Student applicants must
have a job offer before applying for registration. Students who do not have an employer are not eligible for Employed Student Psychiatric Nurse registration.
If you are currently enrolled in a recognized psychiatric nursing education program, meet the
registration requirements and have an employment offer with a BC health authority, you are eligible to apply for employed student psychiatric nurse (ESPN) status. Check out the
FAQ page and follow the steps below to apply.
Your BCCNP application will be completed online, but you'll need to provide some additional documentation:
Note: Your documents must be current within 60 days of your completed application.
Note: As part of your application, you will be asked to consent to a Criminal Records Review Act criminal record check.
Our review of your initial application may indicate the further documentation is required. If so, we will request this from you directly.
If your application is approved, you will receive an email containing instructions detailing how to
pay for your registration. Only once payment is made will your registration be granted.
Applicants will need to pay the application, registration, and CNPS fees to obtain practising ESPN registration.
BCCNP will refund the application fee and a pro-rated registration fee to those who obtain practising ESPN registration during the pandemic. Refunds will be processed once the pandemic is declared ended.
For students graduating this year who register during the pandemic and will be taking out provisional registration, BCCNP will apply their registration fees to their provisional registration.
Choose one option:
Create an online account
Sign in to your online account (use this option if you have already started your online application)
The practice of employed student psychiatric nurses is one of consolidation of current learning, working within the competencies they have attained from learning activities in their educational program.
Employed Student Psychiatric Nurses must:
The BCCNP practice standard Appropriate Use of Title requires employed student registrants to use the title “employed student psychiatric nurse”(ESPN) in order to clarify to others that the student’s registration status is that of a learner and not a fully qualified professional.
The following practice standards are specific to psychiatric nursing students:
The Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing describe in broad terms the expected level of performance of all registered psychiatric nurses and were developed for national use by the Registered Psychiatric Nurse Regulators of Canada. To the extent they are applicable, these expectations also apply to ESPNs. The Professional Standards cover:
The Code of Ethics are guidelines that articulate an acceptable set of behaviours for registered psychiatric nurses (and ESPNs). They set out a framework for professional responsibility and accountability which promote high ethical standards in practice. They uphold the following values:
"Scope of practice" refers to the activities that RPNs are educated and authorized to perform. "Limits and conditions" refer to restrictions that narrow the scope of practice or place conditions before the activities within scope can be carried out.
An ESPN’s scope of practice is limited to those nursing activities within the competencies learned in their education programs and permitted by the employer. The Scope of Practice for RPNs: Standards, Limits and Conditions provides more details.
If you are ESPN and have practice concern, speak to your supervising RPN first and, if necessary, contact a BCCNP practice consultant by email at
We recommend you review the registration categories and requirements before applying for any class of registration with BCCNP.