Nursing: Delegation and Scope of Practice in Georgia

The nursing practice represents a field that continuously goes through various changes, new implementations, and improvements. The Georgia Board of Nursing (Board) recognizes those features and states that due to diverse backgrounds and levels of expertise among the nurses, they should use sound judgment in decisions (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2019b). In such a way, it is up to an individual nurse’s evaluation to conclude whether they are capable and eligible to perform specific activities or tasks. The Board has developed a specialized scope of practice decision-making model that serves as an assistant tool to the nursing professionals. The purpose of this paper is to examine the nurse practice act of Georgia and look at the guidelines for delegation and scope of practice in the state.

The primary purpose of introducing the nurse practice act is to protect the public health and safety, the standards for which are listed in this legislature. In Georgia, every registered professional nurse should have a license for their activities (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2019a). Thus, every individual who is intending to practice or offer nursing activities should be licensed, according to the act. The guidelines for delegation of operations fall under the category of a proxy caregiver, who is planning to provide care to disabled individuals.

This individual or a legal person has to issue “a written informed consent designating a proxy caregiver and delegating responsibility to receive training” and further provide healthcare (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2019a, p. 21). Consequently, written consent is required for an unlicensed proxy caregiver to provide health maintenance to a disabled person.

Besides stating the rules for proxy caregivers, the act also outlines the training definition and the standards for the professionals. In the cases with caregivers and disabled individuals, the provision of training to a caregiver by registered professional nurses of physicians is not considered delegation (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2019a). Moreover, the nurses with a license cannot delegate the procedures and tasks that require a legal permit to those individuals who are unlicensed (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2015, para. 3). Hence, the act outlines delegation cases for the nursing professionals and the instances with unlicensed caregivers.

Besides stating the regulations for the registered nursing professionals in terms of delegating their activities, it is also crucial to look at the scope of practice. The scope of practice decision-making model offers different questions that can be answered based on the identification and description of the procedure. Within the proposed model, the nurses answer reflective questions, and, depending on the answer, they either continue or stop (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2019b).

Thus, when a practicing nurse cannot answer positively to any of the questions except the first one, it implies that they are not allowed to proceed with the task or role. Every nurse should ensure that the activities they accept are consistent with their education, knowledge, competencies, and abilities (Georgia Board of Nursing, 2019b). The nurses must fulfill this regulation because their fundamental responsibility is to provide safe care to the patients.

In conclusion, the state of Georgia outlines all the guidelines for the registered professional nurses in the act. It is integral for the practicing professional to follow all the standards carefully to avoid potential dangers and not to impose any risks for the patients. The rules concerning delegation should be fulfilled, and no operations that require a license can be assigned to unlicensed care providers. It is also beneficial for the nurses in Georgia to follow the proposed decision-making model while having hesitations about the intended procedures.

References

Georgia Board of Nursing. (2015). Position statement: Assignment to unlicensed assistive personnel. Web.

Georgia Board of Nursing. (2019a). Georgia registered professional nurse practice act. Web.

Georgia Board of Nursing. (2019b). Scope of practice decision-making model. Web.