Ohio Nurse Practice Act Updates 2013

As seen in the Consultant Connection January February 2014 Issue
By: Mary Burkart, RN

In March 2013, a new law took effect that directly affects nursing practice in the administration & care of intravenous fluids & medications in adult patients.  Ohio Revised Code, Section Sec. 4723.18, further clarifies the LPN IV therapy courses & permitted tasks. 
Section 4723.18(D)(1)(d) states that an LPN may not provide IV therapy with “Solutions administered through any central venous line or arterial line or any other line that does not terminate in a peripheral vein, except that a licensed practical nurse authorized by the board to perform intravenous therapy may maintain the solutions specified in division (D)(6)(a) of this section that are being administered through a central venous line or peripherally inserted central catheter.”  (emphasis added)
This is a change in the law, saying that an IV certified LPN is legally permitted to perform central line or PICC infusions. HOWEVER, currently there are no corresponding rules (Ohio Administrative Code) promulgated by the Board of Nursing to guide us on what the required education & skills training are; who will be instructing these updates; where the skills may be performed; if an RN has to be on-site or available by telecommunication; and many other concerns to keep all nurses safely within their scope of practice and maintain the health & safety of our patients. The Ohio Board of Nursing reported that it was meeting to discuss the wording of the new rules in November 2013, with finalization coming in February or March 2014.
Many long-term care facilities are anticipating utilizing their LPN’s in this expanded role. While we appreciate their excitement at providing this new skill and service, ICP’s Nursing Department recommends waiting until the Board reviews, writes & releases the updated rules as the interpretation of the law may change.  Those licensed under the Ohio Board of Nursing are well aware they are required to practice in compliance with all laws and rules.  We would not want to jeopardize any nurse’s licensure status by recommending one interpretation only to find out the board has a completely different interpretation!
ICP’s Nursing Department is closely watching this developing situation. As the Ohio Administrative Code rules are written & published, information will be disseminated, new education programs will be developed, and assistance provided in order for the facilities to comply with the Nurse Practice Act.
Should you have any questions on this hot topic, please call your ICP Nurse Consultant or the Nursing Department at 800-228-8278 ext. 132.

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