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What Is the Purpose of the Nurse Practice Act?

Across the country, Nurse Practice Acts like the one in Florida are common. The goal is not only to protect patients but to protect nurses as well.

With a clear expectation in place, nurses know what to do to remain in compliance and patients know what to expect from a nurse in terms of education, experience, and scope of practice.

It is often the case, however, that nurses are put in a position to defend their abilities and choices on the job despite these legal structures. If you are in the position of needing legal support, contact us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.

What Is the Florida Nurse Practice Act?

The Florida Nurse Practice Act, Chapter 464, Florida Statutes, has three parts dedicated to defining the competency requirement of nurses and certified nursing assistants.

The following are included in this act:

  • A clear definition of the educational requirements and training needed by a nurse to maintain compliance
  • How to update and renew licenses and certifications
  • What to do if a nurse is currently inactive or retired and would like to come back and serve
  • All violations that could incur disciplinary action and what those disciplinary actions might be
  • Exceptions to all the above rules

What Is the Purpose of the Nurse Practice Act in Florida?

The purpose of the Florida State Nurse Practice Act, as stated by the State of Florida, is to “ensure that every nurse practicing in this state meets minimum requirements for safe practice.”

This means making it clear what certifications are required, how often they need to be updated, and everything that is considered a dangerous practice that could potentially harm patients.

Any nurse who is practicing outside of these guidelines (such as practicing with an expired license or without the correct certifications and licenses, or violating standards of conduct on the job) will be identified and disciplinary action will follow.

What Happens if You Are Found to Be in Violation of the Nurse Practice Act in Florida?

The list of what is deemed a violation of Florida State’s Nurse Practice Act is long and detailed. It begins with being found guilty or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to any crime on or off the job, including child abuse, assault, theft, fraud, indecent exposure, and more.

Violation of the act includes choosing not to report someone else in the department who is in violation of the act as well.

When it comes to on-the-job active violations, they vary depending on the job requirements or nursing level. For example, advanced practice registered nurses may be found in violation if they pre-sign blank prescription forms or prescribe certain controlled substances for non-medicinal purposes or office use.

If you have been found to be in violation of the Nurse Practice Act in Florida and you would like to defend your position and get back to work, contact us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.