Sharon Hamilton MS, RN, CFDS
Clinical Consultant, Briggs Healthcare
Letter to Licensees
March 19, 2020
Due to the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Iowa Board of Nursing has received numerous inquiries about the permissible scopes of practice for LPNs, RNS, and ARNPs during this public health emergency.
By law, nursing does not include the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, or the practice of pharmacy. The Board cannot address every skill, function, and task that falls within the scope of practice of an LPN, RN, or ARNP during a public health emergency. When considering whether it is permissible to carry out a task or function, a licensee should consider the following:
- Does the licensee have sufficient education and competence to safely perform the task?
- Is the licensee able to meet the standard of care?
- Is the licensee following policies and procedures established by the healthcare facility, including any applicable privileges or credentialing?
The Board recognizes that nursing services are critical to assisting the public during this national emergency. During the duration of the Governor’s State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, licensees who are assisting with COVID-19 responses, who are performing tasks within their sphere of education, training, and competence, and who are abiding by the applicable standards of care, should not be wary of enforcement actions by the Board.
Kathleen R. Weinberg, MSN, RN Executive Director
Iowa Board of Nursing
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