Enrollment Key: bccdc357
The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) has determined that providing immunizations is not a certified practice. The CRNBC Limits and Conditions: Scope of Practice for Immunization states that prior to providing immunizations, all registered nurses are required to complete a self-assessment to determine if they possess the competencies* established by BCCDC, and must follow decision support tools established by BCCDC**.
All nurses are encouraged to take the immunization course as part of their self-assessment and learning process.
However, only 3 specific groups of registered nurses are required to complete the BCCDC Immunization Course prior to providing immunizations. CRNBC requires that travel nurses and registered nurses working in vaccine research complete the immunization course. Public health employers in British Columbia require the BCCDC Immunization Course to be completed by public health nurses as a condition of employment. The successful completion of the BCCDC Online Immunization Course Recertification Exam is also required every 3 years for these groups of registered nurses.
The BCCDC Online Immunization Course consists of two components:
- The Online Immunization Course (available for any registered nurse)
- The Immunization Skills Checklist (requires additional support from Employer, see below).
The first is the online course and exam. Registered nurses are required to have 100% on the exam in order to print a Certificate of Achievement.
The second is an Immunization Skills Checklist. In work environments where completion of the course is specifically required either by the CRNBC Limits and Conditions: Scope of Practice for Immunization, or by the Employer, a process will be in place for RNs to complete the supervised Immunization Skills Checklist. Registered nurses should enquire with their supervisors or Nurse Educators to determine what this process is.
If you are a registered nurse who works in a setting other than Travel Health, Vaccine Research or Public Health, please enquire with your employer about their support for you completing the course. It is important to assess prior to taking the course if your employer can provide support for the supervision and sign off of the Immunization Skills Checklist. There is currently no process in place for registered nurses to have their Immunization Skills Checklist supervised and signed off independent of their employers; however, even in the absence of the ability to complete the Immunization Skills Checklist, registered nurses are still encouraged to complete the BCCDC Online Competency Course online portion for their own continued learning.
User Guide to the Immunization Competency Course for Registered Nurses and RPNs (updated Aug. 2, 2013)
* The BCCDC Immunization Competencies for BC Health Professionals (see Resources at right menu) were based on the Immunization Competencies for Health Professionals, Public Health Agency of Canada.
** The decision support tools maintained by BCCDC are the Communicable Disease Control Manual (CDC), especially Chapter 1: Communicable Disease Control and Chapter 2: Immunization. The Manual provides best practice guidelines that outline measures for the control of specific diseases and management of outbreaks, and direct the provision of immunization services in BC.