The eternal question "Vocational vs. Practical" is answered by the Ohio NPA. In Ohio, the title is LPN. The practice of an LPN means providing care to individuals and groups, requiring the application of basic knowledge of the biological, physical, behavioral, social, and nursing sciences. The LPN practices under the direction of an RN, physician, physician assistant, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, or chiropractor. In Ohio, an LPN is expected to function within the limits of practice set by the Ohio Revised Code as well as by any rules by the Board of Nursing, applicable laws, rules, and professional standards (ORC, 4723.01 (B) – (D)).
It is an expectation that current knowledge of duties, responsibilities, and accountabilities necessary for safe nursing practice be maintained and that an LPN can demonstrate competence and accountability in the care they deliver. LPNs are also expected to possess the skills necessary to recognize, refer, seek consultation, or implement interventions that may be needed to manage complications that may arise.
In the state of Ohio, it is expected that an LPN will promptly implement any order or direction for a client unless the LPN believes or should believe the order is: inaccurate, not properly authorized, not current, valid, or contraindicated by other documented information.
An LPN must obtain clarification for any order or direction for a client when the LPN believes or should have reason to believe the order or direction is: inaccurate, not properly authorized, not current, valid, or contraindicated by other documented information. Clarification for an order or direction requires a timely consultation with an appropriate licensed practitioner. If the LPN decides not to follow the direction, or administer the medication or treatment as prescribed, they must notify the prescribing practitioner. Following administration, document that the practitioner was notified of the decision and the reason for that decision. The LPN is expected to act when needed to ensure the safety of the client.
An LPN is expected to promptly report to and consult with other nurses or healthcare team members. They are also expected to make referrals for the client as appropriate. When discussing client information with other health providers, the LPN must maintain client confidentiality to the greatest extent possible. The client has the right to give or withhold consent regarding the release of information. This consent includes written consent when appropriate or identified by law.
In those instances in which an LPN is directed to observe, advise, instruct, or evaluate the performance of a nursing task, they are expected to use acceptable standards of safe nursing care as a basis. Any information they communicate should be within the acceptable standards of safe nursing care.