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Competencies and streams

Entry level competencies for NPs in Canada

Nurse practitioners in British Columbia practice in one of three streams of practice: family, adult or pediatric.

The CRNBC (now BCCNP) board in December 2016 adopted new entry-level competencies for nurse practitioners.


 Entry Level Competencies: FAQs

What are entry level competencies?

​The Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners in Canada reflect the knowledge, skills, and judgement required of nurse practitioners (NPs) to provide safe, compet​ent, ethical and compassionate care. This document outlines the essential competencies that all NPs must possess to be proficient when they begin practice.

Why are there new entry level competencies for nurse practitioners?

The new entry level competencies adopted in December 2016 were developed as part of a national analysis of three streams of NP practice: Family/All Ages (Primary care), Adult and Child/Pediatric undertaken by the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR).

The identified competencies were based on an extensive review of Canadian regulatory documents (e.g., provincial/ territorial competencies, standards, etc.) along with relevant research evidence and were validated through the practice analysis survey.  

What implications will the new entry level competencies have on nurse practitioner registration?

​The entry level com​petencies provide the foundation for the individualized assessment of internationally educated nurse practitioners as well as for the development of the NP Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE). BCCNP is in the process of updating its assessment tools that are used when reviewing the educational preparation of applicants educated outside of Canada.

The new competencies will also likely impact the OSCE. BCCNP is working on identifying all elements of OSCE development and scoring that may need updating. BCCNP will communicate all OSCE updates and timeframes to educators and applicants as soon as these are identified.

What implications will the new entry level competencies have on the BCCNP nurse practitioner quality assurance program?

​The current QA Program guidelines for chart revie​w are derived from the Applying the Competencies Required for Nurse Practitioners in British Columbia​. The guidelines will be revised to align with the new entry level competencies.

What does this mean for the nurse practitioner education programs?

​At the time of their next BCCNP program review, the nurse practitioner education programs will need to provide evidence that demonstrates where and how they address the new entry-level competencies in the program.