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What's in a title?

Case study about self-employment and use of title

With the plan of opening a private foot care business, Diane completes a foot care course. Certificate in hand, she talks with several entrepreneurial, self-emplo​yed colleagues about promoting her services.​​

One colleague tells Diane that she refers to herself as certified foot care nurse in her marketing materials and on her business cards. She also uses "C.F.C.N." (Certified Foot Care Nurse) when she documents on clients' records. Another colleague seems surprised at that approach. As a newly self-employed nurse, Diane wants to be sure that she does things correctly.

Can Diane use "C.F.C.N." when signing for nursing care she has provided to clients?
No, Diane shouldn’t use C.F.C.N. in her client documentation. When documenting the foot care services she’s provided to clients, Diane should include her signature and RN title. By doing this, she reflects her RN scope of practice and nursing accountability and responsibility. The use of ‘certified’ when documenting nursing care is restricted to CRNBC-certified practice nurses.
Can Diane include that she has a certificate in foot care on her business cards?
Yes, Diane may include that she has a foot care certificate on her business cards. Nurses with a certificate or other type of certification (e.g., CNA, BCIT) can use this term except when documenting care or services provided to a client.

What do the Standards say?

The Appropriate Use of Titles practice standard requires nurses to include their name and the title that most specifically reflects their class of registrant, e.g., RN, RN(C), NP(A) when they document care or services provided to a client.

Protecting titles through regulation is one way of protecting the public. Legal restrictions assure the public that anyone using a protected nursing title is entitled to practise nursing in B.C. Only individuals who have met and continue to meet registration and renewal requirements may use a protected title.


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