SC/SB 152: Ordering of Medication filed on August 19th, 2015 with the effective date of July 1st, 2016 relates to the revision of a licensed physician’s authority in the area of ordering medication to a certain patient, providing authorization for a nurse practitioner to order medication, and other matters related to medication ordering (The Florida Senate, 2016, para. 1). The bill was filed by Senator Denise Grimsley in order to broaden the authority of advanced registered nurse practitioners to order medication in a setting of specialized health care facilities. Furthermore, the bill is beneficial for expressing authority in the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in relation to administering controlled substances (The Florida Senate, 2015, p. 1).
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The latest progress of the bill was documented on March 3rd, 2016 when it was read the second time and substituted for HB 1241 by the Florida Senate.
As a registered nurse practitioner whose primary role is providing effective, high-quality services for the population of the State of Florida, I am writing to support the motion for allowing ARNPs to prescribe Suboxone to specific patients that struggle with heroin abuse.
Due to the fact that the majority of nurse practitioners have become the main sources of health care provision, it is important for them to be able to prescribe medication to patients whose life is at high risk because of their prolonged usage of opioids as well as other substances. Suboxone is widely used to treat the addiction of opioid substances and the instances of pain in very low dosages. Thus, due to the fact that nurse practitioners offer care in a variety of healthcare settings, the authority to prescribe suboxone will only ease the process of providing urgent care for patients with addiction.
All nurse practitioners are expected to fulfill their duty of care, which is both legal and professional obligation in health care (CRNBC, n.d., para. 4). Thus, if the duty of care is breached, a legal hearing on professional misconduct will take place. However, there are instances, where the duty of care cannot be fulfilled due to physical reasons, as in the case with Linda. Because of the lack of staff, she was required to monitor nine patients who all needed individual assessment and monitoring. Furthermore, two of the patients were required to be monitored simultaneously, despite them being in different rooms.
The ethical dilemma at work, in this case, is either monitoring suicidal patients under the potential risk of harming themselves or conducting an obligatory assessment of all patients.
As already mentioned, the professional nursing legal standard of care is at high risk in Linda’s situation. Because a suicidal patient managed to get an injury while jumping out of the window when Linda was supposed to monitor this patient, the duty of care was breached. However, the management of the psychiatric unit can also be held accountable for the accident because Linda was left alone with nine patients that all required advanced care.
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If Linda is under threat of losing her license, she can dispute such a decision in court since the care facility did not provide enough nurses to take care of its patients. To avoid losing her license, Linda should first discuss the incident with the management and express the dissatisfaction with the fact that her duties exceed her physical capabilities.
CRNBC. (n.d.). Duty to provide care. Web.
The Florida Senate. (2015). Bill analysis and fiscal impact statement. Web.
The Florida Senate. (2016). SC/SB 152: Ordering of Medication. Web.