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Do you have questions about the RN practice hours requirement?

Do you know what the minimum practice hours are to renew your annual RN registration with CRNBC?

Maybe you're unsure what constitutes practice hours? Are you wondering what options you have if you don't have enough practice hours to be eligible for practising status?

​​​​We often hear from nurses who are unsure about practice hours. If this is you, don't worry, you are not alone. This is why we want to take a look into the practice hours requirement, and offer up some tips and suggestions to help you understand it better.

Simply put, as an RN you need to have completed 1,125 hours of registered nurse practice in the past five years. If you work as an RN in a full time capacity — in either clinical, education, administration, research role(s) or a combination — you are very likely to have met the minimum requirement already. If you work 12 hour shifts, it would take less than 110 shifts over five years, to surpass the practice hours requirement. 

Practice hours: what's the point?

CRNBC regulates registered nurses and nurse practitioners in British Columbia to protect the public. The reason we ask nurses to self-report their practice hours during renewal is simple: nursing is a practice profession. Asking you to demonstrate that you've achieved the minimum practice hours requirement is just one of the tools we use to ensure registered nurses in the province maintain competence to carry out their work.

For many of you reading right now, achieving the minimum practice hours will not be a problem. But not all nurses are in the same situation. There is a section of the nursing community who are working part-time or casual. There are those who are winding down their careers, there are those who are just starting their careers, and there are those who have taken time off for family, travel or a return to school. Many individuals in these circumstances can still meet the minimum practice hours requirement while working part-time or casual over five years.

If your circumstances change, an accurate account of your registered nurse practice hours could be important for your next role. If you were thinking of working outside of B.C., evidence of your previous practice experience could be required for registration in other jurisdictions. You may decide to go back to school, or travel around the world, and you will want to know how an extended absence may affect your eligibility to return to the profession.

Before we finish up, here are a couple of key points about practice hours:

  1. You must be registered as a provisional or practicing RN or NP at the time the​​​ hours were worked, for the practice hours to count towards maintaining RN registration.
    • ​​​​​​​​If you work in a healthcare role where registration with CRNBC is optional, you are able to report RN practice hours IF you had provisional or practising status with CRNBC at the time the hours were worked AND the role satisfies the practice hours criteria.
    • If you switch to inactive status or non-practising registration, you cannot work as an RN or accumulate RN practice hours. This may affect your ability to obtain RN registration in the future. It is important to take this into account when considering whether to maintain your practising registration.​
  2. All nurses are required to keep an annual log of their practice hours for the previous five year period. This is a requirement set out by the College bylaws that govern your practice (review the Bylaws on our website — see section 5.12).​​​​​​​
  3. Your yearly hours should be calculated between January 1 – December 31 each year.
  4. If you're at risk of not meeting the minimum practice hours for renewal, we will send you an alert via email in the fall.
  5. In the event that you don't have the required practice hours, there are a number of ways you can demonstrate your competence — find out more on our website.

We've taken a broad look at practice hours in this article, and you might be asking for more details. Good, we have you covered, take a look at our practice hours page on the CRNBC website for more information.

Still have questions? Give us a call, or send us an email:



    • 604.736.7331 x 554
    • 1.800.565.6505 toll-free  

Did we miss something? Tell us in the feedback section on right side of this page. ​

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Home > Practice support > Quality Assurance > Registered nurses > Practice hours > Do you have questions about the RN practice hours requirement?