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Immunization Competency Course

Purpose:  To equip new immunizers with the knowledge necessary to provide safe and effective Immunization programs based on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) immunization competencies. This course is employer mandated in some practice settings. Please consult your health professional's regulatory body as well as your employer who can advise you of respective requirements in order to safely administer immunizations.

Intended Audience: RNs (e.g. PHNs, travel nurses, vaccine trial nurses, OHNs), RPNs, LPNs, Pharmacists, and Naturopathic Physicians.

Website: PHSA LearningHub

BCCDC offers an on-line course for immunization providers. The course is available to Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Pharmacists, and Naturopathic Physicians. Please see below for additional information about this course by profession.

Condensed Immunization Competency Course for 

New Vaccine Providers 

For the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine Only 


As B.C. prepares to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination program, timely education and resources are essential for both new and existing vaccine providers to immunize safely and competently. 

While the complete BCCDC immunization competency course is recommended for all new vaccine providers, it is recognized that in the context of the global pandemic, the need for an expedited immunization competency education process is essential to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in a timely manner (i.e., for those who will be providing COVID-19 vaccines only).

As such, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has opened their Education Program for Immunization Competencies (EPIC) course at no cost to support new vaccine providers.  

To access the EPIC Course, an access code is required and can be obtained by emailing: CompetencyHelp@bccdc.ca. If you are working in a First Nations Community and would like to access the EPIC course, the required access code and instructions can be obtained by emailing: immunize@fnha.ca

The BCCDC recommends that new vaccine providers complete the following five modules of the EPIC course in order to meet the expedited learning process for the purpose of administering Covid-19 vaccine only

  • Module 1: The Immune System and Vaccines
  • Module 3: Vaccine Development and Evaluation
  • Module 8: Administration of Immunizing Agents
  • Module 9: Adverse Events Following Immunization
  • Module 14: Legal and Ethical Aspects of Immunization
**A certificate will be generated upon completion of each module. The five certificates can be printed and presented to an employer to verify that the recommended modules have been successfully completed.

The Immunization Skills Checklist can be utilized by employers to assess immunization competencies of new vaccine providers following completion of the course.

In addition to the condensed EPIC course, new vaccine providers are to complete the following:
  1. BCCDC COVID-19 Immunization Webinars

    • COVID-19 Vaccine Overview
    • COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines
     
  2. Overcoming hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccine (CPS course - to be released in January 2021). This course will be accessible with your EPIC course access code. 
*Please note that your access code also provides access to the currently available CPS module: Moving to Acceptance – How to address vaccine hesitancy in your busy practice.

For additional health care provider resources for COVID-19 immunization, including Public Health Agency of Canada webinars, visit the resources for health professionals 
page.

The administration of medications, including vaccines, has been identified as a restricted activity under the Health Professionals Act. The British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) Limits and Conditions require registered nurses who autonomously compound, dispense or administer vaccines to possess the competencies* established by BCCDC and follow its decision support tools**. The BCCDC Immunization Competency Course has been recognized as the standard for assessment of immunization competencies. BCCNM

requires that travel nurses and registered nurses working in vaccine research complete the immunization course. Furthermore, many BC employers require nurses who administer vaccines to complete the course as a condition of employment. Many employers also require nurses to complete the competency renewal exam every 3 years. However all nurses are strongly encouraged to take the immunization course as part of their self-assessment and learning process.    


The BCCDC online Immunization Competency Course consists of two components: 

  1. The online Immunization Competency Course for Registered Nurses and RPNs (available for any registered nurse) 
  2. The Immunization Skills Checklist (requires additional support from Employer, see below).     

The first is the online course and exam. Registered nurses are required to achieve 100% on the exam in order to print a Record of Completion. 

The second is the Immunization Skills Checklist. In work environments where completion of the course is specifically required either by the BCCNM Scope of Practice for Registered Nurses: Standards, Limits, Conditions 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/Primary Care, 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 Immunization Competency Course online portion for their own continued learning. 

*The BCCDC Immunization Competencies for BC Health Professionals  were based on the Immunization Competencies for Health Professionals, Public Health Agency of Canada. 


**The decision support tools maintained by BCCDC relating to immunization practice can be found in the BC Communicable Disease Control Manual, Chapter 1: Communicable Disease Control and Chapter 2: Immunization, Parts 1-5. 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.     


Fro public health nurses in BC who regularly immunize in their practice, the Renewal Exam for Public Health Nurses is available on LearningHub to assess ongoing immunization competencies.

 

The BCCDC online Immunization Competency Course for Registered Nurses and RPNs consists of 16 modules, a final online exam and the Immunization Skills Checklist.


RPNs are required to achieve 100% on the exam in order to print a Record of Completion. Please note the Immunization Skills Checklist needs to be completed with the employer as there is no process for RPNs to complete the checklist outside of their place of employment.


Complete information for RPNs wishing to provide immunizations can be found here: British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) Immunization

 

Complete information for pharmacists wishing to provide immunizations can be found here: 

http://www.bcpharmacy.ca/onlinepre-study

The BCCDC Immunization Competency Course for Licensed Practical Nurses consists of two components:

  1. The online Immunization Competency Course for Licensed Practical Nurses
  2. The Immunization Skills Checklist (requires additional support from employer)
The first is the online course and exam. Licensed practical nurses are required to achieve 100% on the exam in order to print a Record of Completion.

The second is the Immunization Skills Checklist. In work environments where LPNs will be administering immunizations, a process should be in place for LPNs to complete the supervised Immunization Skills Checklist. LPNs should enquire with their supervisors or educators to determine what this process is, as there is currently no process in place for nurses to have their Immunization Skills Checklist supervised and signed off independent of their employers. 

 
Complete information for NPs wishing to provide immunizations can be found on the CNPBC website
Please note that upon obtaining a Record of Completion, you need to email the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC a copy of your record. Please email this to registrar@cnpbc.bc.ca 
 
SOURCE: Immunization Competency Course ( )
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