In British Columbia, a psychiatric nursing student registered with BCCNP as an employed student psychiatric nurse (ESPN) registrant may carry out nursing activities as an ESPN registrant employed by a health authority.
The practice of ESPN registrants is one of consolidation of current learning, working within the competencies they have attained from learning activities in their educational program. The BCCNP RPN practice standard
Appropriate Use of Title requires ESPN 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.
Nevertheless, ESPN registrants are at all times responsible and accountable for their practice, and all the documents referenced below are applicable to them even if the documents refer to registered psychiatric nurses and not to ESPNs. If an ESPN registrant has a practice concern, they should speak with their supervising RPN first and, if necessary, contact a BCCNP Practice Consultant at
Employed student psychiatric nurse registrants must:
ESPN registrants have additional practice requirements, as set out in the documents below. These documents, and other helpful resources that ESPN registrants should become familiar with, can all be found in the
Nursing Standards & Resources section of the BCCNP website.
Practice Standards Specific to Employed Psychiatric Student Nurse Registrants
The following practice standards are specific to ESPN registrants:
Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing
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 ESPN registrants. The
Professional Standards cover:
Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics are guidelines that articulate an acceptable set of behaviours for registered psychiatric nurses (and ESPN registrants). They set out a framework for professional responsibility and accountability which promote high ethical standards in practice. They uphold the following values:
Besides the two practice standards specific to psychiatric nursing students and the
Appropriate Use of Title standard mentioned earlier, there are many other practice standards that pertain to ESPN registrants.
Practice standards set out baseline requirements for specific aspects of psychiatric nursing practice and interact with other requirements such as the
Code of Ethics,
Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing, and BCCNP bylaws.
Scope of Practice – Standards, Limits and Conditions
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 registrant's scope of practice is limited to those nursing activities within the competencies learnt in their education programs and permitted by the employer. The
Scope of Practice for RPNs: Standards, Limits and Conditions provides more details.
Other Helpful Resources
For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us: