional to complete an assessment and to ensure that the ordered activity is in the best interest of the client.

If the above conditions cannot be met, the nurse cannot act on the dietitian’s order and must obtain a client-specific order from a listed health professional – i.e., physician or NP. RPNs are not authorized to select the ingredients for an enteral diet as selecting a diet is not within the RPN scope of practice. This restricted activity is carried out by a dietitian or other authorized health professional.

Do I need a client-specific order for my client’s oral diet?

Determining oral diet is a non restricted activity, which means a nurse, or another health professional, can decide a client’s diet. However, employers/organizations may narrow scope of practice around determining client diet and set specific polices and procedures (see Controls on Practice on the Scope resource page). Review your employer’s policies and guidelines so you are aware of any restrictions that apply.