Nurse (RN/LPN)

Nurse (RN/LPN)

Facts:

Scope of Practice: Nursing

PUBLIC HEALTH CODE (EXCERPT) Act 368 of 1978

333.17201 Definitions; principles of construction.

Sec. 17201.

(1) As used in this part:

(a) “Practice of nursing” means the systematic application of substantial specialized knowledge and skill, derived from the biological, physical, and behavioral sciences, to the care, treatment, counsel, and health teaching of individuals who are experiencing changes in the normal health processes or who require assistance in the maintenance of health and the prevention or management of illness, injury, or disability.

(b) “Practice of nursing as a licensed practical nurse” or “l.p.n.” means the practice of nursing based on less comprehensive knowledge and skill than that required of a registered professional nurse and performed under the supervision of a registered professional nurse, physician, or dentist.

(c) “Registered professional nurse” or “r.n.” means an individual licensed under this article to engage in the practice of nursing which scope of practice includes the teaching, direction, and supervision of less skilled personnel in the performance of delegated nursing activities.

Source: Michigan Legislature, June 25, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(pfeeigu3u3qu3xjmlgco0t55))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-333-17201

Statute: Michigan Public Act 333 of 2006, §18351 Dietetics and Nutrition

333.18363 Inapplicability of act to certain individuals.

Sec. 18363.

This part does not apply to any of the following:

(a) An individual licensed under any other part or act who performs activities or services that are considered dietetics and nutrition care services if those activities or services are within the individual's scope of practice and if the individual does not use the titles protected under section 18353.

Board’s Current Rules as of __________:

MNA Interpretation: The RN scope of practice is a generalized one, making interpretation difficult. The relevant portion is:

  1. “… the systematic application of substantial specialized knowledge and skill, derived from the biological, physical, and behavioral sciences, to the care, treatment, counsel, and health teaching of individuals who are experiencing changes in the normal health processes or who require assistance in the maintenance of health and the prevention or management of illness, injury, or disability.”

Because it is so general, the MNA cannot with any certainty predict whether RNs can legally practice nutrition counseling. “Nutrition advice” is not specifically included, as it is in the chiropractors’ scope of practice, but the scope is broad enough that an argument can be made that it is included. Ultimately, it will depend on whether the Department of Community Health chooses to prosecute an RN for practicing, and if contested, how a court of law ultimately adjudicates the matter.

Note: We have not researched legal precedent to shed light on how a prosecution of an RN for practicing without a license would be adjudicated.

Disclaimer:

The content of MichiganNutritionAssocation.org contains general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. For legal advice or assistance, please consult an attorney.