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Please note that these statutes are provided in this format for your convenience only. You may always find the most current version of the Colorado Revised Statutes online via the Colorado Statute Manager.
This unofficial online version of regulations is the most current version available. For official publication of all State of Colorado regulations, please consult the Code of Colorado Regulations on the Secretary of State's website at www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/Welcome.do.
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Policies of the Nursing Board are divided into six sections.
The Board has developed the following statements for use in determining scope of practice. Individual situations should be reviewed against these statements for verification of scope of practice.
In Colorado, the practice of professional nursing (including those listed on the advanced practice registry) includes the performance of both independent nursing functions and delegated medical functions. The Board of Nursing (BON) considers RNs to be independent practitioners. Two things limit the independent scope of nursing practice:
Dependent nursing function falls under delegated medical. CRS 12-38-103 (4) defines delegated medical function to include the RN implementation of a medical plan "a written plan, verbal order, standing order, or protocol - whether patient specific or not, that authorizes specific or discretionary medical action, which may include but is not limited to the selection of medication." The amount of physician oversight would be determined by the physician and nurse involved in this process.
The Board of Nursing has been working to empower Colorado nurses to determine their own scopes of practice. Using the following guidelines, a nurse may decide what is within scope, and to make certain the task or practice is documented in facility or institution policies and procedures.
Ask the following question: Is this task/practice within my scope of practice?
If you can answer "yes" to all the above questions, the task is within your scope of practice.
The Nurse Practice Act defines the scope of practice of the licensed practical nurse (LPN) as that which is taught in schools of practical nursing in Colorado at this time. Therefore, all decisions regarding tasks that may be performed by a LPN are based on the present curriculum criteria. The LPN curriculum in Colorado is a 9 to 11 month course focusing on the care of patients with predictable outcomes. The curriculum emphasizes the maintenance of those patients and performance of nursing skills with a high degree of technical expertise. The practical nursing student is taught to identify normal from abnormal in each of the body systems and to identify changes in the patient's condition, which are then reported to the RN or MD for further or "full" assessment.
For further information regarding the specific tasks and skills taught in the LPN curriculum, you may contact one of the many Colorado colleges offering an LPN program: