What is an advisory opinion?
The Nursing Commission may issue advisory opinions in response to questions put to it by professional health associations, nursing practitioners and consumers concerning the authority of various categories of nursing personnel to perform particular acts. The opinion is advisory and intended for guidance only. An advisory opinion is not legally binding and does not have the force and effect of a duly promulgated regulation or a declaratory ruling by the Nursing Commission.
The Nursing Commission recently approved two advisory opinions:
- Advisory Opinion: Death with Dignity (Aid-in-Dying): Role of the Nurse (PDF)
Advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), registered nurses (RNs), and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) may be involved in providing nursing care, within their scope of practice, to patients who make the choice to end their life through the Washington State Death with Dignity Act (RCW 70.245). Nurses remain accountable and responsible for providing compassionate and comprehensive care to all patients, regardless of their end-of-life choices. Nurses may decline active participation in the implementation of aid-in-dying, but they remain responsible for the full scope of end-of-life care including providing information, symptom management, and other palliative or end-of-life interventions. The advisory opinion clarifies the nursing roles and responsibilities in palliative and end-of-life care.
- Advisory Opinion: Infusion Therapy Management (PDF)
The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) concludes that it is within the scope of practice for the appropriately prepared and competent registered nurse (RN) and licensed practical nurse (LPN) to provide and manage infusion therapy under the direction of authorized health care practitioner. The commission recommends the RN or LPN use the Interactive Scope of Practice Decision Tree to determine if an activity is within their legal and individual scope of practice.
You may review additional Nursing Commission advisory opinions on our Practice web page.