Employed Student Registrant Practice Responsibilities

Employed Student Registrant Practice Responsibilities

In British Columbia, a psychiatric nursing student registered with CRPNBC as an Employed Student Registrant may carry out nursing activities as an Employed Student Psychiatric Nurse employed by a health authority. For information on registration requirements and restrictions, click here.

The practice of Employed Student Registrants is one of consolidation of current learning, working within the competencies they have attained from learning activities in their educational program. The CRPNBC practice standard Appropriate Use of Title requires Employed Student Registrants to use the title “Employed Student Psychiatric Nurse”(ESPN) in order to clarify to others that the student’s registration status is that of a learner and not a fully qualified professional. Nevertheless, Employed Student Registrants are at all times responsible and accountable for their practice, and all the documents referenced below are applicable to them even if the documents refer to Registered Psychiatric Nurses and not to ESPNs. If an Employed Student Registrant has a practice concern, they should contact the CRPNBC Practice Consultant for advice.

Employed Student Psychiatric Nurses must:

  • maintain current registration with CRPNBC
  • maintain enrollment in a recognized entry-level psychiatric nursing education program
  • work only in the specific workplace they are authorized to work in
  • work under the supervision of a named Registered Psychiatric Nurse(s) who is physically present and readily available to provide direction
  • never be solely responsible for the care of patients
  • work within the competencies they have attained from learning activities in their educational
  • program
  • practise within their competence level and in accordance with CRPNBC’s Standards of Practice and employer policies specific to the role of the ESPN
  • not supervise other workers or students.

Employed Student Registrants have additional practice requirements, as set out in the documents below. These documents, and other helpful resources that Employed Student Registrants should become familiar with, can all be found in the Nursing Standards & Resources section of the CRPNBC website at: http://www.crpnbc.ca/practice-support/

Practice Standards Specific to Psychiatric Nursing Students

The following practice standards are specific to psychiatric nursing students:

Employed Student Registrants

Regulatory Supervision of Psychiatric Nursing Student Activities

Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing

The Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing describe in broad terms the expected level of performance of all Registered Psychiatric Nurses and were developed for national use by the Registered Psychiatric Nurse Regulators of Canada. To the extent they are applicable, these expectations also apply to ESPNs. The Professional Standards cover:

STANDARD 1: Therapeutic Relationships

STANDARD 2: Application and Integration of Theory-Based Knowledge

STANDARD 3: Professional Responsibility

STANDARD 4: Professional Ethics

Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics are guidelines that articulate an acceptable set of behaviours for Registered Psychiatric Nurses (and ESPNs). They set out a framework for professional responsibility and accountability which promote high ethical standards in practice. They uphold the following values:

  • Safe, competent and ethical practice to ensure the protection of the public
  • Respect for the inherent worth, right of choice, and dignity of persons
  • Health, mental health, and well-being
  • Quality practice

Practice Standards

Besides the two practice standards specific to psychiatric nursing students and the Appropriate Use of Title standard mentioned earlier, there are many other practice standards that pertain to ESPNs. Practice standards set out baseline requirements for specific aspects of psychiatric nursing practice and interact with other requirements such as the Code of Ethics, Professional Standards, and CRPNBC Bylaws.

Practice Standards applicable to ESPNs include:

  • Acting With an Order
  • Boundaries in the Nurse –Client Relationship
  • Consent
  • Documentation
  • Dispensing Medication
  • Administering Medication
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Duty to Report under the Health Professions Act

Scope of Practice – Standards, Limits and Conditions

Scope of practice refers to the activities that RPNs are educated and authorized to perform. Limits and conditions refer to restrictions that narrow the scope of practice or place conditions before the activities within scope can be carried out. An ESPN’s scope of practice is much more circumscribed and limited to those nursing activities within the competencies they have attained from their education and permitted by the employer.   Click here for more information about scope of practice and specific limits and conditions.

Other Helpful Resources

Legislation Relevant to Nurses: http://www.crpnbc.ca/practice-support/legislation/


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