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Procedures below body surfaces

Section 7: Restricted activities that require an order

​Procedures below body surfaces



A registrant in the course of practising nursing may do any of the following:




perform a procedure on tissue below the dermis, below the surface of a mucous membrane or in or below the surface of the cornea;




cast a fracture of a bone;

Some of these procedures are considered to be within the scope of practice of registered nurses while others are not. For example, registered nurses who act in a scrub nurse role carry out some surgical activities below the dermis on a physician’s order (e.g., holding retractors). Registered nurses who have successfully completed additional education and work in a nurse first assist role can do surgical suturing and harvest veins on a physician’s order. Doing surgery (including incision and drainage), however, is not within the scope of practice of registered nurses. Registrants who are in doubt about whether a procedure is considered within registered nurses’ scope of practice should contact CRNBC.

An order for a Registered Nurse or Licensed Graduate Nurse to cast a fracture of a bone may only ever be given by a physician or Nurse Practitioner who is registered in British Columbia.

Note: CRNBC is doing policy work to inform limits and conditions related to casting a fracture.

CRNBC Limits and Conditions

Registered nurses must successfully complete an RN First Assist Program before doing surgical suturing or harvesting veins under a physician's order.

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