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News Guidance for Nursing Practice by Graduates and Students in Their Last Semester of Nursing Education Programs

7/01/2021
  • Board of Registration in Nursing

       NURSING PRACTICE BY GRADUATES AND STUDENTS IN THEIR LAST SEMESTER
                                                 OF NURSING EDUCATION PROGRAMS 

Section 25 of chapter 20 of the Acts of 2020 continues the authorization of nursing practice by graduates and students in their last semester of nursing education programs in accordance with guidance from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN) until April 1, 2022.

In accordance with this legislation, individuals who are graduates of a registered nursing or practical nursing program approved by BORN and individuals who are nursing students attending the last semester of a BORN approved registered nursing or practical nursing program are authorized to practice nursing and are exempt from the prohibitions against the unlicensed practice of nursing specified in G.L. c. 112, §§ 80, 80A and 80B provided that:

  1. The individuals are employed by or providing health care services at the direction of a licensed health care facility or a licensed health care provider, are directly supervised by a licensed nurse while providing health care services, and the health care services are provided in response to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  1. The employing licensed health care facility or licensed health care provider has verified that the individual is a graduate of a BORN approved registered nursing or practical nursing program or that the individual is a nursing student in his or her last semester at a BORN approved registered nursing or practical nursing program.

Pursuant to the legislation, nursing practice by nursing students, and supervision of nursing students must adhere to the following parameters issued by the Board:

  1. Nursing students in their last semester and graduate nursing students must practice under the direction and supervision of a licensed nurse, performing tasks within the scope of practice of the supervising nurse of equal or higher educational preparation;
  1. Direct supervision includes but is not limited to the supervising licensed nurse being physically present in the health care practice setting and readily available where nursing students and graduate nursing students are practicing;
  1. Nursing students and the graduate nursing students must be assigned tasks by the supervising nurse and seek assistance immediately when he or she encounters patient care situations that are beyond his or her competency and level of academic preparation;
  1. The employing licensed health care facility or licensed health care provider provides  nursing students with an orientation to the patient care environment that aligns with the individual student academic preparation and competencies;
  1. The employing licensed health care facility or licensed health care provider provides  nursing students with policies that support their practice in the clinical setting where they are assigned; and
  1. The employing licensed health care facility or health care provider ensures that patients are informed that such individuals are nursing students.

This guidance shall remain in effect until April 1, 2022.

NURSING PRACTICE BY GRADUATES AND STUDENTS IN THEIR LAST SEMESTER OF NURSING EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Board of Registration in Nursing 

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (Board) protects the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth through the fair and consistent application of the statutes and regulations that govern nursing practice and nursing education.
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