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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=21286
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 9, 2016 04:04 PM
From: Representative Jim Cox
To: All House members
Subject: Delegation of Nursing Care Tasks
 
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that will amend the Professional Nursing Law. This legislation will grant Registered Nurses the authority to delegate nursing care tasks.

A memo which was released in 2015 and updated in 2016 from the Pennsylvania Department of Health stated in part, “‚ÄčThe Pennsylvania Nurse Practice Act contains no delegation language. Registered Nurses licensed in Pennsylvania may NOT delegate nursing functions to unlicensed persons.” In reality, Registered Nurses are educated, tested and trained on what delegation is and how to do it properly and believe that they currently have the statutory ability to delegate.

Furthermore the Nurse Practice Act is silent on registered nurses' authority to delegate nursing care tasks, leaving many nurses stretched to the limit in this ever-changing, demanding healthcare environment. Increasing numbers of people needing healthcare, combined with increasing complexity of illnesses and therapies, create a tremendous demand for skilled nursing care. What’s more, there are presently more nursing tasks to do than there are nurses to do it, according to the American Nurses Association (ANA).

This legislation unburdens registered nurses from unnecessary work others can do, while retaining accountability for care and outcomes. This legislation maintains the high ethical and professional standards for nurses and assisting personnel. It will maintain that assisting personnel must have validated competencies. It will not allow any employer to force a Registered Nurse to delegate. It will also include an advisory board comprised of Registered Nurses to provide recommendations on delegation of registered nurse functions to the State. As nurses care for more complicated patient needs, the registered nurse must work more effectively with assisting personnel. The authority to delegate accomplishes this.

My legislation will eliminate the burden that many of our registered nurses face by providing clarification and authority to delegate tasks to assisting personnel which do not require nursing judgment or substantial skill.

Please join me in providing this important clarification for Registered Nurses and patients.

PRIOR CO-SPONSORS FOR THIS LEGISLATION:

BARRAR, BOYLE, V. BROWN, D. COSTA, CUTLER, FABRIZIO, FARRY, FRANKEL, FREEMAN, GABLER, GERGELY, HARKINS, HARPER, HENNESSEY, JAMES, M.K. KELLER, KINSEY, KORTZ, MARSHALL, McNEILL, MULLERY, MURT, NEILSON, O'BRIEN, PASHINSKI, SAYLOR, SCHLOSSBERG, and WARD.
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Introduced as HB820