Q How do I know if an activity is within my scope of practice? Our physicians have asked us to begin inserting tissue plasminogen activator into chest tubes, and we are wondering if that is within our scope of practice.

A Carol Hartigan, rn, ma, bsn, replies:

The answer to this question may be different if the practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) or an advanced practice RN (APRN), depending on the specific activity in question. However, the primary authority for determination of the correct answer to the question will always be the same: the board of nursing (BON) in the state in which you are practicing. If you hold multistate licensure, the governing state is the state in which the patient you are caring for is located. When practicing lawfully under the Nurse Licensure Compact, the nurse is required to be licensed or to have...

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