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Health Policy Bill: Describing the Medications

Health Policy & Political Action

Senator Denise Grimsley filed Bill SB 210 in 2015 (Florida Senate, 2016). It was aimed at empowering ARNPs in terms of prescribing controlled medication to patients. It also provided an opportunity for physicians to bypass the existing forms, thus, easing the process of filling in the protocols. By the bill, both ARNPs and physician assistants could appoint particular controlled medications (Florida Senate, 2016). However, it ensured that only physicians would be able to prepare drugs for pain management. The document dwelled upon the necessity to compile a formulary describing the medications that could and could not be prescribed by ARNPs. Importantly, the bill also specified that only psychiatrist nurses could appoint any controlled medication to minors.

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Also, the formulary that had to be developed by a special committee would not influence any hospital processes in terms of medication orders. Notably, the proposed document specified that only nurses who have either a master or doctoral degree could be authorized to prescribe this category of substances (Florida Senate, 2016). SB 210 also determined the disciplinary actions that would follow in the case of in compliance with the law as well as for any misconduct of healthcare specialists, including improper filling in of the corresponding forms and so on (Florida Senate, 2016). To ensure that nurses comply with requirements and understand the limits of the given authority, each nurse was supposed to take training in controlled substance prescribing. As mentioned earlier, SB 210 was proposed at the beginning of 2015. It has faced a clash of opinions and vivid debates among both authorities and health care specialists. However, on October 02, 2016, the Senate withdrew it from further consideration (“Bill summary”, 2016).

Leadership Case #1

It should be noted that the setting in which Linda was put is rather controversial. From the legal point of view, each nurse is accountable for meeting the requirements set by the standards. Nevertheless, as described in the case, the unit should be supervised by the RN who should work together with two practical nurses and assistants. At some point, an ethical issue occurred when Linda was left alone to oversee the entire unit; therefore, it can be assumed that it was no longer possible to hold the nurse accountable for all the patients while other healthcare specialists had to be furnishing care as well (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2013). An evident ethical dilemma is also present because it is physically impossible to be in two different places at the same time, it can be stated that it was not Linda’s fault that she could not provide uninterrupted supervision for two suicidal patients simultaneously. Apart from that, she was supposed to take care of the patients with dementia who required her assessment, which implies that she had to be in three places at the same time.

Despite the controversy, the legal standard of care could have been violated. For instance, it can be assumed that nursing malpractice is present here. Linda was negligent in terms of the two suicidal patients, and one of them was injured when it was her duty to supervise the individuals. Nonetheless, if she stresses the presence of the ethical dilemma, she will be able to retain her license. In particular, if she proves that she contacted her supervisor for assistance and he or she was not able to provide it, it will become evident that the nurse could not meet the required standard of care for a serious reason (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2013). Moreover, if she refused furnishing care due to insufficient staffing and the impossibility of providing sufficient assistance, the situation and the consequences would be much worse. Apart from that, the suicidal patient injured herself, but it was not mentioned that she died or had severe health complications. Therefore, Linda should be subjected to disciplinary punishment, but her license should not be withdrawn.


Bill summary. (2016). Web.

Burkhardt, M., & Nathaniel, A. (2013). Ethics and issues in contemporary nursing. Boston, MA: Cengage.

Florida Senate. (2016). SB 210. Web.

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