The Florida Nurse Practice Act and Regulations

The Florida Nurse Practice Act is presented as Chapter 464 of Florida Statutes, in which the details and regulations regarding the scope of nurses’ practice are described. This act works as the legislation to regulate nurses’ activities with the focus on the roles of Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) (Florida Board of Nursing, 2018).

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the article of the Florida Nurse Practice Act titled 464.003 Definitions determines the scope of nurses’ work with the focus on personal views regarding restrictions implied on nurses’ activities according to this article. It is possible to state that the restrictions mentioned in the article, as well as in other sections of the Florida Nurse Practice Act, cannot be supported by practicing nurses because they do not lead to increasing the quality of care and create additional barriers to providing efficient services.

The specifics of RNs’ and LPNs’ everyday activities are fully described in 464.003 Definitions of the Act available at the governmental website (http://floridasnursing.gov/resources/). According to this article, the practice of RNs and LPNs includes nursing diagnosis, treatment, and prescription of medications among other activities. However, this practice is limited in accordance with the supervisory protocol and the necessity of collaborating with physicians while planning treatment and prescribing drugs (Florida Board of Nursing, 2018). From this perspective, the approval of supervising physicians is required when nurses select the most appropriate treatment for patients and choose medications to prescribe.

It is rather problematic to support the statements in the mentioned article regarding the scope of actions that nurses can perform without any supervision. In spite of the fact that nurses in Florida have recently been provided with rights to prescribe controlled substances, their activities still seem to be limited by the regulations reflected in the Florida Nurse Practice Act (Florida Board of Nursing, 2018). The necessity of involving physicians while developing treatment and prescribing medicines for patients does not appear to be reasonable with reference to physician shortages in healthcare facilities in Florida and the experience of other states in the country (Iglehart, 2013).

The possibility for nurses to make clinical decisions without the supervision of physicians in all cases is important to improve the quality of healthcare services in Florida because of avoiding unnecessary delays in the care delivery. Nurses in Florida are defined as authorized to propose treatment and initiate pharmacological therapies (Florida Board of Nursing, 2018). Therefore, it is reasonable to avoid restricting their activities by the necessity of collaborating with physicians in cases when it is not required.

It is important to note that the necessity of supervision is most clearly reflected in the Florida Nurse Practice Act with reference to the use of a supervisory protocol. However, the key statements defining RNs’ ad LPNs’ roles and specifics of practice can be reformulated in order to provide them with more authority. As a result, it will be possible to address the problems associated with the provision of care in hospitals in Florida because of shortages of healthcare professionals. Therefore, it is significant to state that more revisions are required for the Florida Nurse Practice Act while following the example of providing nurses with rights to prescribe controlled medicines. Consequently, these strategies will potentially contribute to increasing quality standards and improving patient outcomes.

References

Florida Board of Nursing. (2018). The 2017 Florida Statutes. Chapter 464 Nurse Practice Act: 464.003 Definitions. Web.

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Iglehart, J. K. (2013). Expanding the role of advanced nurse practitioners–Risks and rewards. The New England Journal of Medicine, 368(20), 1935-1941.

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