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CRNBC Certified Practice in Reproductive Health & STI: 2013 review

CRNBC Certified Practices

The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) implemented CRNBC STI Certified Nursing Practice in 2010.  Certified practice supports independent diagnosis and treatment of certain STI within the scope of registered nursing practice. (See Section 8: Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioners Regulation of the Health Professions Act).  CRNBC certified practices have substantive potential for improved client access and health outcomes.

The British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) Clinical Prevention Services (CPS) is designated by CRNBC to develop and maintain the competencies and evidenced-based nursing STI Decision Support Tools (DSTs) for STI certified practice. 

BCCDC also offers an STI Certified Practice Education Program for Registered Nurses who carry out the full scope of STI nursing practice. CRNBC Certified Practice courses must be approved by CRNBC.

2013 STI DST Review

Every three years, the CRNBC STI Certified Practice DSTs are reviewed and revised as per CRNBC Certified Practice standards, to ensure evidence-based, quality decision support tools.   

The STI DST review process was initiated by BCCDC in February 2013.  A provincial working group (PWG) was established to form a collaborative, nurse-driven, STI DST revision process.  Working group membership included practicing RN(C)s and Nurse Leaders from each health authority (HA) and Options for Sexual Health.

The STI DST review was guided by the following objectives:

  • Clearly articulated PWG membership, including a terms of reference
  • Established revision processes with timelines
  • Updated literature review for each DST
  • Integration of end-user feedback to understand various contextual factors (e.g. rural practice settings and varied client populations)
  • Meeting minutes to track decision making processes
  • Clear channels for feedback  on revisions

DST revisions were prepared by the BCCDC CPS Education Team and through monthly PWG teleconference meetings. DSTs were then reviewed by the BCCDC CPS Clinical Leadership team and posted online for further feedback from PWG members. 

The following eleven certified practice STI DSTs were reviewed and revised: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Genital Warts, STI Assessment, Mucopurulent Cervicitis, Urethritis, Recurrent Urethritis, Lower Urinary Tract Infection, Trichomoniasis, Bacterial Vaginosis and Treatment of STI Contacts. 

On January 8th, the revised DSTs were submitted to CRNBC for review by the Certified Practice Approval Committee. The Committee will meet with BCCDC to finalize recommendation for changes/edits to the certified practice DSTs. The PWG will continue to meet in 2014 to work on the review process for the BCCDC non-certified STI DSTs

A summary of changes to the certified practice DSTs will be presented in a future STI Updates blog post.

2013 STI Certified Practice Online Course Evaluation 

The BCCDC STI certified practice education program includes a 12-week online theory component, followed by an 18-hour clinical practice experience (CPE).  The program is based on provincial and national STI screening and treatment guidelines, CRNBC Scope of Practice for Registered Nurses and CRNBC professional standards.

The BCCDC STI Certified Practice Education program offers competency development for registered nurses who provide services in STI clinical settings and who are practicing within full scope STI care. Approximately 60 -70 RNs are enrolled in the program each year.

Certified practice nursing education programs in BC are authorized by CRNBC. Agencies that provide CRNBC-approved certified practice education are required to submit a course evaluation every three years. Decisions regarding course approval are made by the CRNBC Certified Practice Approval Committee.

In June 2013, the BCCDC CPS Education Program submitted a course evaluation for the STI Certified Practice Education program.   The program was subsequently approved as a CRNBC-authorized STI certified practice education program for RNs. 

The next CRNBC certified practice course review will occur in 2016.