This webpage is a resource to help RPNs interpret and apply indicator 8 of Standard 3 of the BCCNP Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing, which is as follows:
“Maintains own physical, mental and emotional fitness to practice."
Psychiatric nursing is a rewarding and challenging profession. Psychiatric nurses frequently respond to emotionally-charged and stressful situations. These experiences can negatively affect the physical, mental and emotional health of psychiatric nurses and impact their ability to provide safe, competent and ethical care. Psychiatric nurses must recognize the importance of self-care and the relationship between personal health and fitness to practice.
'Fitness to practice' is a measure of health and wellness as it relates to your work as an RPN. Someone who is 'fit to practice' is healthy enough to provide safe, competent and ethical care in their work as an RPN.
The indicator sets out your responsibility to:
No. This indicator only applies to RPNs who are actively practicing. As a regulator, BCCNP's interest in fitness to practice is limited to those cases where
actual practice is impaired.
We recognize that simply holding practising registration status does not necessarily mean you are actively practicing. If you are not, the indicator applies only when you go back to work or start a new psychiatric nursing role. BCCNP's interest in fitness to practice is limited to those cases where actual practice is impaired.
If you are concerned that your health may be affecting your fitness to practice, and you are actively practicing, we recommend you consider taking one or more of the following actions:
Generally, if you are maintaining your health and/or limiting your psychiatric nursing duties to accommodate your condition (by modifying your duties or withdrawing from them all together) so that your practice remains safe, ethical and competent, your registration status will not be affected.
In more serious cases, when BCCNP is concerned that your health may present a risk to the public, we will request that you provide information, including a medical report, to support your current fitness to practice. BCCNP will let you know if this applies to your particular situation.
In general, your fitness to practice will be assumed, unless BCCNP receives information to the contrary.
However, on any change of status application, you must answer the following disclosure question:
"Are you affected by a physical or mental condition or addiction to alcohol or drugs that reasonably could impair your ability to practice psychiatric nursing?"
If you answer ‘yes’ you may need to provide further details.
For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us: