The nurse practitioner role is recognized in Canada as advanced nursing practice. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are educated at a Master’s level. They are qualified to prescribe controlled drugs and substances, and order specific diagnostic tests and procedures. NPs must be registered or eligible to be registered as a registered nurse in B.C. They must graduate from a recognized NP program to be registered in B.C. If they have not graduated from a B.C. program, they must pass an exam to test their skills and knowledge. All NPs must successfully complete a written and practical exam to be registered with the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC).

In British Columbia only an NP registered with CRNBC can be called a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Practitioner-Family (NP(F)), Nurse Practitioner-Adult (NP (A)), or Nurse Practitioner-Pediatric (NP(P)).

What does a registered nurse practitioner do?

Nurse practitioners provide services relating to health promotion; illness/injury prevention; rehabilitative, curative and supportive care; and palliative or end of life care. Family NPs are educated to provide health care services to persons of all ages. Adult NPs are educated to provide health care services to young, middle-aged, and older adults. Pediatric NPs are educated to provide health care services to newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and most adolescents. Sometime Pediatric NPs will care for young adults if an NP has cared for them for a chronic disease since childhood.

How do registered nurse practitioners keep their skills up to date?

All NPs must renew their registration every year. They must meet a minimum of 900 practice hours over the previous three years. They must complete a self-assessment using CRNBC Standards of Practice and ask for and receive peer feedback. They must create and implement a professional development plan based on feedback they received and evaluate the previous year’s professional development plan. They must complete a critical review of client documentation, complete at least three professional development activities, and participate in an onsite peer review when scheduled by CRNBC.

What happens when I first visit a nurse practitioner?

All registered nurses and work according to CRNBC Standards of Practice and relevant legislation and regulation that direct their practice. There are three sets of Standards that outline practice requirements. Professional Standards are the overall framework for nursing practice and identify minimal levels of performance achievement for nurses. Scope of Practice outlines the standards, limits, and conditions related to the range of practice that is recognized as nursing. Practice Standards provide additional information on specific topics.

How can I find a nurse practitioner?

You do not need to be referred to see a nurse practitioner. NPs work throughout the province in clinical or hospital settings, in public health, as private practitioners, in schools, in doctors’ offices and in the armed forces. You can find NPs teaching in universities and hospitals, conducting research and in health administration. They work on job sites, in facilities providing long-term care, extended care, and hospice care, and in community care centres. You can find out if your nurse practitioner is registered with CRNBC on

How do I pay for a nurse practitioner?

Nursing is generally part of a facility service so usually you do not need to pay directly for a nurse practitioner. Health authorities usually employ NPs. Some nursing services may be provided on a fee through private home care or similar agencies and services provided by self-employed nurse practitioners.

What if I have concerns about the care I received from a nurse practitioner?

As a patient you have the right to expect a professional standard of care from your nurse practitioner. If you think that has not happened contact
fax: 604.899.0794
mail: 900-200 Granville St., Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4

Where can I find more information about nurse practitioners?



Doctor checking woman's blood pressure in exam room smiling

Group of doctors talking about a patient's care. Patient is in the foreground.

nursing home