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Learn about the nursing scope of practice

Information about LPN, RN, and APRN scope of practice, decision making guidelines, advisory rulings, and the Nursing Practice Advisory Panel

Decision making guidelines

To evaluate a certain nursing practice or activity as within the scope of practice for an LPN, RN or APRN, you should answer the following:

  1. Describe the practice or activity to be performed.
  2. Is this practice specifically permitted or prohibited in any existing statute or regulation?

If this practice is permitted, or you are unsure, continue and answer the questions. 

1. Does the basic educational preparation of the nurse provide the necessary knowledge base and skills to engage in the practice or perform the activity?

If YES, the activity may be within the scope of practice of the RN or LPN.

If NO, documentation of additional educational preparation, training and experience for the RN or LPN may be required, or it may be an act within the scope of practice of a nurse authorized to practice in an advanced role.

   
2. Is the act or practice consistent with the scope of practice based on one of the following factors?

If YES, continue on.

If NO, it is not within the nurse's scope of practice (or scope, within a particular facility).

   
3. Does the nurse have documented evidence of knowledge and competence, including continued competence, to perform the activity or engage in the practice?

If YES, continue on.

If NO, it is not within the nurse's scope of practice.

   
4. Is this practice within an accepted standard of care which would be provided by a reasonable and prudent nurse with similar education and experience?

If YES, continue on.

If NO, it is not within the nurse's scope of practice.

   
5. Does the nurse have the ability/resources to respond to complications in such a way that patient safety and quality of care are assured?

If YES, continue on.

If NO, it is not within the nurse's scope of practice and may place both the patient and nurse at risk.

   
6. Is the nurse prepared to accept the consequences of performing the activity or engaging in the practice?

If YES, the nurse may perform the activity, based on a valid order when required, and in accordance with established policies, procedures and standards of care.

If NO, it is not within the nurse's scope of practice.

   

Additional Resources

Advisory rulings

To clarify scope of practice issues, refer to the Board's Advisory Rulings on nursing practice.

Nursing Practice Advisory Panel

The Nursing Practice Advisory Panel is a group of nurses from diverse backgrounds that volunteer their time to provide input regarding nursing practice issues. If you would like to be considered for panel membership, fill out the application below and follow the instructions.

Additional Resources

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