Nurse practitioners (NP) were first regulated in B.C. in 2005. NPs must meet particular requirements to be registered as NPs and to use the title. These professionals are commonly educated in a Master's program.
- Are regulated for reasons of public safety and to support a sustainable health care system.
- Are not substitutions for physicians but the roles complement one another in order to improve patient access. When nurse practitioners and physicians work together the physicians can focus on more complex diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
- Bring the nursing focus of teaching, counseling and support to the diagnostic and treatment care they provide.
- Work in a variety of practice settings and within a flexible regulatory system that provides strong educational preparation, rigorous registration requirements and rigorous practice oversight.
In B.C. there are three 'streams' or populations that NPs are eligible to work in: family which covers infants to older adults; adult that covers adults and older adults; and pediatrics that covers infants to adolescents.
How to become a nurse practitioner
In order to become registered as a nurse practitioner in British Columbia, applicants must:
- currently be practicing as a registered nurse in BC or be eligible for practicing registration
- be a graduate from a CRNBC recognized nurse practitioner program or equivalent. A prior learning assessment and recognition process (called PLAR) is developed for all applicants who are not graduates of BC recognized programs.
- successfully complete a written and practical examination.
Requirements for practice for nurse practitioners and a continuing competence program are modeled after the ones used for registered nurses but with additional requirements that reflect NP expanded practice. The quality assurance program is based on the practice review process from the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons and occurs within the first two years after registration in BC and every five years thereafter.
Learn more about how to register as a nurse practitioner