Registered Nurse Competency Project

Advancing Team-Based Care

BCACHC was very fortunate that Laura Sacilotto, an experienced nurse educator from Camosun College with years of clinical practice background, chose to conduct a Registered Nurses (RN) competency assessment project with our association as part of her scheduled develop time.  Camosun College supports their faculty in responding to identified learning and developments needs of students, departments, and community groups.

The assessment focused on: 

      • Identifying knowledge and skill gaps between acute and community care nursing environments.
      • Identifying types of knowledge and skills related to vulnerable populations and community care environments.
      • Reviewing RN scope of practice to identify best fit for community health centres (CHCs)
      • Identifying resources to fill gaps bridging the development of knowledge and skills.

We extend our deepest appreciation to 5 CHCs that open their doors for site visits by Laura and Catherine and/or generously share their invaluable time, experiences, and suggestions; providing the critical information needed to support findings and recommendations. 

Key Themes

Laura found consistent themes that emerged from the literature and key informants practicing in CHCs that could support nurses transitioning into CHC practice:

      • RNs require an understanding of what is already in their scope of practice for primary health care delivery in CHCs. Strong nursing leadership within each CHC and collaborative support and mentoring from organizations (e.g., Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC/NNPBC), could play a key part to support the transition. 
      • RN level of experience can be an important factor. An aptitude and desire for working with vulnerable populations was a higher consideration for some CHCs.
      • Access to course work or programs for additional certification in primary care – Certified Practice RN (C). 
      • Access to professional development funding as the cost of additional course work and site skills practicums can be prohibitive.
      • Increased awareness and understanding of an RN’s primary health care role and scope of practice with the public, doctors, pharmacists, and other health care workers.
      • Infrastructure of preceptorships and mentorships for the transition from acute care to primary care that are supernumerary and support course work for knowledge, and skill competency.


Laura concluded that the project highlighted the importance of CHCs in British Columbia and the significant role RNs play in delivering effective and quality primary and preventive health care to communities in B.C., as part of team-based care. She suggested that implementation of any recommendations to support RNs practicing at their full scope would require collaboration and support from government, education, practice, and other stakeholders in the health care sector.

An Invitation

We would like to hear from all CHCs and their team about what they think of the findings, what they see as the priority areas for BCACHC to follow up on, and how to best support RNs practicing in CHCs. 

Please share your comments and suggestions and/or share your team’s experience with us:



Sacilotto, L.J. (2023). RN competency project: Transition from acute to community care.