Study Points

Laws and Rules for Florida Nurses

Course #31252 - $15 • 2 Hours/Credits

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  • Participation Instructions
    • Review the course material online or in print.
    • Complete the course evaluation.
    • Review your Transcript to view and print your Certificate of Completion. Your date of completion will be the date (Pacific Time) the course was electronically submitted for credit, with no exceptions. Partial credit is not available.
  1. The purpose of the Nurse Practice Act is to encourage the growth and expansion of hospitals and training schools.

    INTRODUCTION

    The Florida Nurse Practice Act was legislated to safeguard the public, and the purpose of the Act is to ensure that minimum safety requirements are met by every nurse practicing in the state. The Nurse Practice Act, Chapter 464 of the Florida Statutes, includes laws governing scope of practice, licensure and certification, and violations and penalties [3]. Chapter 464 established the Florida Board of Nursing as an authority to adopt rules, develop standards for nursing programs, and discipline nurses who violate regulations [2]. Nurses who fall below Florida's required minimum competency or who present a danger to patients, coworkers, or others are prohibited from working in the state.

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  2. The Nurse Practice Act is Chapter 464 of the Florida Statutes.

    INTRODUCTION

    The Florida Nurse Practice Act was legislated to safeguard the public, and the purpose of the Act is to ensure that minimum safety requirements are met by every nurse practicing in the state. The Nurse Practice Act, Chapter 464 of the Florida Statutes, includes laws governing scope of practice, licensure and certification, and violations and penalties [3]. Chapter 464 established the Florida Board of Nursing as an authority to adopt rules, develop standards for nursing programs, and discipline nurses who violate regulations [2]. Nurses who fall below Florida's required minimum competency or who present a danger to patients, coworkers, or others are prohibited from working in the state.

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  3. The Nurse Practice Act governs the practice of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and advanced practice registered nurses.

    STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

    The Nurse Practice Act governs the practice of RNs, LPNs, and APRNs. LPNs are those persons licensed to practice practical nursing, while RNs and APRNs are licensed to practice professional nursing, with various levels of specialization [3]. Both professional and practical nurses are responsible and accountable for making decisions that are based upon their educational preparation and experience in nursing.

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  4. According to the Nurse Practice Act, the practice of practical nursing may be conducted under the direction of a registered nurse, licensed dentist, or licensed physician.

    STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

    According to the Nurse Practice Act, the practice of practical nursing means [3]:

    The performance of selected acts, including the administration of treatments and medications, in the care of the ill, injured, or infirm; the promotion of wellness, maintenance of health, and prevention of illness of others under the direction of a registered nurse, a licensed physician, a licensed osteopathic physician, a licensed podiatric physician, or a licensed dentist; and the teaching of general principles of health and wellness to the public and to students other than nursing students. A practical nurse is responsible and accountable for making decisions that are based upon the individual's educational preparation and experience in nursing.

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  5. Ordering diagnostic tests and physical and occupational therapy is a part of the scope of practice for licensed practical nurses.

    STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

    In addition to the practice of professional nursing, APRNs are certified in advanced or specialized nursing practice. This umbrella term includes certified nurse midwives, certified nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and psychiatric nurses [3]. In accordance with the Act, APRNs may perform acts of nursing diagnosis and treatment of alterations of the health status as well as medical diagnosis and treatment, prescription, and operation as authorized within the framework of an established supervisory protocol [3]. Specifically, within the established framework, an APRN may [3]:

    • Prescribe, dispense, administer, or order any drug; however, an APRN may prescribe or dispense a controlled substance only if she or he has graduated from a program leading to a Master's or doctoral degree in a clinical nursing specialty area with training in specialized practitioner skills

    • Initiate appropriate therapies for certain conditions

    • Perform additional functions as may be determined by rule

    • Order diagnostic tests and physical and occupational therapy

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  6. At least 40 hours of continuing education must be completed every biennium in order to maintain a nursing license in Florida.

    CONTINUING LICENSURE IN FLORIDA

    The Florida Board of Nursing is responsible for adopting rules establishing the procedure for the biennial renewal of nursing licenses. All Florida nurses are required to renew their licenses and complete mandated continuing education every two years. The Act stipulates that up to 30 hours of continuing education may be required each biennium [3]. Initial licenses that were issued for less than 24 months are required to complete one hour for each month for which the license was valid. As part of this requirement, all licensees must complete an approved two-hour course on the prevention of medical errors and a two-hour course on the laws and rules that govern the practice of nursing in Florida. Starting in 2019, licensees must also complete a two-hour course on human trafficking every renewal period. Beginning with 2018 renewals, a two-hour course on recognition of impairment in the workplace must be completed every other biennium. Every third renewal (or every six years), licensees must successfully complete two hours of continuing education on domestic violence in addition to the 24-hour requirement. A one-hour course on HIV/AIDS must be completed prior to a licensee's first renewal. In addition to these requirements, beginning in 2017, all APRNs must complete at least three hours of continuing education on the safe and effective prescription of controlled substances for each biennial renewal.

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  7. Apology is one of the elements that must be established for a ruling of malpractice.

    ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN NURSING PRACTICE

    According to tort law, four elements must be established for a ruling of malpractice [6]:

    • Duty: The nurse owed a duty to meet a particular standard of care.

    • Breach of duty: The nurse failed to perform the owed duty.

    • Causation: There is a causal connection between the nurse's failure and the patient's injury.

    • Damages: An injury occurred for which monetary compensation is adequate relief.

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  8. Using the name or title "Registered Nurse" without being duly licensed or certified is considered a misdemeanor in the first degree under the Nurse Practice Act.

    DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

    In addition, the following acts constitute misdemeanors in the first degree [3]:

    • Using the name or title "Nurse," "Registered Nurse," "Licensed Practical Nurse," "Clinical Nurse Specialist," "Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist," "Certified Nurse Practitioner," "Certified Nurse Midwife," "Advanced Practice Registered Nurse," or any other name or title that implies that a person was licensed or certified as same, unless such person is duly licensed or certified

    • Knowingly concealing information relating to violations of this part

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  9. Nurses who have been found guilty on three separate occasions of violations relating to the use of drugs or narcotics involving the diversion of drugs or narcotics from patients to personal use or sale are not eligible for reinstatement of licensure.

    DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

    Nurses who have been found guilty on three separate occasions of violations relating to the use of drugs or narcotics or involving the diversion of drugs or narcotics from patients to personal use or sale are not eligible for reinstatement of licensure [3].

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  10. Board meetings are held annually.

    CONCLUSION

    It is the responsibility of the Florida Board of Nursing to enforce the laws and rules regulating the practice of nursing as the law is currently stated—not how individuals may wish the law to be. However, as nurses are affected by these rules and regulations, they have the responsibility to keep informed of regulatory changes and provide public comment regarding regulations. Board meetings are held every two months, generally during the first week of every even month, and are open to the public. The full board meetings include disciplinary cases, application review, committee reports, rule discussions, and other necessary Board actions. For more information, please contact the Board at 850-488-0595 or https://floridasnursing.gov/.

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  • Back to Course Home
  • Participation Instructions
    • Review the course material online or in print.
    • Complete the course evaluation.
    • Review your Transcript to view and print your Certificate of Completion. Your date of completion will be the date (Pacific Time) the course was electronically submitted for credit, with no exceptions. Partial credit is not available.