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The Autonomous APRN Standard of Care in Florida

January 7, 2022
Est read time: 2 minutes

Autonomous APRNs are limited to Primary Care Practice

As we have previously written in earlier blogs and newsletters, under the authority of Florida law, the Board of Nursing has established by the rule that Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who have the designation of “autonomous” have practices that are limited to that which is primary care.

The Board’s definition of “primary care practice” in effect as of February 25, 2021, is:

(12) Primary care practice – includes physical and mental health promotion, assessment, evaluation, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, inclusive of behavioral and mental health conditions.

[This definition would be read in conjunction with Section 464.0123(3), Florida Statutes.]

We have received calls and inquiries as to whether or not an autonomous APRN can set up a practice and perform botox injections for cosmetic reasons.  The answer is “no” if it’s not really primary care. 

As the Florida Association of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses has stated on their website:

 “If you have to ask yourself if it's primary care, then it's probably not.”

Remember that the Florida Legislature was told prior to creating the Autonomous APRN law that the main justification for this type of APRN license was to eliminate the shortage of primary care professionals.

2.         Newly Enacted Rule 64B9-4.021, Florida Administrative Code

Rule 64B9-4.021, FAC Standards for Autonomous Practice- Effective 10/26/2021 states:

Advanced practice registered nurses who are registered pursuant to Section 464.0123, F.S., shall engage in autonomous practice only in a manner that meets the General Standard of Practice. The General Standard of Practice shall be that standard of practice, care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similarly situated, educated, and licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.

Rulemaking Authority 464.0123 FS. Law Implemented 464.0123 FS. History–New 10-26-21.

Standard of care has generally been described as that level of conduct that is deemed acceptable based on scientific evidence or evidence of industry standards.  State law generally determines what the standard of care is for a given profession.  It is important in a court proceeding for determining whether a professional is a fault or responsible for certain conduct.

Have questions about your need for legal representation? Or a review of a situation? Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Our firm helps physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals statewide get licensed. 

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