July 29, 2020

Flattening the Provider Curve: Temporary COVID-19 Measures Expanding Scopes of Practice and Lessons from the Past

By Christine Chasse, MSN, RN, NE-C, 2021 JD Candidate at Texas A&M School of Law, Ft. Worth, TX

Scopes of Practice: The Line in the Sand

The “scope of practice” for regulated professions like nursing refers to their state boards’ penumbra of permitted activities and procedures.1 Because the scope of practice for advanced practice nurses (APRNs) such as nurse practitioners (NPs) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) vary by state, these healthcare providers are expected to know what activities and procedures they are/are not authorized to perform and confine them to their scope.2 Should an APRN exceed his/her authorized scope of practice, he/she could be liable for malpractice or practicing medicine without a license.3

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