To legally call oneself a registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (NP) in British Columbia, a person must be registered with CRNBC. The term "nurse" is protected by law and can only be used by an RN, NP,
licensed practical nurse (LPN) or
registered psychiatric nurse (RPN).
Any employer or member of the public can learn the registration status of an RN or NP by checking Nurse Verification.
CRNBC currently registers about 40,000 RNs and NPs who work throughout the province in clinical or 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 throughout the province.
To become registered in British Columbia a person must have completed a nursing education program, met competence requirements, passed a national examination and consented to a criminal record check.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are educated at a masters level and have additional education that qualifies them to prescribe and order specified diagnostic tests and procedures. In B.C., nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have successfully completed a nurse practitioner educational program and passed an examination designed to show an acceptable level of practice.
Nursing combines science with art. The science comes from knowledge gained through education and ongoing professional development. The art is developed through experience and the provision of nursing services to meet the various needs of clients and their families.
Once registered with CRNBC, nurses commit to keeping their knowledge and skills current. They must also renew their registration status once a year.
RNs and NPs have standards of practice and work within legally prescribed scope of practice. Learn more about standards and scope of practice for