Regulations & Nursing Practice

April 3, 2011, by admin, Posted in News, 0 Comment

The health, safety and welfare of the general public are protected through legal means. What should be familiar to all nurses are the legal requirements and regulations that are in place to ensure the public safety of those that seek out Nursing services.  The Nurse Practice Act, as the body of law is commonly referred, are the regulations that drive the practice of Nursing. Each state has it’s own Nurse Practice Act and each nurse should be familiar with her/his State’s Act.

Nurse Practice Acts did not exist before 1903. Prior to that time people defined and practiced nursing in whatever manner they chose. There was no prescribed educational curriculum or clinical model that guided the practice of nursing. The use of the title nurse was not controlled in any way. The abilities of those that held themselves out as nurses varied, as did the quality of care that they delivered.

New York passed the first mandatory Nurse Practice Act in 1938. What this did for Nursing was that now Nurses were required to be licensed, applicants had to pass a licensure examination in order to practice and certain pre requisites needed to be met before one could sit for the licensure examination. It was only after successfully passing the exam could one hold and use the title “RN”. By 1970 all states mandated the licensure of professional and practical nursing.

An important element of the Nurse Practice Act is the creation of the Board of Nursing. The Board enforces the rules and regulations that govern nursing.

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