We are community-based registered nurses throughout BC who assist children and youth with medical complexities to live in their homes and in their communities.
- Provide respite care in the home for eligible children and youth
- Teach and support school staff to assist children and youth with their diabetes care and tube feeds
- Complete eligibility assessments for the At Home Program supported through the Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD)
- physicians and primary health providers
- hospital teams
- community agencies
- nursing agencies
- Ministry of Children & Family Development
We provide care for children and youth whose care needs require the scope of practice of a registered nurse for some aspects of their care due to the child/youth's medically complex and fragile health needs.
Since Nursing Support Services (NSS) was first established in 1997, the program's structure and services have not significantly changed. Conversely, due to a variety of social, health and economic factors, the needs of children with chronic health conditions, and their families, have significantly evolved.
In May 2023, BC Children's Hospital commissioned a review of the NSS program with oversight from an external consultant. This review includes in-home respite, school-based services (i.e. delegated care) and childcare, as it is recognized there are distinct needs of families engaging with different levels of NSS services.
As part of the review process, significant input from families, advocacy groups, provincial and regional partners is necessary to understand their experiences and perspectives. NSS invites anyone who has experience engaging with the program to participate in the review process and to share their experiences.
Those interested in participating, please email: NSSProgramReview@cw.bc.ca.
Please read the
FAQs to see if your child/youth is eligible.
We provide in-home respite care for children who may:
- have a tracheostomy
- require supported ventilation (ventilator, BiPAP, CPAP)
- have a life-limiting/palliative diagnosis
- require peritoneal dialysis
- have other conditions that require the support of a registered nurse
We provide delegated care in the school setting through teaching and supervising school staff to care for children with:
- tube feeds
- oral suctioning needs
- catheterisation needs
Referrals to Nursing Support Services are made by a physician or nurse practitioner who is licensed to practice in British Columbia.
Please refer to our "Resources" page for additional information.
*Please note: NSS is not contracted for and is not in a position to provide emergency, on-call nursing services or palliative care plans. NSS offers respite care for medical care needs; nurses can only provide care that a family is also trained and capable of providing related to their child’s medical complexity. For families that use NSS, the family members are primary-care providers. Family members can and do administer medication. NSS respite hours are put in place to allow a family to sleep/have time away from the continued medical surveillance and nursing care of their child. NSS Coordinators work with the parents/guardians, child and other care providers to develop a respite plan to provide the appropriate nursing support specific to a patient’s needs.