May an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) delegate tasks to other nurses or unlicensed assistive personnel using the same rules a physician uses?
No. Advanced practice nurses are regulated solely by the Texas Board of Nursing. As RNs, advanced practice nurses may only delegate tasks to unlicensed staff or assistive personnel utilizing the applicable RN Delegation rules 224 or 225 as appropriate and in compliance with rule 217.11(3)(B). Advanced practice nurses are not authorized to exceed the delegation criteria in Rules 224 and 225.
With regard to other nurses, it is important to note that an advanced practice nurse may make an assignment to another nurse that takes into account his/her scope of practice and level of licensure [Rule 217.11(1)(S)]. An advanced practice nurse may not assign tasks to RNs or LVNs that exceed the RN or LVN scope of practice, even if the advanced practice nurse agrees to co-sign the RN's or LVN's documentation. An advanced practice nurse’s co-signature for something that is beyond the RN's or LVN's scope of practice does not legitimize the RN's or LVN's actions. A nurse never functions "under the license" of another nurse nor does a nurse "delegate" to another licensed nurse. Board rules are accessible in their entirety on the BON web page under the link for Nursing Laws and Rules www.bon.texas.gov/nursinglaw/rr.html.