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Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NP) were first regulated in B.C. in 2005.  NPs must meet advanced requirements to register as NPs and use the NP title. These nursing professionals are usually educated in a master's program.  

Nurse practitioners:

  • Are regulated for reasons of public safety and to support a sustainable health care system.
  • Are not substitutions for physicians but their roles complement one another in order to improve patient access. When NPs 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 they provide.
  • Work in many 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 can work in:

  • family — infants to older adults
  • adult — adults and older adults
  • pediatrics — infants to adolescents

How to become an NP

In B.C., applicants must:

  • currently be practising as a RN in B.C. or be eligible for practising registration
  • be a graduate from a CRNBC recognized NP program or equivalent. A prior learning assessment and recognition process (called PLAR) was developed for all applicants who are not graduates of a B.C.-recognized program.
  • successfully complete a written and practical examination.

NPs' requirements for practice and continuing competence program are modeled after the ones used for RNs but with additional requirements that reflect NPs' 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 B.C. and every five years thereafter.

Learn more about how to register as an NP

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