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Am I practising nursing in my new role?

Q: I am a Registered Nurse who has recently transitioned into a leadership position. I will no longer provide direct client care in this role. Am I still practising nursing? 

A: The College cannot determine if you are practising nursing, as this is a self-declaration of nursing practice. We are not present in your practice environment to fully assess or appreciate your practice. 

It is important to remember that nursing practice is diverse and is not defined by your role, title, practice setting or a procedure or activity you may be performing; practising nursing is not the same as being employed as a nurse. 

We have developed a list of reflective questions to help you determine if you are practising nursing:

  • Are you registered as a nurse in the jurisdiction in which you are practising as a nurse?
  • Do you have a direct or indirect effect on a client’s care? For example, a bedside nurse has a direct impact on a client’s care; a nurse at the managerial level, in leading risk management, will have an indirect impact on a client’s care.
  • Do you have a direct or indirect effect on health care systems? This means that while you aren’t directly providing client care, your role is impacting the health care environment, policy, resources or knowledge – all the factors contributing to a client’s care. For example, a nurse working in a risk management position in a health related organization will have an indirect impact on client care through their role by informing decisions related to health care.
  • Are you using your nursing knowledge, skill and judgment in your role? For example, a nurse who is a professor in a nursing or health related program will draw on their nursing knowledge, skill and judgment when teaching students and supporting them in the provision of care.
  • Are you conveying to the public that you are a nurse? For example, do you use the title nurse, RN, or RPN as a way of demonstrating your credibility and knowledge to the public?
  • Based on your role, title and how you present yourself, would the public expect you to use your nursing knowledge or skill in your interactions with them? For example, a nurse working for an insurance company assisting clients with health care claims. If clients know a nurse is assisting them, they will expect the nurse to have and use relevant nursing knowledge, skill and judgment.
  • What are your reasons for using the protected titles of Nurse, RPN, RN or NP? Is it because you wish people to know you have that credibility, expertise, knowledge, skill or ability?
  • Who are you telling that you are a nurse? And what do you expect them to do with this information?

If, after answering these questions, you decide you are practicing, you must:

Each year during Annual Membership Renewal, members are asked to make a self-declaration about their nursing practice within the previous three years. This contributes to public protection by ensuring that members registered in the General or Extended classes have recent nursing practice.

Page last reviewed November 21, 2018