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Familiarity with Maryland Nursing Practice Act (NPA)

Week 5 Discussion: Reflection on Knowledge of Competencies (Graded)

Reflect on your current knowledge of the Nurse Practice Act in your state or review your acts, rules, and regulations by going to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing at to an external site.

  • How familiar are you with your state's Nurse Practice Act?

  • What did you learn that you didn't know before today?

  • How does this knowledge assist you as a leader or manager?

The New Jersey state Board of Nursing is governed by thirteen current members, leaving two vacant seats. Nine members are nurses, ranging from LPN’s (2), RN’s (7), APN (1), state government member (1), and nurse educators (2). The two vacant seats are set up for public (non-nursing) members. The Board of Nursing is responsible for overseeing and ensuring nurses at every level practice within the guidelines set forth in the NPA and for implementing discipline for non-compliance.

Prior to this week’s assignment, I was not familiar with the Nurse Practice Act. It’s been a while since I was in nursing school and am new to RN-BSN online classes. What we were taught was that the states Nursing board reviews completed criteria and background information and approves license after candidate has completed and passed all requirements. In guessing, I would have said the NPA was set up to protect practicing nurses in the event of wrongful accusations related to practice. After reviewing the Board of Nursing for New Jersey, I see I was clearly wrong in my assumption. While at work last night, I asked several co-workers; four of which have been nurses for less than five years, and two others who have been nurses for a while, like myself, if they knew what the NPA was. All but one couldn’t tell me what it encompassed. The one nurse who could is currently completing her RN-BSN at Chamberlain and was aware through a previous class. With my latest information, I was able to enlighten and educate the staff about NPA and its implications. I am now aware that the NPA protects patients against potential harm from practicing nurses who fail to meet requirements or uphold standards of nursing for license maintenance. “The NPA exists to regulate and protect the public from practitioners who are at risk to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens within its state board jurisdiction.” Huynh, (2022).

According to Robichaux, (2017), “Leaders and managers are charged with creating healthy work environment of caring and connectedness which can be complex. Becoming an ethical leader requires additional knowledge above and beyond a basic ethics course. That knowledge is the foundation for the ability to recognize an ethical situation and apply ethical conflict resolution skills.” (Chamberlain, 2022). I have reviewed the NPA and guidelines for obtaining and maintaining licensure in New Jersey. As a leader, it is my duty to ensure all nurses within my team are practicing according to the strict guidelines set forth in the board of nursing license criteria. It is also my duty to oversee and ensure that nurses are providing the best possible care to patients within their scope of practice, and to recognize any untoward or suspicious behavior. These concerns then need to be reported to the next in chain of command within management as soon as possible. Sometimes we may overlook small transgressions or make excuses for some nurses. I realize now that these situations should always be addressed, in a timely fashion, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time. By not applying due diligence, as a leader, you not only put the patient at risk but the nurse, yourself, and other staff members as well.



Huynh, A., & Haddad, L. (2022).

Reflection on Knowledge of Compete

Familiarity with Maryland Nursing Practice Act (NPA)

Every U.S state or territory is responsible for setting laws that regulate the nursing practice. These laws are defined within the Nursing Practice Act (NPA), which is then interpreted by each state or territory nursing board to establish regulatory guidelines and the authority to enforce those regulations. The State Board of Nursing (BON) is responsible for regulating NPA within their state or territory. The laws are defined by each state or territorial legislative body and enforced by the respective BON. I am pretty familiar with the Maryland state Nurse Practice Act, which regulates and guarantee safe and quality patient care.

The Act protects both healthcare professionals and patients by outlining the rights and responsibilities of patients and healthcare providers. It includes laws and regulations governing nurse practice within Maryland State. For instance, it provides the scope for practice for individual nurses, including LPN, RN, and APRNs, which is determined by the nurse's education, experience, training, and certification. I realized it is essential to familiarize myself with the Act because it outlines the basic legal parameters of nursing practice. However, it doesn't outline the specific roles or duties licensed nurses are expected to carry out. Title 10 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) provides the standards of practice and scope of practice relating to RN, APRNs, and LPN.

New Lessons Learned

After coming across the NPA a couple of years ago, there are a lot of things I am still learning every time I go through the laws. Through this week's reading, I realized that it is actually the state or territorial legislative body that gives BON the power or authority to discipline nurses who fail to adhere to the stipulated nursing laws and regulations. Although BON has the sole authority to discipline non-compliant nurses, policy or lawmakers play a significant role in determining the kind and extent of punishment nurses receive. As a result, the participation of nurses in legislation and policymaking is crucial in promoting the nursing practice.

Importance of NPA Knowledge as a Leader or Manager

As a nurse leader or manager, I need to familiarize myself with the NPA within my state or territory and beyond. The Reason is that nurse leaders or managers are responsible for understanding the laws that affect nursing practice because ignorance of the law governing practice cannot be regarded as an excuse for substandard or non-compliant nursing practice. First of all, nurse leader or manager has to ensure they are individually compliant in their professional practice while also ensuring other nurses are compliant. The NPA holds nurses accountable for delivering safe and quality care. Hence, nurses must practice based on specific legal, ethical and professional standards. Understanding these standards is crucial for nurse leaders and managers to ensure due process is followed to protect the rights of patients and nurses.

Secondly, they must ensure organizational policies and procedures are compliant with NPA requirements. While supervising nurses, nurse managers must ensure all nursing staff adheres to best practices and procedures. As a result, nurse leaders or managers must ensure organizational policies and procedures are compliant with NPA, including any changes effected. They have a duty to guide nurses on public health, safety, and welfare matters, especially during crises. As a result, they must address nurse concerns about patient safety and maintain compliance with NPA policies and procedures.

Thirdly, for public health, safety, and welfare interests, I must facilitate partnerships with other hospitals, clinics, government agencies, and nursing institutions as a nurse leader or manager. Such partnerships ensure the healthcare system works in unison to enhance patient safety, promote nursing education, and protect the public's best interests. For instance, understanding the clinical learning experience and prelicensure standards for accreditation can help nurse leaders and managers to evaluate the nursing education and offer recommendations for improvement. Proposals may range from curriculum issues, faculty qualifications, or BON examinations.

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