Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Tennessee

This morning, I'm excited to feature the scope of practice for NP's in my beloved state of residence, Tennessee.  Not only does this great state feature a Dolly Parton-based theme park, the home of Elvis Presley and boast a spirit of volunteerism, Tennessee has pretty favorable laws toward NP's.  Recent rankings show Tennessee is overall the 3rd freest state in our nation.  Fortunately, this attitude of freedom and independence extends to state laws governing nurse practitioners.  

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Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Illinois

Known as the "Land of Lincoln", home to the first McDonald's, the Chicago Bears, Cubs and Bulls and trendy shopping street Michigan AVE, Illinois has a lot to offer.  Except for favorable nurse practitioner scope of practice laws that is.  Illinois falls at the lower end of the spectrum of legislation surrounding nurse practitioners.  What regulations govern NP's in the Prairie State?

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Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: New York

Whenever I think of New York, the Jay-Z song 'Empire State of Mind' immediately starts playing on repeat in my head... "New Yooork, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothin' you can't do, now you're in New York".  Contrary to Jay-Z's lyrical declaration, there are actually a few things NP's can't do in New York.  Let's take a look at the scope of practice governing nurse practitioners in the Empire State.

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Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Texas

Ahh, the Lone Star State, famous for it's spirit of pride and freedom, the Alamo and the invention of Dr Pepper.  Among the lesser known facts about Texas is that it is home to nearly 10,000 nurse practitioners.  Does Texas' independent attitude extend to state laws governing NP's?

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Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: California

Californians have the luxury of sunny weather, year-round glowing tans and probable movie star sightings.  In keeping with their good fortune, let's kick off this state-by-state scope of practice series by reviewing rules and regulations governing the more than 17,000 NP's practicing in the The Golden State. 

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New! Nurse Practitioner State Law Series

Have you ever attempted to find the laws governing nurse practitioners in your state?  I have-and it's a disaster!  Sure, I can locate them on the state board of nursing website.  I am not, however proficient in legal speak so reading straight from my state's rule book leaves me even more puzzled than before my legal search began.  

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How Likely are Nurse Practitioners to Get Sued?

NP's, PA's and MD's alike worry about medical malpractice lawsuits.  Despite hard work and good intentions, medical providers make mistakes.  Protocols and technology promise to make patients safer and reduce error but no system is foolproof.  Just how likely are you as a nurse practitioner to face a medical malpractice lawsuit?  How can you reduce your risk?

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New Additions to HIPAA Law- What NP's Need to Know

As if HIPAA law isn't already long enough, legislators have added 563 pages of new regulations to legal guidelines protecting patient privacy and information.  What do you need to know about the additions to HIPAA law as a nurse practitioner?

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State Law Restricting Prescription Painkillers: What Do NP's Think?

I have come to dread the fight that ensues upon discharging drug seeking patients.  I prescribe Ibuprofen for a sprained ankle.  The patient becomes furious, threatens to call Channel 5 News or Bart Durham, a local attorney with sketchy TV ads- you know the type.  Depending on the situation I either hold my ground or acquiesce to the pill-popper's demands.  Call me immoral but sometimes you just can't fight anymore.  Then, at the end of the day I slink out to my car ready to attack the attacker who has surely slashed my tires in this drug-seeking dispute.  I mentally note to intensify my Jillian Michael's DVD workouts to better prepare for these types of situations.  They don't teach you this in school.

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Legal Spotlight: Model Act for Nurse Practitioners

Confused about the differences between laws governing nurse practitioners in each state?  Me too.  Currently, each state governs a nurse practitioner's ability to practice and prescribe differently.  For example, in some states you don't even have to take a national certification exam in order to practice as a nurse practitioner while in most states passing a national exam is required.  The Model Act hopes to change this (too bad for NP's living in these 5 states!).

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HIPAA: What Happens When You Don't Comply?

Most nurse practitioners understand the basics of HIPAA.  But, with the abundance of social media and a newfound cultural acceptance of sharing your life online, HIPAA violations are frequent.  What are the repercussions of a HIPAA slip-up?  

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HIPAA: The Nuts and Bolts

HIPAA details are elusive.  Medical providers verbally pass the word about HIPAA from provider to provider but no one actually reads the specifics of the law.  We all understand the basic gist of HIPAA, don't disclose any patient information to anyone, but sometimes I have more specific questions about the mandate.  Can I tell patient stories to my friends if I don't say the person's name?  What about when the pharmacist calls about changing a medication- is it appropriate for me to name the patient's diagnosis?  I have never actually read a single letter of the HIPAA law so I am doing so today to pick out the highlights. 

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