Is time travel possible?  The simple answer is yes. The more complex answer is it requires travelling close to the speed of light. And always going forward.

When it comes to predicting the future of self-regulation, we are already seeing how collaborative service delivery models and shared scopes of practice will demand new thinking and new approaches. This was something highlighted at a recent Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) conference I attended earlier this month.  The conference caters to regulators of all types around the world and there were many attendees from Canada, the UK and the USA. One of the conference’s keynote speakers, Steven Lewis, is a prominent Canadian health systems policy guru.  Steven challenged us all to think about the future of self-regulation and how that evolution will impact service delivery. He was particularly provocative in speaking about the changes in health service delivery models, their relation to changing scopes of practice and what he called credential “creep”.

Although I didn’t agree with all of Steven’s thoughts and their applicability to the BC or Canadian context, I think there is much merit in his predictions of the changes ahead for the regulatory landscape. For example, we are already seeing a rise in the transfer of more technical tasks to healthcare workers who are technically educated.  This is coupled with a move—faster than ever before–towards shared scopes of practices. Included in these trends is an increased use of technology, all in the effort to improve collaboration and information sharing among healthcare practitioners and patients. Silos of scope will be a thing of the past.  More and more, the future demands a consistent and collaborative approach to establishing competencies and standards across healthcare teams.

At CRNBC, we are mindful of the system changes happening around us and the expectation that we will be responsive to them.  As a result, we are increasing our collaboration with other nursing regulators including the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC and the College of Psychiatric Nurses of BC.  When it makes sense, we are finding ways to harmonize our standards in response to shared scopes of practice and professional standards.  Our organizations are talking regularly about how to work as partners in nursing regulation.  We recognize that all three BC nursing colleges must breakdown silos and anticipate future trends.

Just like time travel, the solutions are complex.  And although, we may not be able to travel at the speed of light, we are continuously looking ahead.  We’re anticipating the future.  We’re always going forward.