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Scope of Practice Decision Making Framework for the RN and the LPN

Chapter 851 Division 045 of the NPA sets forth the responsibility of the nurse to accept only those assignments that are within one's individual scope of practice. The Board defines individual scope of practice as a nurse's demonstrated competency that has developed and maintained through practice experience and through engagement in independent and formal learning experiences. Clear knowledge of one's individual scope of practice allows the nurse to self-regulate their actions by accepting and engaging in only those nursing practice activities, interventions or roles for which they possess the knowledge, technical skill, ability, ethical principle, and clinical reasoning necessary to perform with safety.

Many nurses contact the Oregon State Board of Nursing asking whether a specific activity, intervention or role is within their scope of practice. Board staff cannot answer such questions. This is because Oregon's Nurse Practice Act (NPA) does not contain lists of activities, interventions or roles expressly approved or prohibited for every individual nurse based on licensure level. This scope of practice decision-making framework presents a standardized framework for use by all licensed nurses in all settings with respect to their education, role, function, and accountability within the scope of nursing practice.

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