Paper Example: Professional Nursing and State-Level Regulations

Published: 2022-12-15
Paper Example: Professional Nursing and State-Level Regulations
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare policy Public health Nursing care Human services
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 656 words
6 min read

State/regional boards of nursing (BONs) are agencies that work in their jurisdictions on behalf of the government to regulate nursing practice. BONs was established over a century back by territorial and state governments. The mission of BONs is to safeguard the public's health and wellbeing by providing oversight and ensuring the safety of nursing practice (NCSBN, 2019). This mission is achieved by standardizing nursing practice and licensing the nurses. On issuing a license, the board continues to monitor how the nurses comply with the laws of their jurisdictions and enforcing actions against those that do not meet by unsafe practices (NCSBN, 2019).

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While the BONs establish the boundaries of practice and responsibilities for the nurses, the regulations that they put to place have a different impact on the nursing practices. For instance, the scope of practice regulations may impact on the time the nurses use caring for the patient. Lessening the grip of these regulations may increase this time (Brassard, 2017). Having a prescribing authority enables the nurse to employ a more comprehensive approach to handling their patients. On the other hand, regulations requiring the collaboration of a physician may hamper the effectiveness of a nurse in areas where the physicians are not readily available such as in rural areas (Brassard, 2017).

The State of Texas has some on the stringent regulations towards nurses. One of the rules, the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) section 301.002, defines professional nursing stating that it does not include medical diagnosis or prescription of therapy or any corrective measure. Therefore the nurse cannot take part in actions that require independent medical judgment (Texas Board of Nursing, 2019b). On the other hand, the Oklahoma State regulations section 310:675 allows the medical facilities to use licensed nurses to only perform medical procedures that they are trained. This regulation gives the nurses much room to work (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2019).

Let us now compare Texas and Oklahoma BONs' regulations on the scope of practice and prescription authority. Texas' NPA is much more rigid and hence limit the nurses' scope of practice and prescription authority. The nurses cannot practice without the supervision of a physician. On the other hand, the Oklahoma NPA is much more flexible allowing for the nurses' extent of education to be fully utilized during practice. Nurses do not require the supervision of a physician during diagnosis and other nursing practice other than prescribing.

Considering Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), in Texas, the NPA allows them to acquire more expertise at their work station that can be applied in practice in the direction of a physician (Texas Board of Nursing, 2019a). The issue of the new scope of practice for the APRN has to be accompanied with formal education and licensing from the BON. For instance, APRN licensed in pediatrics wishing to expand his/her expertise to nursing of adults of all ages (Texas Board of Nursing, 2019a).

APRNs in Oklahoma do have a prescription authority, and therefore they can provide a patient with prescription supply for up to 30 days (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2019). The APRN can give a patient with a prescription with the following condition: the APRN has the authority from the board, the APRN is prescribing under the direction of a supervising physician, and the APRN's prescription is in accordance to the APRN's scope of practice (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2019).


Brassard, A. (2017). Policy brief tackles scope of practice laws and their impact. The Nurse Practitioner, 42(6), 6. doi: 10.1097/01.npr.0000516116.46631.11

NCSBN. (2019). About U.S. Boards of Nursing | NCSBN. Retrieved from

Oklahoma State Department of Health (2019). Retrieved from

Texas Board of Nursing. (2019a). Texas Board of Nursing - APRN Practice FAQ

Texas Board of Nursing. (2019b). Texas Board of Nursing - Nursing Practice FAQ. Retrieved from

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