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Iowa Supreme Court: APNs can supervise fluroscopy

Saturday June 1, 2013
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The American Nurses Association applauded a decision Friday by the Iowa Supreme Court to affirm advanced practice nurses' authority to supervise fluroscopy.

The ANA called the decision "a victory for Iowa residents, who will benefit from having broader access and choice in obtaining important healthcare services."

An Iowa district court judge had ruled that supervision of fluoroscopy was not recognized by the medical profession as proper to be performed by a nurse, as required by Iowa nursing law.

"We believe the district court erred in second-guessing the department of public health and nursing board on the adequacy of [advanced registered nurse practitioner] training to supervise fluoroscopy," the Iowa Supreme Court wrote. "Significantly, nowhere in the voluminous record is there any report of an injury resulting from ARNP-supervised fluoroscopy, although the practice has been ongoing in parts of Iowa for many years.

"The record affirmatively shows ARNPs have been safely supervising fluoroscopy and are adequately trained to do so. … Allowing ARNP supervision of fluoroscopy improves access to healthcare for rural Iowans and helps lower costs."

ANA President Karen A. Daley, RN, PhD, FAAN, said the decision recognizes Iowa advanced practice nurses' appropriate scope of practice.

"In today’s high-demand healthcare environment, we need nurses and all other healthcare professionals working to the top level of their capabilities and licenses," Daley said in a news release. "The court’s decision will help Iowans get the healthcare services they need in a timely, efficient and effective way."

The Iowa Nurses Association, an affiliate of the ANA, initially had intervened in the case with the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists on the side of the Iowa Board of Nursing, which defended its regulation against claims of illegality by the Iowa Society of Anesthesiologists and the Iowa Medical Society.

The Board of Nursing ultimately appealed the decision by the district court that invalidated regulations providing educational requirements for advanced practice nurses to order and supervise fluoroscopy, and the INA again intervened.

The court decision is available at www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Recent_Opinions/20130531/11-1977.pdf.


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