Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

Can Nurse Practitioners Text Patient Care Orders?

Have you ever texted about a patient? In the emergency department where I work, texting can be an easy way to consult with a specialist or send an image of a patient's X-ray, lab results or even chief complaint. But, is this legal? What are the implications of texting about patient care?

Continue reading

Are Preceptors Liable for the Actions of Nurse Practitioner Students?

We've all experienced the awkwardness of clinical learning as nurse practitioner students. Mastering the skill set required to work as an NP means practicing on real, live patients even before you are considered proficient at that skill. Anxious, you stutter and sweat as you explain the procedure to the patient, the more experienced eye (hopefully!) of your preceptor looking over your shoulder. 

Continue reading

Which States Allow Nurse Practitioners to Prescribe Suboxone?

Nurse practitioners are newly allowed to prescribe buprenorphine (Suboxone) as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act signed into law by former President Obama. While the Act augments nurse practitioners' scope of practice from a federal standpoint, some states are more limiting in the freedoms they allow NPs. In which states can nurse practitioners actually prescribe Suboxone?

Continue reading

Does Working in an Independent Practice State Really Affect Your NP Job?

I've had several nurse practitioners tell me they will only work in independent practice states. That is, states whose scope of practice laws don't require nurse practitioners to be supervised by or collaborate with a physician. While I understand the position of these NPs, they are capable of treating patients without oversight, I have to wonder - does working in an independent practice state actually change what a nurse practitioner's day-to-day job looks like?

Continue reading

2017's Must-Read Legal Posts for Nurse Practitioners

While thinking about the legal implications of our work as nurse practitioners isn't always enjoyable, it is a necessary part of our profession. From scope of practice to employment issues and medical malpractice, there are a number of ways the law factors in to our careers. Legal reads are pretty popular here at MidlevelU. Here are the top picks this year. 

Continue reading

What's the Difference Between Nursing Boards and Nursing Associations?

With over a hundred national nursing associations and boards of nursing throughout the country, it can be a little confusing at times to decipher the difference between the two, especially as they both have significant impacts on the nurse practitioner profession and scope of practice.To put it very simply, Boards of Nursing regulate nursing practice to protect the public. Associations advocate for nurses and the advancement of the profession. 

Continue reading

How Should NPs Respond to a BON Investigation?

Being under investigation by the board of nursing is a stressful situation for any nurse practitioner to be in, even if the claim is unsubstantiated and is likely to be dismissed. Unfortunately, the BONs claims resolution process can take months, leaving you with plenty of time to mull over your next steps in response to the notice of investigation. Having a good understanding the legal side of investigations can be beneficial in easing your worries; still, troublesome thoughts and questions may consume you while in limbo. So just how should you respond when you’re under investigation by the BON?

Continue reading

Is it Quality v. Quantity: What Should I Expect in a NP Contract?

By Jennifer Lankford, Labor and Employment Attorney

“Is it usual for my contract to be this short?”, “Are employment agreements normally this long?” I receive these types of questions often from nurse practitioners who are presented with an employment agreement. My answer, “It is the quality, not the quantity, of the agreement that matters.” Sometimes a short and sweet agreement is all that is needed. 

Continue reading

7 Questions to Ask about Your State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Do you look patients up on your state's controlled substance monitoring database before writing prescriptions for these medications? I've long been aware of this resource available to nurse practitioners and other prescribers, however I recently learned that there's a lot more to using these databases than most providers are aware of. Did you know that it may be illegal for you to print out the results of an inquiry into the system? Or, for example, that you may be legally obligated to look a patient up in your state's database before writing certain prescriptions?

Continue reading

Do You Give Your Family and Friends Medical Advice?

My father is a physician, so I was used to family and friends constantly calling our home asking a health question or two. As a kid, I enjoyed the benefits of having a parent in healthcare. I rarely went to my pediatrician, and rather was diagnosed with a viral illness here and there from the comfort of our living room sofa. Over the counter medications along with a prescription or two, were stockpiled in our cabinets. I was even taken in the back entrance of the hospital for an off-the-record X-ray or two after sports related injuries. 

Continue reading

Second Jobs? Side Hustles? What NPs Need to Know

By Jennifer Lankford, Labor and Employment Attorney 

Moonlighting. Daylighting. Side Hustle. No matter how you describe it, second jobs or passions turned profits are common among nurse practitioners. Given the unique work hours of many NPs, you may have downtime that can be used to pick up nursing work for another health care provider, or, as is becoming more and more common, to pursue an entirely different career. Before signing on for a second job or promoting your Etsy shop among co-workers and on social media, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Continue reading

6 Worst States for Physician Assistants

Last week we talked scope of practice regulations for physician assistants here on the MidlevelU blog. While the physician assistant career looks similar in many ways for PAs across the country, state laws do affect the way physician assistants are allowed to practice. For example, state scope of practice regulations may dictate the type of medications PAs are allowed to prescribe, or outline what physician supervision for PAs looks like. 

Continue reading

Pages