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​​​​​​​​​​​Note: The c​​ontent on this page is the same for LPNs, NPs, RNs, and RPNs.​​ Some of the resources are designation specific.

​Virtual care has increased in recent years due to advances in technology and the need for remote health-care services. Many health-care professionals have started using virtual care to remotely deliver care to clients. Nurses meet all the BCCNM standards in virtual care settings that apply in face-to-face settings. 

What will I learn?

  • Who can provide virtual care in B.C.
  • What virtual care is and what are my res​ponsibilities when providing it.


BCCNM doesn't have a specific standard for virtual care. As a health-care professional, your responsibilities to meet relevant standards and workplace policies remain unchanged regardless of  the way care is provided.

What​ is virtual care?

Virtual care is when health-care professionals provide and deliver care to clients using technology. Phone calls, email, video/audio conferencing, and instant messaging are some ways to provide virtual care. ​

When providing care virtually, act in the best interest of your clients, use your clinical judgment, and follow BCCNM standards and workplace policies to decide the best way (virtual or in-person) to meet client needs. A virtual care assessment does not take the place of an in-person assessment.

In all practice settings, consider:

  • Does the technology being used meet legal and professional requirements?
  • Can I meet privacy and record retention/collection policies? (Some email, chat services, etc. only hold records for 90 days and may not meet retention policies.)
  • What skills do I need for the technology being used?
  • What communication and interpersonal skills do I need?
  • How can I adapt as virtual care evolv​es?

Virtual care for a B.C. resident

A B.C. resident is someone who primarily lives in B.C. When a B.C. resident visits another province or country, even though they may not be physically in B.C., they are still a B.C. resident.  A person who lives in another province or country and visits B.C. is not a B.C. resident. For example, a person who lives primarily in Ontario and visits B.C. for a period of time is not considered a B.C. resident for health-care purposes.

Nurses registered in a jurisdiction other than B.C. must hold practising registration with BCCNM before providing virtual or in-person care to a  B.C. resident. For example, an Ontario nurse who works for an online health-care provider must register with BCCNM before they can provide virtual care to a B.C. resident​.

Also, you may only act with client-specific orders (virtual or in-person) from a regulated health-care provider licensed to practice in B.C. For example, you can't act with an order from a doctor who is licensed in Alberta.

Virtual care for a non-B.C. resident

Nurses registered with BCCNM may provide virtual care to clients outside B.C. if they meet the requirements of the regulatory body in the jurisdiction where the client lives. Each jurisdiction may be different so be sure to check the requirements that need to be met before you provide care.

Before providing care in another jurisdiction, ask:

  • What licensing requirements do I need to comply with for this jurisdiction?
  • What standards apply? Am I familiar with the scope of practice in this jurisdiction? (Nursing scopes of practice vary throughout Canada.)
  • What jurisdiction-specific laws do I need to be aware of? (Some laws governing privacy or consent can vary by jurisdiction.)
  • What knowledge, skills, and competence do I need?
  • Does my liability protection cover the services I will be providing? Am I meeting the criteria to be eligible for liability protection in ​​another jurisdiction?

It's strongly recommended that you contact your professional liability protection provider before providing care across jurisdictions, especially if you are providing care outside of Canada.

​Case Scenarios

​Scenario One 

Robert, a B.C. nurse, works in a cardiac rehab clinic. He conducts many client appointments virtually. His client, Rita, has an appointment scheduled for when she is away visiting family in Nova Scotia. Can Robert provide care to  Rita?

Yes. Rita lives in B.C. and is considered a B.C. resident, even though she isn't physically present in B.C. when Robert provides care.  Robert contacts Nova Scotia's nursing regulator to find out if there are any conditions he needs to meet before providing care to Rita.

Scenario Two 

Libby, an NP registered in Alberta, finds the clinic where she works has more B.C. people seeking virtual and in-person care. She is not surprised, as she lives close to the border between Alberta and B.C. Can Libby provide care for these B.C. people?

Libby must first register with BCCNM before providing care to any B.C. resident. She contacts BCCNM and gains a practicing registration before offering her services to people from B.C.

Scenario Three  ​

Billie, a B.C. midwife, is at a conference in Toronto. She is also on call for the clinic she works for. Billie gets a call from Sasha, one of the clinic's clients, and sets up a virtual appointment. Can Billie provide virtual care to Sasha from Toronto?

Billie is a B.C. midwife who is providing care to a B.C. client. Even though she isn't physically in B.C., she is authorized by BCCNM to provide care to B.C. residents. Billie also checks with the College of Midwives of Ontario to see if there are any restrictions or requirements she must meet while practicing there​.​

​​Need help or support?​

For further guidance on understanding and applying the standards of practice, contact our team by completing the Standards Support intake form.​

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

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.​