Frequently Asked Questions

PRACTICAL NURSE EXAM

Applying to write the CPNRE

  • Q: How much does it cost to write the exam?

    A. In 2013, the cost for the first exam writing is $600.00 which includes the interim license fee. See fee schedule.

  • Q: Can I get a refund if I do not write the exam?

    A. No. The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia does not issue exam refunds.

    You MUST give the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia 30 day’s written notice before the exam date in order for your fees to be carried over to the next exam writing.

  • Q: Can I write the exam in another province?

    A. Yes. Contact the Examinations Coordinator for more information.

  • Q: What should i do if I haven't heard where I am to write the exam?

    A. If you haven’t received any information two weeks prior to the exam date, please contact the Examinations Coordinator.

  • Q: Are there any resources to help me prepare for the exam?

    A. The Canadian Practical Nurse Prep Guide may be available from your PN school bookstore or library, or you may purchase one by contacting Assessment Strategies Incorporated.

Examination Day

  • Q: How much time do I have to write the exam?

    A. Four hours maximum is allowed

  • Q: Are the exam questions multiple choice?

    A. Yes. Visit the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam website for more details about exam questions.

  • Q: Are there questions with two possible answers?

    A. Each exam question contains a stem with four possible answers. One answer is the correct (or best) answer and the remaining options are incorrect (or less correct). Visit the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam website for more details about exam questions.

  • Q: What can I take into the exam with me?

    A. Please refer to the guide that was developed by Assessment Strategies Inc. —  the company that develops the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam.

  • Q: What happens if I have an emergency and cannot write the exam?

    A. It will be considered a failed attempt and you will be required to pay the exam fee for the next registered exam writing.

  • Q: How many times can I write the exam?

    A. The exam can be written 3 times only:
    • •  The second attempt MUST be within one year of the first attempt. (e.g. if first attempt is January 2012, then second attempt no later than January 2013)
    • •   The third attempts MUST be within the two year period following the first attempt. (e.g. if first attempt is January 2012, then third attempt no later than January 2014)
    • •  If a second or third attempt is delayed by the applicant and is not written within the two year time period following the first attempt, the applicant will lose their opportunities to re-write the exam.

Exam results

  • Q: What percentage do I need to pass the exam?

    A. The results are "Pass" or "Fail."

  • Q: When do I get the exam results?

    A. Exam results are mailed to candidates approximately four to six weeks following the examination. Results are ONLY given out by mail.

  • Q: What happens once I have passed the exam?

    A. You will receive a registration form in the mail if you pass the exam. You have one year from the notification of your exam results to apply for registration with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia.


CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK

  • Q: Why do I need a Criminal Record Check?

    A. The Criminal Record Review Program, a division of BC’s Ministry of Justice, requires that all those working or volunteering with the public consent to a review of their criminal record history. CLPNBC requires that applicants provide current criminal record results through this Program when applying for registration, and every five years thereafter. The criminal record review searches for relevant offences and makes a determination of risk to vulnerable adults and children should a relevant offence be found. The results of the review assist in demonstrating your ability to meet the ethical standards of the profession and good character requirements.

  • Q: Where do I get my Criminal Record Check? *NEW*

    A. CLPNBC no longer accepts criminal record check consents and fees. With changes to the Program, applicants must complete this process by contacting the Criminal Records Review Program.

    When you apply for a criminal record check, you will be asked to enter an Access Code. The Access Code used by CLPNBC applicants is: 9C7KAQ4V42.

    Your results will be sent directly to CLPNBC. You may also choose to share the results with your employer or volunteer agency.

     


  • Q: What do I do if I get the message "Could not complete request?"

    A. Try again. The Criminal Record Check Program process allows you two opportunities to complete the identification process within a 72-hour period.

    If you get another message like this, please print and sign the form you have completed so far in the process and fax, mail or email the form to France Boulanger, Examinations Assistant, along with the payment form found here.

  • Q: What do I do if I get an "Error Message?"

    A. Try again. You will have two chances to complete within 72 hours. If the error message continues after your second try, print a consent form and a payment form, complete and return both forms to CLPNBC via mail, email or fax. CLPNBC will send the forms to the Criminal Records Review Program for you after verifying your identity.

  • Q: Will I receive the results of the Criminal Record Check?

    A. No, the results are sent directly to CLPNBC. The changes to the Criminal Records Review Act now allow you to share the results of your Criminal Record Check with other registered organizations. Click on “Share the result of a Completed Criminal Record Check” to request to share a result. CLPNBC requires that the Criminal Record Check be completed within the last 6 months.

  • Q: What happens if I do not complete a Criminal Record Check?

    A. Failure to authorize a Criminal Record Check under the Criminal Records Review Act is considered professional misconduct and is subject to investigation by the Inquiry Committee. The Inquiry Committee may decide whether to impose limits or conditions on your practice or whether to suspend or cancel your registration.

  • Q: Will my renewal or registration be delayed?

    A. Your renewal or registration will be delayed if you fail to complete the forms properly or if the payment is not approved by the Ministry. CLPNBC will be notified any issues with your consent authorization and will notify you as soon as possible. To avoid delay please ensure you complete the forms accurately and make sure the payment you send is for the correct amount and using the correct credit card. Once you have successfully completed the process online, you may send the College the “Payment Approval Receipt.” We will then ensure you can continue with the registration or renewal process.


ONLINE RENEWAL

Online Registration Account

Your secret code

  • Q: I am not sure if I have a secret code — what is it?

    A. The secret code is an eight-character string with a combination of letters, numbers or symbols. The secret code must be typed in exactly as it appears. Your secret code is used only once — to create your registration account.

  • Q: What's the difference between a secret code and a password?

    A. CLPNBC creates the secret codes and issues one to each registrant. You will only use this code one time to set up your registration account.

    A password is created by the registrant, and is needed to login to your registration account and the annual registration renewal form each year. For security reasons, CLPNBC does not keep a record of registrant passwords.

  • Q: What is the secure web address for?

    A. To create your registration account and password. This first step must be completed before you can login to the online annual registration renewal form.

    Step 1: Input your email address, LPN registrant #, last name, date of birth and secret code.

    Step 2: Once your information is verified, you can create your own password. KEEP THIS PASSWORD — you will need it to login to your registration account and each year for registration renewal.


  • Q. What can I use my registration account for?

    A. Your registration account can be used for the following:

    • • To submit your annual renewal
    • • To print an income tax receipt for the current tax year

Your personal information

  • Q: I have more than one email address. Which one do I use to verify my registration account?

    A. CLPNBC only stores one email address per registrant. Refer to the last email you received from CLPNBC or send us an email and include your name, LPN registrant #, date of birth and the one email address you want kept on file.

  • Q: I can't remember my LPN/registrant number — how can I find out what it is?

    A. Look yourself up by name on CLPNBCs Public Registry

  • Q: How should I enter my birthdate?

    A. Enter the year first, then month, then day using the following example: YYYY-MM-DD.

Error messages

  • Q: I am getting a "cannot verify registrant"error message. What should I do?

    A. Try the following tips:
    1. • Omit all preceding zeros in your LPN registrant number
    2. • Confirm your birthdate with us by email.

  • Q: I get an "e-service account already exists" error message. What does this mean?

    A. That message means you have already created your registration account and password. You can proceed directly to the online renewal login page. If you have forgotten your password, click the "forgot my password" link and follow the instructions to create a new password.

Online Registration Renewal Form

Your renewal

  • Q: How do I access the online form?


  • Q: When is 2014 Registration Renewal open?

    A. It will open on October 15, 2013, we will send you an email when renewal is open.

Your password

  • Q: Why do I need a password?

    A. Your password must be created with your registration account so you can login to the online annual registration renewal form. KEEP THIS PASSWORD — you will need it during renewal EACH YEAR!

  • Q: I forgot my password - can I get a new one?

    A. Go to the online renewal login page and click on "Forgot my password." You will need to enter your email address and answer the security (reminder) question that you selected when creating your account. Once your information is verified, you will receive an email with instructions on how to create a new password.

Your annual LPN hours

  • Q: How many hours do I have to work each year to keep my LPN registration?

    A. Beginning in 2014, LPNs will need to start tracking the hours they work each year. LPNs will need to work a minimum of 1,125 hours over five years to renew their practising registration. LPNs have until 2019 renewal period to accumulate the required hours. Review the notification of this new policy by clicking here.

Your payment

  • Q: What payment options are available?

    A. We accept VISA, MasterCard, VISA/Debit or INTERAC Online (Bank of Montreal, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust clients.)

  • Q: I am receiving a server error and I'm not sure if my payment went through.

    A.  If you receive an error message during the payment process, please contact your financial institution or credit card company first to confirm whether payment was completed. If YES, advise CLPNBC through this email — include your registrant # and date payment was completed so we may investigate.

Error messages

  • Q: I am trying to login but I get "The login information you entered is not valid. Please try again."

    A. This message will appear for one or more of the following reasons:
    • •   You haven't created your registration account
    • •   The email address you have entered is different from the address in your CLPNBC record
    • •   The password you entered does not match the one you created. Remember that one of the characters must be a capital letter. If you cannot remember your password, click on "Forgot my password" and follow the steps to reset it.

  • Q: I am receiving a "server error" message. What should I do?

    A. This is a technical issue that we are aware of and are working to resolve. Please wait 15 minutes and then try again.

Registration Certificate and Tax Receipt


  • Q: Why haven't I received my 2014 registration certificate/card after renewing?

    A. Beginning on the 2014 registration renewal year, registration certificates may viewed/printed by the registrant. LPN registration cards are no longer issued.

    As soon as you have completed your online renewal, you can view/print your 2014 certificate. Follow these steps:

     

    • •   If you are logged in to the renewal page, click the green “Back to Home” button on the “payment details” page, if you're still logged in
    • •   Login again with your email address and password
    • •   On your registrant account home page click the “view/print registration card” button

    The LPN Public Registry is updated daily and is the official confirmation that you are registered.

    See the announcement in the LPN Connect Newsletter


  • Q: How do I get a tax receipt for my registration renewal fees?

    A: Beginning on the 2014 registration renewal year, tax receipts are viewed/printed by the registrant.

    As soon as you have completed your online renewal, you can view/print your tax receipt for your renewal fees.

    • •   If you are logged in to the renewal page, click the green “Back to Home” button on the “payment details” page, if you're still logged in
    • •   Login again with your email address and password
    • •   On your registrant account home page click the “view/print tax receipt” button

    See the announcement in the LPN Connect Newsletter


PRACTICE HOURS

  • Q: How many hours do I need to keep my licence?

    A. You must work a minimum of 1,125 hours over five years

  • Q: What type of work can I count?

    A. you can count the following:
    • • paid employment
    • • self-employment
    • • volunteer work
    • • committee work
    • • a nursing regulatory college/union/association
    • • an educator role
    • • a managerial role

    To count volunteer or committee work, these activities must fall within the definition of licensed practical nursing.

    You cannot count hours that you work as a housekeeper, care aide, dietary aid, EMT, student, registered nurse, or registered psychiatric nurse.


  • Q: I look after my sick loved one; can I count those hours as practice hours?

    A. To qualify for practice hours, you must be working within CLPNBC's Standards of Practice. Looking after family or friends does not count. See the practice standard, Boundaries in the Nurse Client Relationship, to help understand when you are acting in a professional capacity and when you are acting in a personal capacity.

  • Q: Can I count vacation, maternity/paternity leave, or disability hours?

    A. You can count only those hours that you actually worked. You cannot count hours related to travel, days off, vacation, sick time or on-call hours not spent at work. You cannot count time you were absent from work for reasons such as sickness, vacation, or disability.

  • Q: What if I work casual, how will I meet the practice hour requirement?

    A. The 1125 practice hours run over a 5 year period. So, if you work an average of two 12-hour shifts, or three 8-hour shifts each month, you will meet the practice hour requirement at the end of five years.

  • Q: If I don't meet the practice hour's requirement, what happens to my licence?

    A. If you are unable to meet the practice hour’s requirement, you will lose your practising registration. You can either let your licence lapse or you can apply for a non-practicing licence. In either case, you will not be able to work as an LPN.

  • Q: How do I get my practising licence back?

    A. See Bylaw 56 to learn how you can regain your practising licence after it has lapsed. 

  • Q: How will I provide proof of hours?

    A. You will attest to the number of hours you have worked on the renewal form each year.  The hours must add up to at least 1,125 over a 5 year period.  Keep track of your hours worked each year for a five year period in case you are asked to provide evidence.

  • Q: Why has the CLPNBC Board approved a practice hour's requirement?

    A. The requirement provides evidence that you are continuing to practice as an LPN. This minimum number of hours is one indicator of your competence to practice. CLPNBC is developing a Quality Assurance Program which will also support your continuing competence Most nursing regulatory bodies across Canada have a similar requirement.

  • Q: Is there a maximum number of hours I can work in 5 years?

    A. No maximum hour limit exists; however, you must meet CLPNBC's Standards of Practice and maintain your fitness to practice.  Be aware that some LPNs may work so many hours of overtime that they become unsafe to practice. 

  • Q: When will the requirement to count practice hours come into effect?

    A. The requirement to count practice hours takes effect in 2014. When you renew your licence to practice for 2015, you will have to attest to the number of hours you worked in 2014.


SCOPE OF PRACTICE

  • Q: Why did CLPNBC create Standards, Limits and Conditions?

    A. CLPNBC created Standards, Limits and Conditions to:
    • •   clarify and standardize the activities that are within the LPN Scope of Practice
    • •   outline conditions under which LPNs may practice safely
    • •   reflect the role of the LPN as a professional nurse and key member of the health care team

      Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), CLPNBC has the authority to establish, monitor and enforce Standards, Limits and Conditions for LPN practice for LPNs in B.C.

      Standards, Limits and Conditions are part of the Scope of Practice for LPNs in B.C.

  • Q: How do the new Standards, Limits and Conditions affect my practice as an LPN?

    A. The Standards, Limits and Conditions set by CLPNBC will bring clarity to the activities you are currently performing and assist the employer in identifying what policies are required to support continued safe practice by LPNs.

  • Q: What will I need to do differently in my job?

    A. While the Standards for Acting with an Order/Clinical Direction apply to all LPNs, not all Limits and Conditions will apply to each LPN’s individual practice. There are some differences that you and your employer need to be aware of.

    We recommend that you:
    • •   review the  Scope of Practice for LPNs to see how Standards, Limits and Conditions apply to your current practice
    • •   email scope@clpnbc.org or contact our Nursing Practice Advisors if you have questions
    • •   speak with your employer about how they will be implementing Standards, Limits and Conditions in your workplace

  • Q: What is the difference between direction and supervision under the current Nurses (Licensed Practical) Regulation?

    A. The existing Regulation allows LPNs to work under the “direction” (orders) of a physician or a nurse practitioner OR under the “supervision” of an RN.  Supervision has two components, clinical guidance and clinical direction. Clinical guidance is the collaboration and support the RN provides to the LPN through client-focused problem-solving and discussions about client care. There may also be times when the LPN requires written instructions for the care of a client. This component of supervision is called clinical direction.

    Wound care is a good example of where an LPN may need specific clinical direction (i.e., written instructions) from an RN about how to care for a client’s wound. RNs may provide clinical direction to LPNs to carry out activities that are within the LPN scope of practice, as long as employer policy allows the RN to give clinical direction for those activities, and the activity is within the autonomous scope of practice of the RN. Written instructions clarify accountability and protect the client, the LPN and the RN.

  • Q: When will the changes be effective?

    A. The CLPNBC Board of Directors approved Standards, Limits and Conditions for LPN practice in April 2013. Implementation will be gradual and will require employers to develop policies to support this change in LPN practice.  Check with your employer to find out how and when changes will occur in your workplace. Watch the CLPNBC website and your email for regular updates as we move forward.

  • Q: How does CLPNBC ensure that employers know about the new Standards, Limits and Conditions?

    A. CLPNBC is meeting regularly with LPNs, employers, nursing educators, Chief Nursing Officers, unions, Professional Practice Offices and other stakeholders to help them understand and apply Standards, Limits and Conditions in the workplace.  The LPN staff at CLPNBC also provide practical guidance about how Standards, Limits and Conditions apply to different practice situations and settings.

  • Q: What should I do if I am asked to do something at work that is not allowed under the new Standards, Limits and Conditions?

    A. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with your employer first, and then with your Professional Practice Office if you work in a health authority, or with your facility lead/supervisor or director if you work in a private care setting. You can also contact CLPNB's Nursing Practice Advisors by phone or confidential email with practice-related questions. 

  • Q: What will happen if I mistakenly carry out an activity that is not allowed under the new Standards, Limits and Conditions?

    A. Mistakes do happen, but, for the safety of the client, it is important to disclose them. You should speak with your employer first, but you may also speak to a CLPNBC Nursing Practice Advisor by phone or confidential email.

  • Q: Do the new Standards, Limits and Conditions mean that I need to go back to school or get more training to continue doing my job?

    A. An LPN will not need additional preparation for a competency they are not currently performing in their LPN role. However:

    • •   If an LPN is currently carrying out a nursing activity that requires additional preparation1 as set out in a condition, the employer may assess the LPN’s competence against the standard for additional preparation set by the employer.
    • •   If an LPN is not educated to carry out a specific nursing activity, the Limits and Conditions provide direction to the LPN and their employer about appropriate LPN practice and the necessary preparation required to carry out the activity safely.

    As self-regulating health professionals, LPNs are responsible to ensure they are competent to provide a nursing activity.


  • Q: How did CLPNBC develop the Standards, Limits and Conditions? Were LPNs involved?

    A. LPNs were actively involved in developing the Standards, Limits and Conditions. Over the past two years, CLPNBC held more than 25 province-wide consultations where we spoke with hundreds of LPNs and other health care professionals who work with LPNs in a variety of settings.  LPNs on staff at CLPNBC also provided input to the Limits and Conditions based on the kinds of practice questions and concerns they were receiving. This information and feedback was used to develop the Standards, Limits and Conditions for LPN practice in BC.

    If new information is received during the implementation phase, CLPNBC’s Board will review the information and revise the Standards, Limits and Conditions as required.


LPNs and IMMUNIZATIONS

  • Q: What does the Nurses (Licensed Practical) Regulation allow?

    A: The regulation acknowledges that providing immunizations falls within the scope of practice for LPNs. It enables CLPNBC to set specific standards, limits and conditions for British Columbia LPNs related to immunization practice.

  • Q: Who can take the BCCDC LPN Online Immunization Course?

    A: A British Columbia LPN who holds a FULL CLPNBC registration and would like to immunize, or who is required to immunize as part of their LPN role, is eligible to take the course.

  • Q: Is there a cost for the BCCDC LPN Online Immunization Course?

    A: No, the BCCDC LPN Online Immunization Course is free.

  • Q: Is there a cost to have an Immunization Evaluator assess my competencies and complete the Competency Checklist?

    A: If you do not have an Immunization Evaluator available through your employer or if you are unemployed, there will be a cost to do the Immunization Check through one of the schools. Please contact the schools directly for more information.

  • Q: Does CLPNBC require all LPNs in B.C. to take the Immunization Course?

    A: No, only LPNs who would like to immunize, or who are required to immunize as part of their LPN role, must get an immunization certificate from CLPNBC.

  • Q: I took a paper-based immunization course through a College already. Do I have to take the BCCDC LPN Online Immunization Course?

    A: Yes, every LPN in British Columbia is required to take the BCCDC LPN Online Immunization Course in order to receive a certificate from CLPNBC allowing them to immunize.

  • Q: Does an LPN need an immunization certificate to give immunizations with an order?

    A: Yes, LPNs in British Columbia must get a certificate from CLPNBC allowing them to immunize.

  • Q: Does an LPN need to get an immunization certificate to give immunizations without an order?

    A: Yes, LPNs in British Columbia must get a certificate from CLPNBC allowing them to immunize.

  • Q: Are there any vaccines LPNs can administer independently?

    A: Yes, LPNs in British Columbia can independently administer vaccines for the prevention of influenza and pneumonia. LPNs must follow the Standards, Limits and Conditions for LPNs' Independent Administration of Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunizations set out by CLPNBC for these immunizations.

  • Q: Does an RN need to be in the building while the LPN is immunizing?

    A: Yes, an RN needs to be on-site and immediately available to the LPN in the event of anaphylaxis. LPNs in British Columbia are not able to independently diagnose and manage anaphylaxis.

  • Q: Can LPNs independently administer vaccines other than influenza or pneumococcal?

    A: No, administration of all other immunizations may only be performed by an LPN in British Columbia under the direction of a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner who is attending the patient or under the supervision of a Registered Nurse who is providing services to the patient.

  • Q: Can LPNs administer immunizations to any client or patient?

    A: No. LPNs in British Columbia can only administer immunizations to individuals four years of age or older.

  • Q: Can LPNs be employed by pharmacies to provide influenza and/or pneumococcal vaccines?

    A: Yes, but as per the Standards, Limits and Conditions, an RN must be on-site.

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