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Practising? Non-practising? Inactive? Here’s what you need to know about registration statuses

​​We have two registration statuses "practising" and "non-practising", there is​ also third type: those who have an "inactive" registration. What do they all mean? 

Most RNs and NPs will only think about these statuses around renewal time ("Do I have "practising" status for the coming year?"). But this isn't always the case. For some nurses​ a change of status could be needed when life changes. They might move to a different province; they might travel around the world; they may take some time to start a family.  

We want to clarify these statuses, if you want to know more about — read on. 

What’s the difference between “non-practising” status and “inactive” registration?

We've heard there's some confusion around "non-practising" status or "inactive" registration. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • It is not faster, or easier to return from one status or the other. In both circumstances, you need to complete a reinstatement application.​ 
  • Your registration will become "inactive" if you don't renew or you cancel your registration status with CRNBC.
  • You need to apply to CRNBC to be granted "non-practising" status.
  • You can't work or volunteer as a nurse in B.C. if you have "inactive" registration or "non-practising" status.
  • If you don't hold practising status you can't use the title 'registered nurse' or 'nurse practitioner' on any document.
  • "Non-practising" registration will cost you a reduced fee. But, you can still take part in committees, receive CRNBC communication and access ARNBC membership. You can also use the title "non-practising registered nurse/nurse practitioner".
  • If you are "inactive" there is no cost, but you won't receive communication from CRNBC. You can keep up-to-date with CRNBC news on our website and our social media platforms.
What is the cost of changing your status?

There are some costs involved if you're leaving or returning to practice. You are required to pay a $105.00 (includes GST) change of status fee each time you change your status. This fee allows CRNBC to process the refund for the unused days in the rest of the registration year.

Our refund policy gives you the flexibility to change your status whenever you'd like. Depending on when you apply for a change of status we will refund you a pro-rated amount. Here's how it works:

  • When moving to "non-practising" registration, or choosing to become "inactive", we will refund the remaining cost of your CRNBC registration.
    • For example: If you are a practising RN and you apply to cancel your registration (your registration will be "inactive") on August 12th, 2017 then you are entitled to a refund of approximately $190.00 (this is calculated at 0.96c p/day). After you pay the $105.00 change of registration fee, you will receive $85.00 (these amounts are reference only, your refund may differ based on your circumstances).
  • When leaving practice, after a certain point in the year it may be cheaper to keep your practising status and let it lapse on the last day of February.
    • For example: If there is less than 110 days till renewal, you will only receive a refund of approximately $105.00 (this is calculated at 0.96c p/day). After you pay the change of status fee you will may not gain anything financially.​
Returning to “practising” status

When you decide to return to practice there are a number of steps you need to take.

This process should cover most cases. If you have all the required documents, and you meet the requirements (like practice hours) our Registration Assessors will take up to 10 business days to complete your application.

  • Step 1: Submit your application. Sign in to your account, and select "Change Status."
    • If you haven't held practising registration for more than 90 days, you will also need to submit a Statutory Declaration with your application.
  • Step 2: Pay the change of status assessment fee.
  • Step 3: You will receive an email asking for more details and additional documents (if required).
  • Step 4: Once all requirements have been met you will receive an email asking you to pay your registration fee for the remainder of the year. 
  • Step 5: Once we process your payment, you will receive an email confirming your "practising" status. You are now able to begin practising again.
    • Please note: you cannot practise or resume work as an RN or NP until you receive your confirmation email.
    • We recommend all nurses use the Nurse Verification Tool to double-check your status.​
When things get a little (or a lot more) complex

​Most registrants will enjoy a straightforward process. But there are times when things can be more complex, and take longer: here are a few examples.

  • The more complex your file the more information and documents we may need you to submit. What is a complex application? Take a look here to find out more.
  • If you've been working in another jurisdiction (like Alberta, Quebec, the US, India or Australia, for example), you will need to allow more time for processing. This is because you will need to arrange to have additional documentation sent to us.
  • If you haven't practised as a registered nurse in the past five years, you will not meet the basic practice hours requirement. You will need to meet this before you can reinstate your registration.​
One more thing

Think carefully about the decision to drop practising registration. If you are in a job that does not require RN registration, but is within the scope of practise of nursing (e.g. some administrative roles in a health authority), you may not have enough practice hours if you want to reinstate your registration later.

For example, if, after five years or more, you want to reinstate your registration because you have a new opportunity that requires RN registration, you will need to meet additional requirements (e.g. completing a re-entry to practice program) to meet the practice hours requirement. You could have used your work hours to meet this requirement​ if you were registered. If you aren't registered you cannot retroactively count those hours towards this requirement. ​

Please contact our Registration Assessors if you have any extra questions.

Contact for Registration Assessors: 

More information

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