Factors that need to be considered when determining whether or not identified actions are within the domain of nursing practice would be in the applicable state’s Nurse Practice Act. The Nurse Practice Act’s purpose is to guard patient safety, and serve as a guide by which nurses may administer care. Nurses have a clear scope of practice that they can utilize to provide safe, effective patient care.

“Although the specificity of NPAs varies among states, all NPAs include:

Authority, power and composition of a board of nursing

Education program standards

Standards and scope of nursing practice

Types of titles and licenses

Requirements for licensure

Grounds for disciplinary action, other violations and possible remedies”

(NCSBN 2017)

Sometimes nurses encounter subjects that are inconclusively researched and may prove to be difficult to navigate by just referring to the National or state Nurse Practice Act. In this case, each state has a Board of Nursing. The Board of Nursing is there as a supplement to the Nurse Practice Act. The Board of Nursing can assist with those gray area questions.

Personal ethics will also play a role, for instance a nurse might not agree ethically with measures to avoid pregnancy or measures taken to terminate a pregnancy. That is a matter of personal ethics. That nurse would better serve a setting in which family planning is not a focus. The fact that nursing care is needed in so many settings allows nurses to work in areas they feel are in line with their passions, and sometimes with their personal ethics.


NCSBN. (n.d.). Nurse Practice Act, Rules & Regulations. Retrieved September 11, 2017, from https://www.ncsbn.org/nurse-practice-act.htm