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PHO orders, vaccinations, and use of title

Sep 8, 2021

​BCCNM reminds nurses and midwives that they must follow Provincial Health Officer orders, including meeting mandatory vaccination status for working at certain sites (such as long-term care and assisted living facilities). Nurses and midwives must also follow organizational policies and guidelines.​

Nurses and midwives have a duty to provide patients/clients with safe care, including protecting them from the risk of infection. Immunization is an effective and safe way to reduce everyone's risk of infection from COVID-19, and it complements the public health prevention and protection measures already in place.

BCCNM supports the delivery of safe, evidence-based care. B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan is based on scientific evidence, as well as expert advice and recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, BC's Immunization Committee and BC's public health leadership committee. Canada also has one of the most thorough and stringent systems to approve new vaccines for use in people.

Providing advice concerning vaccines

We and other health profession regulators in B.C. share serious concerns about how the spread of misinformation by regulated health professionals about COVID-19 and vaccination may jeopardize the safety of patients and the public. This includes sharing of misinformation that is anti-vaccine, anti-mask wearing, anti-physical distancing or that otherwise undermines public health orders and guidance. We also have concerns about regulated health professionals promoting or sharing information about COVID-19 treatments that are not supported by widely-accepted scientific evidence.

When a patient/client asks for your advice or opinion on COVID-19 immunization, they see you as a trusted resource because of your professional designation/relationship. In keeping with this relationship, the college expects you to provide patients/clients with advice that is:

  • ​within your scope of practice
  • in line with provincial public health guidance, such as prevention and protection measures, including vaccinations, masking, handwashing, and social distancing
  • grounded in science and best practices

If providing immunizations is not within your professional role/scope of practice, you can direct patients/clients to a trusted source for more information or assessment of their personal situation. In B.C., the recommended source of COVID-19 vaccine information for your patients/clients is the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website. The Immunize BC website also has FAQs for patients/clients. You can also review the BCCNM Covid FAQs (LPN, NP, RM, RN, RPN​).​

Use of title

BCCNM reminds all members of the public and its registrants that the titles: Nurse, Registered Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Midwife, and Registered Midwife are all protected titles. This means that only individuals who are BCCNM registrants have the right and privilege to use these titles in British Columbia.

BCCNM also reminds all registrants to be cautious in how you use your protected title in public forums. During this challenging time, we see vigorous debate in the news, in the workplace, and on social media platforms about the best way to deal with the ongoing pandemic. BCCNM reminds all registrants that while you are free to voice your own opinions in a lawful manner, you are not entitled to use your protected title to spread misinformation. BCCNM can and will take action against registrants whose use of title could bring the profession of nursing or midwifery into disrepute.

BCCNM would also like to acknowledge the frustration of its registrants who see individuals use protected titles to describe themselves or groups they belong to endorse unscientific and potentially harmful views about COVID-19 and public health orders. BCCNM has legal tools at its disposal to restrain individuals from using any of the protected titles when they are not lawfully allowed to do so.

For more information, review the Use of Title practice standard (LPN, NP, RN, RPN) or the BCCNM bylaws, pp. 178-179 (midwives).

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.​