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BCCNM board approves bylaw revisions to allow multijurisdictional registration for nurses

Feb 3, 2023

The BCCNM board on Jan. 26, 2023, approved revisions to the college's bylaws that will enable a multijurisdictional form of nursing registration, laying the foundation for a pan-Canadian agreement allowing nurses to go where they are most needed with fewer barriers, ensuring continuity of care and accessibility of nursing care providers.

“We are so pleased to receive the board's support for this important initiative," says Cynthia Johansen, BCCNM's Registrar and CEO. “These amendments come after many months of work, discussion, and collaboration with our regulatory colleagues across the country, and reflect our commitment to removing barriers to nurse mobility in Canada wherever possible. Nursing regulators across Canada have expressed unanimous support for broader MJR strategies, and this united approach also ensures any concerns associated with the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and MJR are pre-emptively addressed."

While the Canadian Free Trade Agreement establishes certain labour mobility rights for workers, it is still the case that a nurse registered in one Canadian jurisdiction and wishing to practice in another Canadian jurisdiction must obtain registration in that other jurisdiction. To gain registration as a “mobility applicant," they must complete an application, submit required information in accordance with relevant bylaws, await an assessment of eligibility, and pay both an application and registration fee.

The draft amendments build on the current labour mobility provisions of the BCCNM bylaws while establishing a flexible, enabling framework that will allow multi-jurisdictional registration (MJR) to be negotiated and phased in with individual regulators in the other provinces.

“In order to serve and protect the public, BCCNM must consider innovative ways to remove barriers for Canadian nurses to provide safe, competent and ethical care to B.C. residents. Such care may be available from nursing professionals not located in the province," says Christine Penney, BCCNM's Chief Officer, Regulatory Policy & Programs.

Summary of bylaw changes

The key elements of these draft amendments are:

  • Establishing three new MJR registrant classes—one each for LPN, RPN, and RN.
  • Requiring MJR applicants to identify a "home jurisdiction" if they are already registered in more than one other province.
  • Eliminating the requirement for applicants to prove they meet their current jurisdiction's continuing competency/QA requirements (at time of application).
  • Eliminating the requirement that MJR registrants meet BCCNM's QA requirements at registration renewal, provided they can prove they are meeting the QA/continuing competence requirements of their "home jurisdiction."
  • Validity and renewal of MJR registration in B.C. would be set by the Registration Committee and tied to the validity and renewal of their "home jurisdiction" registration, not BCCNM's annual registration cycle.
  • MJR registrants would have the same scope of practice and titles as other practising registrants in their respective classes.
  • MJR registrants would be eligible for certified practice (CP) designations in B.C. but would then be required to meet BCCNM's QA requirement for CP at renewal.
  • The BCCNM Board will retain overarching authority to manage gradual introduction of MJR on a province-by-province or profession-by-profession basis without further bylaw amendments.

Next steps

The proposed bylaw amendments have been posted on the BCCNM website and filed with the Ministry of Health's Professional Regulation division, as well as other required venues for consultation. BCCNM requests that any comments on these proposed amendments be submitted to BCCNM no later than May 4, 2023. Once the prescribed posting period ends and provided there are no further amendments consequent to the consultation, the amended bylaws will be filed and then take effect.

Please note that multijurisdictional registration is not yet available. There are still several steps that must still occur. BCCNM will keep registrants, members of the public and our partners apprised of our progress. 



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