Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 34

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-34-3

§ 5-34-3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Advanced practice registered nurse” (APRN) is the title given to an individual licensed to practice advanced practice registered nursing within one of the following roles: certified nurse practitioner (CNP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) as defined in chapter 34.2 of this title, or certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and who functions in a population focus. An APRN may serve as a primary- or acute-care provider of record.

(2) “Advanced practice registered nursing” means an independent and expanded scope of nursing in a role and population focus approved by the board of nurse registration and nursing education that includes the registered nurse scope of practice and may include, but is not limited to, performing acts of advanced assessment, diagnosing, prescribing, and ordering. Each APRN is accountable to patients, the nursing profession, and the board of nursing for complying with the requirements of this chapter and the quality of advanced nursing care rendered; recognizing limits of knowledge and experience; planning for the management of situations beyond the APRN’s expertise; and for consulting with or referring patients to other healthcare providers as appropriate.

(3) “Approval” means the process where the board of nursing evaluates and grants official recognition to basic nursing education programs meeting established criteria and standards.

(4) “Certified clinical nurse specialist” is an advanced practice registered nurse who independently provides care to clients; facilitates attainment of health goals; and provides innovation in nursing practice, based on clinical expertise, evidence-based decision-making, and leadership skills. The clinical nurse specialist practices with individual clients and populations; nurses, and other multidisciplinary team members; and organizations to effect systemwide changes to improve programs of care. The practice may include prescriptive privileges.

(5) “Certified nurse practitioner” is an advanced practice nurse utilizing independent knowledge of physical assessment, diagnosis, and management of health care and illnesses. The practice includes prescriptive privileges. Certified nurse practitioners are members of the healthcare delivery system practicing in areas including, but not limited to: family practice, pediatrics, adult health care, geriatrics, and women’s health care in primary, acute, long-term, and critical-care settings in healthcare facilities and the community. Certified nurse practitioners may be recognized as the primary-care provider or acute-care provider of record.

(6) “Certified registered nurse anesthetist” is as defined in chapter 34.2 of this title (“Nurse Anesthetist”).

(7) “Department” means the department of health.

(8) “Health” means optimum well-being.

(9) “Health care” means those services provided to promote the optimum well-being of individuals.

(10) “Licensed” means the status of qualified individuals who have completed a designated process by which the board of nursing grants permission to individuals accountable and/or responsible for the practice of nursing and to engage in that practice, prohibiting all others from legally doing so.

(11) “Nursing” means the provision of services that are essential to the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health throughout the continuum of life. It provides care and support of individuals and families during periods of wellness, illness, and injury, and incorporates the appropriate healthcare plan of care prescribed by a licensed advanced practice registered nurse, certified nurse midwife, licensed physician, dentist, or podiatrist. It is a distinct component of health services. Nursing practice is based on specialized knowledge, judgment, and nursing skills acquired through educational preparation in nursing and in the biological, physical, social, and behavioral sciences.

(12) “Population foci” means focus of the patient population. Population focus shall include:

(i) Family/Individual across the lifespan;

(ii) Adult-gerontology;

(iii) Neonatal;

(iv) Pediatrics;

(v) Women’s health/gender-related; and

(vi) Psychiatric/mental health.

(13) “Practical nursing” is practiced by licensed practical nurses (L.P.N.s). It is an integral part of nursing based on a knowledge and skill level commensurate with education. It includes promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and utilizes standardized procedures leading to predictable outcomes that are in accord with the professional nurse regimen under the direction of a registered nurse. In situations where registered nurses are not employed, the licensed practical nurse functions under the direction of a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, or other licensed healthcare providers authorized by law to prescribe. Each L.P.N. is responsible for the nursing care rendered.

(14) “Professional nursing” is practiced by registered nurses (R.N.s). The practice of professional nursing is a dynamic process of assessment of an individual’s health status; identification of healthcare needs; determination of healthcare goals with the individual and/or family participation; and the development of a plan of nursing care to achieve these goals. Nursing actions, including teaching and counseling, are directed toward the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and evaluation of the individual’s response to nursing actions and the medical regimen of care. The professional nurse provides care and support of individuals and families during periods of wellness and injury and incorporates, where appropriate, the medical plan of care as prescribed by a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, or other licensed healthcare providers authorized by law to prescribe. Each R.N. is directly accountable and responsible to the consumer for the nursing care rendered.

(15) “Psychiatric and mental health nurse clinical specialist” is a certified clinical nurse specialist working in the population foci of psychiatric/mental health as an advanced practice nurse utilizing independent knowledge in psychiatric mental-health assessment; diagnosis, health promotion, psychotherapeutic modalities, and management of mental health and illnesses. The practice may include prescription privileges within their scope of practice. The practice may also include consultation and education.

History of Section.
P.L. 1982, ch. 328, § 2; P.L. 1990, ch. 162, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 361, § 2; P.L. 1993, ch. 93, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 303, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 261, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 125, § 2; P.L. 2003, ch. 138, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 83, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 93, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 3.