The Pennsylvania legal code and the state Board of Nursing determine what licensed practice nurse duties are in Pennsylvania. These duties collectively are known as an LPN's scope of practice. In Pennsylvania, an LPN's scope of practice can include venipuncture and administration of most intravenous medications if he has successfully completed a board-approved training program. Pennsylvania LPN's are not authorized to administer antineoplastic or chemotherapy agents, blood or blood products, total parenteral nutrition intravenous feedings or titrated or intravenous push medications.
Pennsylvania LPN's perform patient care as ordered by the attending physician and under the supervision of a registered nurse. Most states do not allow LPN's to independently establish or modify patient care. They can, however, follow the nursing interventions prescribed by the patient's care plan with the exception of some medications.
Pennsylvania LPN's administer patient medications as prescribed by the attending physician as long as they are knowledgeable about the medication and the medications are not intravenous chemotherapy drugs, total parenteral nutrition, blood products or titrated drugs. If an LPN is unfamiliar with a medication, it is his responsibility to find the drug information in a manual, ask the facility's pharmacy staff, ask a physician or ask a supervising registered nurse for a summary of the medication, its uses, side effects and allergic reactions.
LPN's in Pennsylvania supervise the certified nursing assistants who provide care to their patients or on their unit. While certified nursing assistant duties may already be specified by the patient care plan, proper performance and completion of each aspect is overseen by licensed practical nurses.
Coordination Between Departments
Pennsylvania LPN's are also responsible for assisting with interdepartmental communication and coordinating patient care with admissions, the pharmacy department, radiology, social workers, the chaplain's office, patient transportation and discharge planning.
- The Pennsylvania Code.com:§21.145 Functions of the LPN
- The Pennsylvania Code.com; §21.414 Interpretations Regarding the Functions of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs); Statement of Policy
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing; Practical Nurse Scope of Practice White Paper; Nancy Spector, DNSc, RN; August 2005
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