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Effect of COVID-19 pandemic on nursing education programs, faculty and students

Mar 17, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve, BCCNP is aware of and monitoring the impact on nursing education programs, faculty and students, and we want to extend our help as needed.

In response to directives from education institutions or health authorities, nursing programs may be required to move to virtual instruction or to cancel classes, labs and/or student practice placements, as part of safeguarding patients, students and faculty.

Below are a few key points to consider as students and schools adjust and plan for learning during the pandemic.

  • The educational institution offering a BCCNP recognized program has the responsibility and authority to plan alternate learning methods should normal student learning experiences become unavailable.
  • The ways and means of enabling students to meet the BCCNP entry-level competencies and Standards of Practice as learning outcomes may vary. If feasible, additional laboratory and simulation experiences can support student learning, including those using high-fidelity simulation and human actors as simulated patients. BCCNP would expect that programs are referring to best practices and recent research in these areas.
  • Educational institutions will need to monitor the feasibility and effectiveness of alternate practice learning arrangements because multiple contextual factors in different geographic locations will impact the arrangements educational institution will be able to use over time.
  • Educational institutions are responsible for documenting and tracking the modifications made to programs during this period, including changes in access to clinical placements and alternate methods of course delivery. BCCNP may request reporting on these adjustments as part of the education program review process or as verification that new graduates have met requirements for registration to practice.
  • Modification to address these extenuating circumstances are short term for the duration of the pandemic only and not precedent-setting or to become permanent changes to the program.
  • In the event that the pandemic continues long term, and students will be unable to achieve the BCCNP entry-level competencies and Standards of Practice required for registration with BCCNP, educational institutions may need to delay student progression in, or graduation from, the program.
  • The Administrative Head of a program signs verification that each named student who is graduating has successfully completed all the requirements of their recognized education program. This requirement does not change.

The following resources may be helpful to administrators, faculty and students:

Announcements & news

Standards & practice resources


The BCCNP Education Program Review Team are available to consult with you as you work through this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing