Legislation and Regulation
Legislation Governing Registered Nurses in Certified Practice
The Health Professions Act and the Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioners Regulation provide for the certified practice of Registered Nurses (RN) who successfully complete a certified practice course and evaluation approved by the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) and who apply to the CRNBC for certified practice designation.
CRNBC Bylaws made under the Health Professions Act set out the duties and membership of CRNBC Certified Practices Approval committee and establish:
- Certified practice categories
- Requirements for initial certification and maintenance of certification
Certified Registered Nurses use the title Registered Nurse (Certified) or RN(C) and have an expanded scope of practice in one or more of three practice areas: Reproductive Health (Contraceptive Management), Reproductive Health (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and Remote Nursing.
Other Legislation Affecting RN(C)s
A regulatory change approved by Government effective October 1, 2011 authorizes registered nurses in certified practice (RN(C)) to independently refer eligible Medical Services Plan (MSP) beneficiaries for a selected menu of laboratory tests approved as within scope by the CRNBC.
The Medicare Protection Act (1996) and the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation established the Medical Services Commission (MSC) and set out its organizational structure, and functions. The MSC is mandated to facilitate reasonable access throughout British Columbia, to quality medical care, health care and diagnostic facility services for residents of British Columbia under the Medical Services Plan (MSP). It is responsible for administering the provision and payment of medical services through the Medical Services Plan. The Commission is accountable to Government through the Minister of Health.
Changes made to the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation Section 45 enabled registered nurses in certified practice to independently make referrals to MSP for selected laboratory medicine tests approved as within scope by the College of Registered Nurses of BC.
An individual must be a resident of B.C. in order to qualify for medical coverage under MSP. A resident is a person who meets all of the following conditions:
- must be a citizen of Canada or be lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence;
- must make his or her home in B.C.; and
- must be physically present in B.C. at least six months in a calendar year, or a shorter prescribed period.*
*Note: Effective January 1, 2013, eligible B.C. residents (citizens of Canada or persons who are lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence) who are outside B.C. for vacation purposes only, are allowed a total absence of up to seven months in a calendar year.
Health Insurance BC (HIBC) is the agency contracted by the government to handle the administrative operations of MSP and PharmaCare, including Fair PharmaCare, on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) is the regulatory body for registered nurses, nurse practitioners and licensed graduate nurses in British Columbia.
The CRNBC set standards, limits and conditions related to the scope of practice of RNs, including RN(C)s and Nurse Practitioners, under the Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioners Regulation.
The CRNBC has developed a rigorous framework that provides a foundation to appropriately and effectively regulate the practice of Registered Nurses within government legislation.
For information on the education, competencies, standards, limits and conditions for scope of certified practice and registration criteria for registered nurses (certified) in BC, contact the CRNBC.