Nursing Support Services assists parents and caregivers of children and youth with medical complexities to lead active, healthy lives in their communities through facilitating safe, consistent and appropriate health supports.
Nursing Support Services is available to eligible children in BC aged 0 to 19 years whose care requires 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. NSS is delivered by the regional health authorities across the province.
When the NSS provincial office receives the child's referral, you will be notified of the receipt of the referral and with each step along the process of assessment and determination of eligibility for services. The referral will be forwarded to your local NSS Coordinator who will contact the parents/guardians to book a nursing assessment. The information from the assessment helps us know if the child/youth is eligible for NSS and what the best services are for the child/youth. The NSS Coordinator will work with the parents/guardians, child and other care providers to develop a plan.
Nursing services include assessment, planning, and monitoring care in the following areas:
- respite care in the home for eligible children and youth
- teaching and supporting school staff to assist children and youth with their diabetes care and tube feeds
- completing eligibility assessments for the At Home Program supported through the Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD)
and may also include:
- providing information about the NSS program/program mandate
- guiding families/referring persons to other potential community resources for children/youth with medical complexities
- consulting with other agencies/persons to facilitate appropriate services for children/youth eligible for NSS
NSS direct care nursing respite services are provided in the home/community setting. Delegated care is almost always provided in the school setting.
There is no cost to families for Nursing Support Services.
- Child/youth who is a resident of BC as defined by the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
- Child/youth who is enrolled with BC's MSP
- Child/youth who is under the age of 19 (up to the day of their 19th birthday)
- Child/youth who requires regional and/or provincial subspecialty health services
- Child/youth who requires in home care within the scope of practice of a registered nurse due to their high complexity health needs (direct care)
- Child/youth who cannot independently and safely perform tasks related to their diagnosis in the school setting (delegated care)
- Child/youth/family who is not in receipt of a settlement or court award related to their disability (direct care nursing respite)
Referral from a physician licensed to practice in British Columbia or a nurse practitioner registered by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia and who confirms the following:
- the child/youth can be safely discharged to and cared for in the specified community setting
- the child/youth has a local physician to provide required medical care, consultation and written physician orders
- the parent or guardian has overall responsibility of their child/youth's care and is fully competent and prepared to provide care in the absence of a nurse or school staff (delegated care)
Please contact the NSS Provincial office at 236-427-9253 for assistance.