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Nursing Support Services

Nursing Support Services assists parents and caregivers to help children with special health-care needs lead active, healthy lives in their communities.
Your services
​Who are we?

We are a group of community-based registered nurses who work throughout BC to help kids with complex health care needs stay at home and in their communities. 

What do we do?

Work closely with:

  • home-based agencies to provide nursing care in the home, school, and childcare settings
  • public health nurses
  • hospital teams to set up home supports
  • school staff such as education assistants (EA's), to help children in the school setting
  • the Ministry of Children & Family Development
    • the At Home program to provide medical equipment & supplies
    • Children & Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) to help with in-home supports

We also:

  • teach school staff and other individuals to provide tube meals, help with seizures, and help with diabetes care
  • help families find resources in their communities
  • provide respite care in the home
Who do we see?

We see children who need nursing services to help with their complex medical needs. 

Read the FAQ page to find out if your child is eligible.

We provide respite care for children who may:

  • have a tracheostomy
  • need a breathing machine at home (ventilator)
  • have Total Parental Nutrition (TPN)
  • need peritoneal dialysis
  • have a life-limiting illness
  • need palliative care & support
  • have other conditions such as fragile airway
Delegated Care

We teach school staff or staff in community agencies how to care for children with diabetes, seizures, or how to give tube meals, suction, and to help with catheterization.

Resources

Providing services to meet the needs of children and their families is important for Nursing Support Services. To improve our services we would like your feedback to tell us how we are doing. 


If you have questions or concerns about your child care or care plan the best place to start is with your Nursing Support Services (NSS) Coordinator and local NSS team. Issues are best resolved at the time they occur and with the health care team members who are involved.

NSS Coordinators work together with students and parents to develop individual care plans (ICPs). The ICPs are designed to be flexible to address the needs of each student within the Provincial Standards. 
ICPs are reviewed at the start of each school year to ensure that they meet with each student’s current needs. ICPs are updated during the school year when ever there is a change in a student’s condition and treatment. 
‎Concerns with Diabetes Care at School
Concerns with Other Care Needs
 

FAQs
What is Nursing Support Services?

NSS assists parents and caregivers to help children with special health care needs lead active, healthy lives in their communities while facilitating safe, consistent care and appropriate health supports.

NSS is available to children in BC aged 0 - 19 years who need specialized nursing services. NSS is delivered by the regional health authorities across the province.

How does this service work?

When NSS Coordinators receive your child's referral, they will contact you or your child's guardian to book a nursing assessment. The information from the assessments helps us know if your child is eligible for NSS and what the best services are for your child. The NSS Coordinator will work with you, your child, and other care providers to develop a plan.

What services are provided?

Nursing services include assessment, planning, and monitoring care. Services may also involve:

  • information about how to care for children & youth with special health care needs
  • help to find community-based care and resources
  • direct nursing care:
    • planned periods of respite with a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to help with complex home supports such as dialysis, tracheostomy, ventilator, and end of life care
  • delegated nursing care:
    • training and monitoring of other caregivers, such as special education assistants, to help with special care needs; gastrostomy tube meals, blood glucose monitoring, clean intermittent catheterization, and oral suctioning
  • eligibility assessment for the At Home Program. The At Home Program provides medical and respite benefits
  • working together with families and other community service providers such as social workers, physiotherapists, and teachers to help arrange services and supports
Where are these services provided?
Services are provided in the home, school, or child-care setting. Delegated care is is almost always provided in the school or child-care setting.

Who pays for these services?
There is no cost to families for Nursing Support Services.

Who can receive Nursing Support Services?
Children and Youth who:
  • are under 19 years old (for home support)
  • are in the school setting to the end of the school year when the youth turns 19
  • are a resident of British Columbia
  • have care needs that require the judgement and skill of a nurse either in the home or in a community setting
  • have care needs that can be taught to other care providers
  • have physicians who are familiar with the child/youth's condition and care needs and who can confirm that the child/youth is stable and can be safely cared for in the community setting
  • have physicians in their communities who can provide needed medical care, consultation, and write doctors' orders
Sometimes a child/youth's needs will be reassessed to make sure he or she is still eligible to receive Nursing Support Services.

Who is not eligible for Nursing Support Services?
Children or parents who receive an insurance settlement or court award are not eligible for direct nursing care through the NSS.

How do I make a referral?
Anyone can refer a child to NSS. Contact the program in your community through your local health unit.

Who do I contact for more information?
Call your local health unit or the NSS Program Manager and ask about Nursing Support Services.

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