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. You may have questions regarding your professional practice or concerns about personal safety. You may be asked to work in clinical areas outside of your usual practice for the benefit of clients, individuals and the population overall. During this uncertain time remember that nurses are expected to:
We acknowledge this is an unprecedent time in health care and we recognize your efforts. If you need more information or wish to speak with someone about a practice concern, please contact one of our
Regulatory Practice Consultants.
Please see the latest advice from the Provincial Health Officer, dated March 24, 2020.
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. You can also refer to this April 7, 2020, letter from the provincial nursing leads that references working in unfamiliar areas.
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
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.
You can also contact BCCNP Regulatory Practice Consultation
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 can collect nasopharyngeal or throat swabs for an appropriate client:
The Provincial Health Officer has issued an order allowing LPNs to perform this activity without a client-specific order (see BCCNP announcement of May 14th) as part of a screening program designated by the Medical Health Officer for their geographic area.
For LPNs that are not part of this screening program, 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.
Nurses who have questions about this should contact their employer or local medical health officer.
The BCCDC is providing
guidance on lab testing.
Nurses engaged in telehealth are responsible and accountable for the nursing services provided to clients via telehealth. Even though the format for providing care may be different, your responsibilities in meeting BCCNP Standards of Practice remain unchanged. Ensure you also follow your employer/provincial policies related to telehealth. While the BCCNP Telehealth practice standard currently only applies to RNs and NPs, we encourage all nurses engaged in telehealth to review it for guidance.
There are a number of additional BCCNP standards that broadly outline nurses' accountabilities in healthcare and must be met. In particular those standards related to consent (RN-NP, LPN, RPN), privacy & confidentiality, nurse-client relationships, conflict of interest, and documentation.
Nurses who are physically located in B.C. providing telehealth nursing services are required to be registered in B.C. regardless of where the client is.
When you register with BCCNP, you agree to follow the college's standards of practice. We recommend contacting the nursing regulator in the jurisdiction where the client is located to see if they have additional registration requirements for you.
Individuals who are located and registered as nurses in Canadian province/territory outside B.C., but who are providing telehealth services to clients in B.C., are responsible and accountable to the regulatory body in the province/territory in which they are registered. They do not need to be registered with BCCNP if they are considered by their regulatory body to be practising in the province where they are located, but they cannot represent themselves as a BCCNP registrant.
Legislation Relevant to Nurses' Practice
As a nursing student, you may participate in formal learning experiences that your school has organized for you as a part of your nursing education program. However, outside of your formal nursing program you can only help as a volunteer. You are not able to help in a
nursing capacity unless you hold
Employed Student Nurse (ESN) or Employed Student Psychiatric Nurse (ESPN) registration. Visit
BC211 to register as a volunteer.
If you hold practising
ESPN registration with BCCNP and you're working as an ESN/ESPN, you may be able to help out. If you do not have current ESN/ESPN registration, please see BCCNP's information on
nursing students: Participating in the COVID-19 pandemic response. Remember you
must have a job offer to apply for ESN/ESPN registration with BCCNP.
Yes, you can be redeployed—in non-pandemic times, ESNs are authorized to work at a specific location/facility (usually a hospital site). Employers may reassign an ESN or ESPN to a different unit within the same
facility. Remember, ESNs/ESPNs can only perform activities for which they have gained competence in their nursing education program.
Refer to the
Employed Student Registrants and
Employed Student Psychiatric Nurse Registrants practice standards.
During the pandemic, ESNs/ESPNs are being authorized to practice under a specific
health authority, so that the employer can have flexibility in deploying ESNs/ESPNs where most needed.
No, and in fact it is not possible to have both at the same time. ESN/ESPN registration is held while you are a student and up to 30 days after your program completion. If you're a student with ESN/ESPN registration who is graduating shortly, you can apply for provisional registration when you submit your BC Grad application. Once you have completed your program, your school will send BCCNP verification of program completion and BCCNP will review your eligibility for provisional RN/RPN registration.
firstname.lastname@example.org you have questions.
The NCLEX is currently available at limited testing centres. Pearson Vue is hoping to open additional centers in May but have not confirmed details about which centres. It is best to check the Pearson Vue or NCSBN websites for timely updates about the NCLEX.
The Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada Examination (RPNCE) has been postponed from May 20 to August 19, 2020. To date, the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPRNE) sittings have not been changed but changes could still be made.
Email email@example.com if you have questions.
The Provincial Health Officer has indicated that registrants can now begin to resume in-person practice in a way that promotes safe care to patients and continues to prevent the spread of the virus. Read the detailed direction and recommendations for providing in-person community care.
We encourage nurses to review the expectations from the Provincial Health Officer and the BCCNP practice standard
Duty to Provide Care to determine how to proceed in their decision-making.
BCCNP has guidance for self-employed nurses:
If you have questions after reviewing the above documents, you can contact Regulatory Practice Consultation
While there are many benefits to social media both for personal and professional use, nurses must be aware of the many risks, such as breach of privacy and confidentiality as well as providing false or inaccurate information. Nurses must use social media responsibly at all times.
Nurses need to consider the following when interacting via social media:
The following BCCNP Resources may be helpful to nurses during this challenging time.
Regulatory practice consultation is available by
The BC Psychology Association is providing a
COVID-19 psychological support service. .