2022 Scope of Practice Statement for Professional (RN) and Technical (LPN) Nursing
System Nursing Professional Practice Council
Revised November 2021
To define the scope of practice for the Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) within Sentara Healthcare. Provides description of the scope of nursing practice addressing actions for Sentara nurses. The profession of nursing defines the scope and standards of nursing practice and State Boards of Nursing define legal parameters for nursing practice in that setting. This document summarizes information into succinct guidelines to guide scope of nursing practice, supervision and delegation. Patient safety always is the priority, when questions remain lift the situation in question to nurse leaders for resolution and guidance. All nurses are responsible for adherence to Board of Nursing regulations and laws of the state in which they practice. The nurse practice act or state statute equivalent is the legal authority for nursing practice in each state.
Accountability: To be answerable to oneself and others for one’s own choices, decisions and actions as measured against a standard (ANA, 2015)
Delegation: Transfer of responsibility for the performance of a task from one individual to another while retaining accountability for the outcome (ANA, 2012).
Nursing process: A critical-thinking model used by nurses that is represented as the integration of the singular, concurrent, iterative actions of its six components of assessment, diagnosis, identification of outcomes, planning, implementation, and evaluation ( ANA, 2021)
Supervision: Guidance or direction of a delegated nursing task or procedure by a qualified, registered nurse who provides periodic observation and evaluation of the performance of the task and who is accessible to the unlicensed person.
Further guidance is specified in specific Sentara policies, procedures or job aids.
Only RN’s with validated competencies are authorized to perform the following: (not an all-inclusive list)
Delivery and Documentation of Nursing Care: Be in charge of a unit. Perform the nursing admission, learning assessment, post-op and post procedural, skin integrity risk and restraint assessments. Develop, review, evaluation and update the interdisciplinary plan of care.
Emergency Departments: Initial arrival and ongoing reassessments including triage; Advanced Triage Protocols/Standing Orders
Competency validation sign offs on other nursing personnel
Maternal Infant Newborn and Pediatric Care: Magnesium Sulfate Infusion for Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy, Tocolysis, or Fetal Neuroprophylaxis; Invasive Blood Pressure Monitoring (Neonatal); Fetal Fibronectin Testing; Insulin Intravenous Infusion for the Obstetric Patient; Central Lines (Neonatal): Peripheral Arterial, Umbilical Arterial, Umbilical Venous and Central Venous.
Behavioral Health: perform Violence and Suicide Risk Assessment and Patient Management in non-psychiatric units; utilize the Suicide/Violence Assessment Tool (CTRS) to determine risk level.
Patient Transport – accompany patient who has experienced unexpected acute intervention or is hemodynamically unstable to the appropriate level of care.
Infusion therapy: external jugular vein insertion in trauma; access, care or discontinue umbilical artery or vein infusion device; insert PICC lines or midline catheters; access epidural and intraoral infusion devices to administer medication, Intraosseous Access; assess and document infiltration treatment and response
Handling and Administration of Hazardous Medications: Chemotherapy must be prepared by the RN (or physician, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician). All routes of Chemotherapy are administered only by the RN (or qualified physician, physician assistant or advanced practice RN).
Moderate sedation administration (under certain conditions)
Blood Administration: Initiate and hang blood and blood products to neonates; RN must be one of the two nurses to verify blood and blood products information prior to administration in adults
Glycemic Management with Glucommander; manage and deliver Glucommander computerized glycemic management software program predictive dosing algorithms for subcutaneous or IV insulin therapies
Central Line Care: Discontinue non-tunneled/non-cuffed CVAD, declot or repair or insert central lines.
Insert a small bowel feeding tube ( per the critical care procedural guidelines)
Administer or access epidurals
Scope of Practice
RN Scope of Practice All RNs are responsible to perform a competent level of nursing care as demonstrated by the critical thinking model known as the nursing process. The standards of practice (assessment, diagnosis, outcomes identification, planning, implementation, coordination of care-health teaching and health promotion and evaluation, along with the standards of professional performance (ethics, advocacy, respectful and equitable practice, communication, collaboration, leadership, education, scholarly inquiry, quality of practice, professional practice evaluation, resource stewardship, and environmental health) encompass the actions and foundation of professional nursing. The RN is held accountable for the quality and quantity of nursing care given by self or those under the RN’s supervision.
LPN Scope of Practice Licensed practical nursing is performed under the direction or supervision of a RN, licensed medical practitioner, or licensed dentist in observing and caring for the ill, injured, or infirm, in promoting preventive measures, in acting to safeguard life and health, in administering treatment and medication prescribed by a physician or dentist or in performing other acts not requiring the skill, judgment, and knowledge of a RN. The licensed practical nurse shall be held accountable for the quality and quantity of nursing care given to patients by self based upon educational preparation and experience.
Delegation is a complex process involving licensed nurses responsibilities for understanding what can be delegated, to whom, when, in what circumstances, and with what supervision or evaluation. Delegation is determined by accepted professional nursing standards of practice, individual state statutes and nurse practice acts, state regulations and organizational policy statements. The delegating RN retains accountability for the patient outcomes associated with nurse delegation, provided the person to whom the task was delegated performed it as instructed.
LPN Scope of Practice
LPN practice requires assignment or delegation by and performance under the supervision, orders, or directions of a RN, physician, dentist or other person authorized to provide supervision. LPNs are responsible and accountable for their own actions and documentation. It is beyond LPN scope of practice to be responsible for: nursing unit management, nursing administration, performance appraisal, orientation and teaching of nursing staff, validation of competence, or nursing staff development.
LPNs may do the following actions with validated competencies:
- Collection and comparison of data, documentation, and reporting
- Observe and assist patients
- Monitor restraint safety
- Assist patients with therapeutic regimens
- Implement established plans of care
- Assist the patient with self-care and discharge techniques
- Intravenous Therapy Care: perform venipuncture for blood sampling, insert and removal of peripheral catheters, perform maintenance of CVADs, access and de-access CVADs; may not remove central line catheters
- Administer tasks, treatments, and medications in accordance with validated competencies
- LPNs are not approved to administer the following medications per Sentara documents:
- Hazardous medications (per Handling and Administration of Hazardous Medications procedure)
- Antineoplastics and investigational medications (per Medication Administration Policy)
- IV thrombolytic medications/ reconstitution and administration
- IV conscious sedation medications
- IV Pitocin (during the labor/delivery phase)
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2012). ANA’s Principles for Delegation by Registered Nurses to Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP). Silver Spring, MD: Author.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2015). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Silver Spring, MD: Author.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2021). Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice 4th Edition. Silver Spring, MD: Author.
ANA/NCSBM (n.d.). Joint Statement on Delegation American Nurses Association and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/Delegation_joint_statement_NCSBN-ANA.pdf
NCSMB (2019). National Guidelines for Nursing Delegation. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/NGND-PosPaper_06.pdf
North Carolina Board of Nursing. (2019). Infusion Therapy/Insertion/Access Procedures. Retrieved from https://www.ncbon.com/vdownloads/position-statements-decision-trees/infusion-therapy.pdf
North Carolina Board of Nursing. (February 2019). Position Statements. Retrieved from https://www.ncbon.com/practice-position-statements-decisions-trees
Neuss, M., Gilmore, R, Belderson, K., Billett, A., Conti-Kalchik, T., Harvey, B., Hendricks, C., LeFebvre, K., Manqu, P., McNiff, K., Olsen, M., Schulmeister, L., Von Gehr, A. & Polovich, M. (2016). 2016 Updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards, Including Standards for Pediatric Oncology. Journal of Oncology Practice, 12(12): 1262-1271.
Virginia Board of Nursing. (2021). Regulations Governing the Practice of Nursing. Retrieved from Virginia Board of Nursing – Laws & Regulations.