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07/13/2024 09:30 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: June 6, 2024 09:39 AM
From: Representative Paul Takac and Rep. Joanne Stehr, Rep. Tarik Khan, Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, Rep. Joshua Siegel
To: All House members
Subject: Allowing Licensed Practical Nurses to Make Pronouncements in Hospice
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) provide high-quality, compassionate care in many healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice. Like nurses and other healthcare providers, LPNs are trained to perform vital signs and auscultate the heart and lungs. However, unlike registered nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and coroners in Pennsylvania, LPNs are not currently allowed to make death pronouncements in hospice settings.
Hospice care refers to settings where patients are at the end of life, and care focuses on relieving pain and distress symptoms. Unfortunately, when patients pass away in hospice care, due to the limited current scope of LPNs in these settings, families sometimes must wait for hours for a registered nurse, physician, or another provider to come to the home to pronounce death. These unnecessary delays can cause undue stress and trauma for families at their most vulnerable times. Allowing qualified LPNs to make death pronouncements in hospice care would enable the pronouncement of death in a timely manner.
Our bill is narrowly focused on LPNs in the hospice setting. Our legislation would also ensure that these LPNs have extra training in making these pronouncements, in addition to training in grief counseling, post-mortem care, and circumstances requiring a coroner’s investigation.
This is a companion bill to Senator Culver and colleagues bipartisan Senate Bill 1080. Please join us in cosponsoring this commonsense legislative fix to update the Vital Statistics Law of 1953 to allow LPNs to make death pronouncements in hospice settings.

Introduced as HB2434