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COVID-19 pandemic resource centre

BCCNP news and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic response

​Keeping nurses informed

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues the rapidly evolve, BCCNP will be consolidating all information related to the pandemic response on this page. Check back often for updates.

Temporary emergency registration

In ​response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 16, 2020 we made temporary emergency registration available to individuals that meet the registration criteria to ensure nursing resources are available to assist with health care system capacity. 

Messages from the Nursing Policy Secretariat

 Frequently asked questions

Do nurses need to self-isolate for 14 days if they return from international travel?

Please see the latest advice from the Provincial Health Officer, dated March 24, 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my employer has asked me to work in an unfamiliar area. Can I refuse to work in that area?

Nurses from all designations and areas are being asked to work in unfamiliar areas or in new ways to provide nursing services related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge this is an unprecedent time in health care and we recognize your efforts.

Nurses work in the best interests of their clients to set priorities, use critical thinking skills and apply professional judgement in these circumstances. Nurses seek out credible sources of information and follow best practice guidelines to provide nursing services and minimize the risk of disease transmission to themselves, their clients and others.

If you have concerns about your personal safety or your competence to work in a particular area, collaborate with your employer to ensure you’re providing safe care and meeting all relevant standards of practice. The Duty to Provide Care Practice Standard provides further guidance and information to support your decision-making.

Self-employed nurses may need to consider their options in meeting client care needs. Proactive communication and a collaborative approach with clients and their families can help ensure client care needs are met.

The following BCCNP resources will assist you in your decision-making.

You can also contact BCCNP Regulatory Practice Consultation

I’m seeing a lot of social media posts from nurses on COVID-19 including sharing positive patient test results and concerns around social distancing. What should nurses consider before posting anything, including about COVID-19, to social media?

While there are many benefits to social media both for personal and professional use, nurses must be aware of the many risks, including providing false or inaccurate information. BCCNP expects nurses to use social media responsibly at all times, including during this current COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses need to consider the following when interacting via social media:

  • Nurses are expected to uphold the BCCNP Standards of Practice at all times and in all settings, including on social media platforms.
  • Before posting or commenting – first and foremost, nurses should reflect on why they are sharing information via social media. They should use their professional judgement and keep their obligations to clients, colleagues and employers at forefront.
  • Registrants who identify themselves as a nurse on social media have a professional responsibility to maintain professional conduct even if posts are made while off duty.  Social media posts have the potential to negatively impact both the public's perception of nurses and trust in the nursing profession as a whole and could be considered "unprofessional conduct" under the Health Professions Act.
  • Nurses maintain the privacy and confidentiality of their clients or any other clients at all times.
  • Nurses do not share any information about clients on social media, such as posting information about a colleague who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Nurses must be aware of and follow their employer policies on privacy and confidentiality including those guiding the use of social media.
  • Nurses work  collaboratively when  addressing their concerns about COVID-19.

The following BCCNP Resources may be helpful to nurses during this challenging time.

Questions?

Regulatory practice consultation is available by 

​​I am concerned that my employer is running out of the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for me to do my job. Can I refuse to care for those patients without having the right PPE?

Nurses seek out credible sources of information and follow best practice guidelines to provide nursing services and minimize the risk of disease transmission to themselves, their clients and others. We acknowledge this is an unprecedented time in health care and we recognize your efforts.

Nurses use their clinical judgement, follow employer policies and procedures in assessing the appropriate need for PPE, as not every patient care situation may require specific equipment.

The BC Centre for Disease Control provides specific guidelines on PPE use for Covid-19 via the BCCDC Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidelines.

If you have concerns about your personal safety this is an important time for you to be proactive, to collaborate, and communicate your concerns with your employer. The Duty to Provide Care Practice Standard provides further guidance and information to support your decision-making in order to provide the safest possible care as well as addressing your own safety and personal circumstances.

It is important for you to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving. During these unprecedented times nurses must prepare to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing practice environment.

Related resources

You can also contact BCCNP Regulatory Practice Consultation

  • Email practice@bccnp.ca
  • Call 604-742-6200 ext. 8803
    Toll Free: 1.866.880.7101.
Can nurses (RN, LPN, RPN) collect nasopharyngeal and throat swabs for COVID-19 in any setting?

​Yes, nurses can collect nasopharyngeal or throat swabs for COVID- 19 in any settings if they have the acquired competence and employer support. Nurses also need to consider following specific to their designation:

RNs and RPNS

RNs and RPNs can collect nasopharyngeal or throat swabs for an appropriate client:

  • autonomously, or
  • with a client-specific order. 

LPNs

Note: BCCNP has temporarily rescinded the requirement for LPNs to have additional education to perform this activity. Registrants and employers are reminded that prior to performing this activity, LPNs must be competent to perform the activity safely.

LPNs can collect nasopharyngeal or throat swabs for an appropriate client:

  • With a client specific order (from an authorized health professional such as a physician, nurse practitioner, RN or RPN)

Note that under the Public Health Act​ the provincial health officer can direct practice in certain public health situations. Nurses who have questions about this should contact their employer or local medical health officer.​

The BCCDC is providing guidance on lab testing.

 BCCNP Regulatory Practice Consultation

​​If you’re a nurse and have questions about your scope of practice or other standards, you can talk with a nursing consultant.

 Psychological First-aid

​The BC Psychology Association is providing a COVID-19 psychological support service. Learn more or request a support call on the NNPBC website.​​