§ 21.401. Interpretations: scope of practice.
(a) The Board may, upon request of a licensed nurse, nursing association, health care facility or licensed health care professional, or upon its own motion, issue interpretations of this chapter as they apply to the question of whether the execution of specific practices are within the scope of professional or practical nursing.
(b) Interpretations issued by the Board will not conflict with this chapter, or enlarge or restrict this chapter, but will solely address the matter of applying principles set forth in this chapter to specific practices.
(c) Interpretations issued under this section do not constitute an exercise of delegated legislative power by the Board and will be expressly subject to modification by the Board in an adjudicative proceeding based upon the particular facts and circumstances relevant to a proceeding. Interpretations are not intended to be legally enforceable against a licensed person by the Board. In issuing adjudications, the Board may consider, but is not bound by, interpretations.
(d) Prior to issuing interpretations, the Board will submit to the Legislative Reference Bureau for recommended publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin a notice indicating its intent to adopt interpretations, and making available upon request to interested persons copies of proposed or draft interpretations. The notice shall also indicate the date and place for the conduct of hearings proposed regarding the interpretations. The notice shall contain the full statement of policy or a description of the substance of the statement of policy.
(e) The Board will not adopt statements of policy until the time for public comment has elapsed. A minimum of 60 days from publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of notice of intention to adopt shall be provided for public comment. Following a review and consideration of comments received concerning a proposed interpretation, the Board may adopt interpretations by a majority vote taken at a scheduled public meeting of the Board.
(f) Interpretations adopted by the Board under this chapter will be reviewed for form and legality under Chapter 3 of the Commonwealth Attorneys Act (71 P.S. § § 732-301732-303) and, upon approval, will be submitted to the Legislative Reference Bureau for recommended publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and Pennsylvania Code as a statement of policy of the Board as a part of this subchapter.
(g) If a nurse executes a practice which the Board has interpreted to be within the scope of nursing practice, the nurse shall only undertake the practice if the nurse has the necessary preparation, experience and knowledge to properly execute the practice. The execution of the procedures shall include the identification and discrimination of expected and unexpected human responses and the effective management of nursing actions.
(h) Interpretations of the Board will not be deemed to impose requirements upon educational institutions to include the teaching of practices within their curricula.
(i) The procedure for issuing interpretations will not prohibit the Board from answering specific inquiries involving individual factual situations, which answers will be limited in application to the individual factual situation involved in the inquiry.
The provisions of this § 21.401 adopted February 20, 1987, effective February 21, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 811.
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