Nursing Practice

The Michigan Nurses Association works to ensure that nursing’s priorities, including professional practice, education, advocating for the care of individuals, families, communities, and career development are incorporated into the vision and mission of the organization.

Professional nurses as leaders and as change agents play a critical role in providing quality health care and promoting patient safety. Nurses are trusted by the public and known for their ethics, expertise, commitment, and compassion. Our nursing agenda should expand beyond professional aspirations and also focus on becoming more relevant and involved in the policy discussions on the future shape of health care.

The following definitions are based on the language in the Michigan Public Health Code:

The practice of nursing includes the care/treatment and counsel/teaching of patients who (1) are experiencing changes in the normal health processes or (2) require assistance in the maintenance of health and the prevention or management of illness, injury, or disability. A registered professional nurse (RN) is an individual (1) who is licensed to engage in the practice of nursing and (2) whose scope of practice includes the teaching, direction, and supervision of less skilled co-workers who perform nursing activities. An RN may perform under the supervision of a physician or dentist, and a physician may delegate in writing to an RN the ordering, receipt, and dispensing of medicines other than certain controlled substances.

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a person who practices nursing, but who has less comprehensive education and skills than an RN. An LPN may perform only under the supervision of an RN, physician, or dentist. The practice of a licensed practical nurse is a health professional subfield of the practice of nursing; as such, LPNs may not delegate tasks to or supervise other licensed or non-licensed health professionals.

Recent legislation (SB 5400) amended the Michigan Public Health Code and impacts the nursing profession. A summary of the changes is listed below, however, licensees should review that statute to ensure compliance with the new law. These new requirements became effective April 9, 2017.

PA 499 of 2016 adds a Clinical Nurse Specialist to the health profession specialty fields for which the Michigan Board of Nursing may grant a specialty certification.  In addition, MCL 333.17201(1)(a) defines an “advanced practice registered nurse” (APRN) as a registered nurse who has been granted a specialty certification under MCL 333.17210 in one of the following health profession specialty fields: nurse midwifery, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist.

MCL 333.17214 explains when an APRN can go on calls or rounds in various settings.

Pursuant to MCL 333.17211a of the Code, an APRN may prescribe as follows and does not require a separate controlled substance license.