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Practice - Registered Nurse Scope of Practice

The Texas Nursing Practice Act (NPA) defines the legal scope of practice for professional registered nurses (RNs).  “Professional nursing” means the performance of an act that requires substantial specialized judgment and skill, the proper performance of which is based on knowledge and application of the principles of biological, physical, and social science as acquired by a completed course in an approved school of professional nursing. The term does not include acts of medical diagnosis or the prescription of therapeutic or corrective measures.  Professional nursing involves:

  1. the observation, assessment, intervention, evaluation, rehabilitation, care and counsel, or health teachings of a person who is ill, injured, infirm, or experiencing a change in normal health processes;
  2. the maintenance of health or prevention of illness;
  3. the administration of a medication or treatment as ordered by a physician, podiatrist, or dentist;
  4. the supervision or teaching of nursing;
  5. the administration, supervision, and evaluation of nursing practices, policies, and procedures;
  6. the requesting, receiving, signing for, and distribution of prescription drug samples to patients at practices at which an advanced practice registered nurse is authorized to sign prescription drug orders as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 157;
  7. the performance of an act delegated by a physician under Section 157.0512, 157.054, 157.058, or 157.059; and
  8. the development of the nursing care plan.

The RN takes responsibility and accepts accountability for practicing within the legal scope of practice and is prepared to work in all health care settings, and may engage in independent nursing practice without supervision by another health care provider. The RN, with a focus on patient safety, is required to function within the parameters of the legal scope of practice and in accordance with the federal, state, and local laws; rules and regulations; and policies, procedures and guidelines of the employing health care institution or practice setting. The RN is responsible for providing safe, compassionate, and comprehensive nursing care to patients and their families with complex healthcare needs.

Educational Requirements:

Texas Board of Nursing (2010), Differentiated Essential Competencies (DECs) of graduates of Texas Nursing Programs.

Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 301

Nursing Practice Act (NPA) Section 301.002, Definitions

Rule 217.11 - Standards of Nursing Practice

Scope of Practice Position Statements: 

Note: For the complete list of position statements, click here.

Six-Step Decision Making Model for Determining Nursing Scope of Practice

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to RN SOP include but not limited to:

Note: For the complete list of nursing practice FAQs, click here.