A registered nurse has deep and broad specialized knowledge about health and illness, disease, health promotion, health care systems and world health issues.

Usually they complete a four-year nursing degree at the university level. This prepares them to work as a generalist. Nurses often become specialists over time. They may continue to study and receive a Master’s degree or doctoral degree in nursing. While learning they also work with clients of all ages and in a variety of acute and community settings. To become a registered nurse in B.C. a person must have completed a recognized nursing education program, met all skill and ability requirements, passed the national entry-to-practice exam, and submit to a criminal record check.

Someone who is registered with the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) can use the title “nurse”, “registered nurse” or “RN” in British Columbia. Additionally, RNs who hold Certified Practice designation can diagnose and carry out some restricted activities on their own. These RN(C)s work in remote nursing practice, reproductive health and contraceptive management; reproductive health and sexually transmitted infections; and first call. First Call is usually for a facility in a small or remote community with limited healthcare professionals. In British Columbia, if a student nurse is employed to carry out nursing duties in a health care setting, they must be registered with CRNBC. They are called “employed student nurses” (ESN).

What does a registered nurse do?

Nursing combines science with art. The science comes from what is learned though education and ongoing professional development. The art comes from experience and providing nursing services to meet the various needs of clients and families. Registered nurses plan, coordinate and provide care for you, your family, groups and communities. Registered nurses have strong interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills. These are central to safe and effective registered nurse practice.

How do registered nurses keep their skills up to date?

Registered nurses must renew their registration every year. Nurses learn throughout their career. To support their practice, each year registered nurses complete a self-assessment based on the Standards of Practice. They invite and receive feedback from their co-workers and others, create a professional development plan, and evaluate how well the plan worked from the previous year. Registered nurses must have practised at least 1,125 hours over the previous five years in order to renew their registration.

What happens when I first visit a registered nurse?

All registered nurses work according to the 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 registered nurse?

You do not need to be referred in order to see a registered nurse. RNs work throughout the province in clinical and hospital settings, in public health, as private practitioners, in schools, in doctors’ offices and in the armed forces. You can find nurses 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 is registered with CRNBC at https://registry.crnbc.ca/

How do I pay for a registered nurse?

Nursing is generally part of a facility service so usually you do not need to pay directly for a registered nurse. Most of the time health authorities employ RNs. Some nursing services may be provided with a fee through private home care or similar agencies. Self-employed nurses provide some services.

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

As a patient you have the right to expect a professional standard of care from your registered nurse. 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 registered nurses?

Visit www.bccnp.ca


Doctor checking woman's blood pressure in exam room smiling

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

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