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BCCNM board approves amendments to Medication practice standard

Nov 24, 2022

The BCCNM board on Nov. 24, 2022, approved revisions to the Medication practice standard to include principles that outline the responsibilities for when nurses administer or dispense medications within their autonomous scope of practice. These changes take effect Jan. 5, 2023.


In September 2020, the BCCNM Board approved a Medication practice standard that harmonized and replaced several medication-related practice standards established by the three legacy nursing colleges.

As health authorities worked to optimize the nursing scopes of practice and nurses implemented the Medication practice standard, BCCNM was requested to clarify the expectations for when nurses perform medication activities within their autonomous scope of practice (without an order). These are sometimes referred to by the health authorities as 'nurse-initiated activities' or 'nurse-independent activities' involving medications.

The standard now includes principles to clarify the requirements for when a nurse makes an autonomous clinical decision about a medication for a client and then administers or dispenses that medication to the client. These principles outline the nurse's accountabilities and responsibilities when administering or dispensing a medication within their autonomous scope of practice (without an order) including requirements that they:

  • Follow organizational policies and procedures.
  • Assess the client's health status and make or confirm a diagnosis that can be improved or resolved by administering or dispensing a medication.
  • Ensure the client would benefit from the medication.
  • Ensure they can manage, monitor, and evaluate the client's outcomes related to the medication.
  • Communicate and collaborate with the client and the health care team about the medication.