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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? Contact our team by completing the Stan​​dards Support intake form.​​

The dietitian wrote an order for my client that includes enteral feeds and multi-vitamins. Can I act on this order?

Yes, it's within an RPNs autonomous scope of practice to act on orders given by a dietitian (non listed health professional) for a client's therapeutic diet or nutritional plan if all 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 scope of practice, and
  • workplace 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​.

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.​​​

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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.​