Return to Practice Nursing
RTPN BURSARY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Applicants eligible for this bursary (whole or partial):
- Held a practicing registration in Canada; and
- Consolidated their practice (worked) in Canada; and
- Do not meet the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) practice hours requirement in their respective designation in the previous five years immediately preceding registration, at registration renewal, or during reinstatement of their registration.
This includes applicants seeking to:
- Convert their BCCNM registration from non-practicing to practicing; or
- Re-instate their former BCCNM practicing registration; or
- Register (out of province applicants) for an initial practicing license in their designation (e.g., LPN, RPN or RN) in British Columbia when they do not meet the BCCNM practicing hour requirement.
- Competency assessments and remote travel assistance (from within BC) to the in-person testing facility and educational upgrading.
These may be available to former, non-practicing or practicing registrants with insufficient recent practice experience from Canadian provinces and territories and meet the return-to-practice nursing (RTPN) eligibility criteria:
- Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) competency assessment – up to $3,150 (including GST)
- Remote Travel/Accommodation assistance – up to $1,000 reimbursement to offset some of the costs associated with travel and accommodation. Only available to residents of British Columbia; distance conditions will apply.
- Educational Upgrading- up to $10.000 for tuition fees only. Education covered must be those that the applicant is directed to take by BCCNM and/or approved by BCCNM in order to obtain registration with practice status.
- Additional Bursary available only to former BCCNM registrants
- BCCNM Re-instatement to practicing RN/RPN/LPN application fee – $265 + GST
RTPN BURSARY APPLICATION AND COVERAGE
- Who would be covered for the BCCNM Re-instatement fee:
- BC applicants seeking to reinstate a practicing license (including applicants seeking to convert their non-practicing license for a practicing license) who receive an assessment letter or registration decision from the BCCNM advising additional training/assessment is required:
- Who opt to retake a nursing program or complete a Supervised Practice Experience (SPE); or
- Who opt to take an NCAS competency assessment.
Who would be covered for the NCAS assessment and/or educational supports (if required):
A qualified return-to-practice nurse (RTPN) who has been advised by the BCCNM through an assessment letter or registration decision that additional training/assessment is required to be licensed in BC as a Registered Nurse (RN), Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) and/or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) as noted in 1 above. This includes:
- Nurses who have a current BCCNM non-practicing nursing license (i.e., RN, RPN or LPN) and wish to convert their license to ‘practicing’ status.
- RNs, LPNs, and RPNs who have been away from nursing for more than five years.
- Former BC licensed nurses who retired from practice and are seeking re-employment with ‘practicing’ status.
- Former BC licensed nurses who were on a leave of absence and therefore unable to meet the practice hour requirement (e.g., illness, parental leave etc.).
- Applicants who held a practicing registration in Canada and consolidated their practice (worked) in Canada.
- Recent BC licensed nurses who were unable to obtain sufficient practice hours despite best efforts, including:
- RNs and LPNs who had a recent practicing license but who have failed to meet the BCCNM 1,125 practice hours requirement within the last five years at the time of license renewal.
- RPNs who had a recent practicing license but who have failed to meet the BCCNM 1,400 practice hours requirement within the last five years at the time of license renewal.
RTPNs who meet the requirements in 1 and 2 above, are somewhere along the application/assessment process, incurred costs to re-instate/obtain practicing status on, or after, July 15, 2021, and were not issued a provisional or full practicing license on or prior to July 15, 2022, are also eligible for the same supports.
WHAT IS THE NURSING COMPETENCY ASSESSMENT SERVICE (NCAS)?
Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) is a competency assessment service for internationally educated nurses registration in British Columbia (BC). The two-part competency assessment (computer-based and simulation-based) evaluates the applicant’s nursing skills, knowledge and practice against competencies required for entry-level practice in BC for each specific nursing role (RN, RPN or LPN). NCAS is also sometimes used by the BCCNM as an option to assess whether former practicing nursing registrants (or nursing registrants with insufficient practice experience) have maintained their entry-level competencies to practice safely.
ADMINISTRATION OF BURSARIES
Health Match BC will be administering the bursaries on behalf of the Province of BC. In addition to the general eligibility criteria, the Canadian-trained nurse must meet following requirements to obtain reimbursement for costs:
- Applied and paid BCCNM registration fees;
- Signed a Return of Service agreement with the BC Ministry of Health (administered by Health Match BC);
- Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) as of the date bursary funds are to be issued;
RETURN OF SERVICE
The return of service (ROS) agreement is an agreement in exchange for accepting bursary funding between you and the Province of British Columbia that you will commit to complete 12 months of continuous service with a publicly funded health sector employer in BC within six months following receipt of your nursing license/re-instatement/conversion to practising status from the BCCNM. The ROS period is extended to two years if you obtain employment of 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) or less and the length of time will also be extended during absences. The ROS commitment would pause during non-working periods.
Public sector employers include regional health boards designated under section 4(1) of the Health Authorities Act, or Provincial Health Services Authority (collectively a “Health Authority”), or First Nations Health Authority, or Providence Health Care OR at long-term care or assisted living (AL) facility, private or public, as long as the facility is publicly funded. Qualified employers EXCLUDE contract agencies supplying temporary and/or short-term staffing solutions to eligible facilities.
To be eligible for the Return-to-Practice Nurse (RTPN) Health Bursary, through HMBC applicants must:
- Apply for the RTPN Bursary by completing the required online application form;
- Provide HMBC a copy of the BCCNM assessment letter or registration decision. Note: Reimbursement for the BCCNM Reinstatement Fee requires receipts showing the fee has been paid.
- Submit receipt of payment for any/all bursaries (i.e., re-instatement fee, NCAS and/or Education)
- The NCAS fee will be reimbursed with proof that the fee has been paid and a competency report issued.
- The costs for remedial education will be paid once the course(s)/semesters has/have been paid to the educational institution. If the education is semester-based, and the overall program costs exceed the bursary maximum of $10,000 reimbursement payments may be proportionally spread across the program semesters.
- Sign a 12-month return of service (ROS) with the Ministry of Health, committing to work within BC’s public health system once licensed as an RN/RPN/LPN. Note: Once eligibility has been confirmed, applicants will receive a 12-month return of service (ROS) agreement, which must be signed and submitted. This ROS agreement is with the Ministry of Health, committing to work within BC’s public health system for a minimum of a 12-month period once licensed as an RN/RPN/LPN.
Return to Practice Nursing Bursary Application
RETURN TO PRACTICE NURSING BURSARIES FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Find answers to the most commonly asked questions surrounding licensing (registration), financial supports (bursaries) and return of service.