Laws, Rules and Policies
Please note that these statutes are provided in this format for your convenience only. You may always find the most current version of the Colorado Revised Statutes online via the Colorado Statute Manager.
Rules and Regulations
This online version of these regulations is the most current version available. However, this is not the official version. For official publication of these and all State of Colorado regulations, please consult the Code of Colorado Regulations or contact Weil Publishing at: Weil Publishing Co., Inc., 150 Capitol Street, Augusta, Maine 04330. You may also contact them by phone at 1-800-877-WEIL or visit their website at weilpublishing.com.
Chapter 1 Rules and Regulations for the Licensure of Practical and Professional Nurses
Chapter 2 Rules and Regulations for Approval of Nursing Education Programs
Chapter III Rules and Regulations Regarding the Imposition of Fines
Chapter IV Repealed effective in 1994
Chapter 5 Rules and Regulations for Licensure of Psychiatric Technicians
Chapter VI Rules and Regulations for the Accreditation of Psychiatric Technician Programs
Chapter VII Initial Decisions and Related Matters - Repealed effective April 1, 2011
Chapter VIII Declaratory Orders
Chapter IX Rules and Regulations for the Licensed Practical Nurse in Relation to IV Authority
Chapter 10 Rules and Regulations for Certification as a Nurse Aide
Chapter XI Rules and Regulations for Approval of Nurse Aide Training Programs
Chapter XII Rule and Regulations for Approval of Medication Aide Training Programs
Chapter XIII Rules and Regulations Regarding the Delegation of Nursing Tasks
Chapter XIV Rules and Regulations to Register Professional Nurses Qualified to Engage in Advanced Practice Nursing
Chapter XV Rules and Regulations for Prescriptive Authority for Advanced Practice Nurses
Chapter 16 Duty to Report Felonies
Chapter XVII Rules and Regulations for the Colorado Certified Nurse Aide Registry
Chapter XVIII Repealed effective October 1, 2007
Chapter 19 Rules and Regulations for Medication Aide Authority
Chapter 20 Rules and Regulations for Multistate Nurse Licensure
Chapter XXI Rules and Regulations Regarding Liability Insurance for Advanced Practice Nurses Engaged in Independent Practice
Chapter 22 Rules and Regulations Regarding the Designation of Authorized Entities to Conduct Professional Review of Advanced Practice Nurses
Chapter 23 Rules and Regulations Regarding Reporting Requirements
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Policies of the Nursing Board are divided into six sections:
Section 10 - Licensing
Section 20 - Enforcement
Section 30 - Authorities/Scope of Practice
Section 40 - Administration
Section 50 - Multi-State Licensure (Nurse Compact)
Section 60 - Miscellaneous
10-01 Clarification of "graduate" and "program"
10-02 Exemptions for former nurse lay midwives returning to the practice of nursing
10-03 Continuing competency requirements for Practical and Professional Nurses
10-04 Minimum recommended documentation for applicants for licensure by examination following revocation or surrender of license due to substance abuse issues
10-05 English Competency Requirements for Licensure
10-06 Continuing Competency Requirements Psychiatric Technicians
10-07 (Formerly 60-01) Clarification of the four (4) month statutory certification exemption and the term “denied” as used in section 12-38.1-117(1)(d), C.R.S. pertaining to Certified Nurse Aides
10-08 Delegated authority related to licensing
10-09 Substantial Equivalence for CNA and MA training gained in Military Service
10-10 Substantial Equivalence for practical nursing education gained in Military Service
10-11 License/Employment Designations
20-01 Patient abandonment
20-02 The Office of Investigations may expand an investigation
20-03 Complaints against individuals practicing without a license
20-04 Definition of "diverting controlled substances"
20-05 Extensions of time to respond to a complaint
20-06 Delegated authority related to enforcement
20-07 Nurses practicing on an expired license
20-08 Nurse aides practicing on an expired certificate (Repealed 7/27/2011)
20-09 Review of complaints related to nurses with expired licenses and nurse aides with expired certificates
20-10 Anonymous complaints
20-11 Enforcement of injunctive actions
20-12 Process for handling complaints involving Board of Nursing or Nurse Aide Advisory Committee (NAAC) members (Repealed 4/27/2011)
20-13 Authorization to accept a surrender of a license or certificate after the initiation of an investigation or hearing
20-14 Minimum qualifications for nurses performing oversight of probationary licenses
20-15 Delegation of authority regarding the monitoring of licensees who are subject to the terms of disciplinary actions
20-16 Urine drug and alcohol testing policy
20-17 Compliance with probationary reporting requirements
20-18 Criteria for the selection of evaluators
20-19 Public disciplinary documents
20-20 Reporting requirements
20-21 Non-Public Participation in the Nursing Peer Health Assistance or Nurse Alternative to Discipline Program
20-22 Delegation of authority to the Program Director or designee to process and resolve violations involving practice on expired licenses or expired certificates for nurses, nurse aides, and psychiatric technicians
20-23 To clarify the basis for this type of dismissal, when the Board of Nursing may reopen such a case and designation of a specific retention period for these types of cases.
20-24 Process for Handling Complaints Involving State Board of Nursing
20-25 Requirements for Evaluation Reports
20-26 Impairment While on Duty for RNs, LPNs, LPTs, and CNAs
30-01 IV Certification by Endorsement for Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
30-02 Staff approval of applications for the advanced practice registry (Repealed 10/24/2012)
30-03 Staff approval of applications for prescriptive authority (Repealed 10/24/2012)
30-04 Orders from other healthcare practitioners (conduit theory)
30-05 Overview of the scope of practice of advanced practice nursing
30-06 Determination of death
30-07 Voluntary withdrawal of Advanced Practice Registry, Prescriptive and IV Authorities
30-08 (Repealed 9/15/2010)
40-01 Delegated authority to order a summary suspension, execute an interim cessation of practice agreement and/or to order a mental/physical examination
40-02 Delegated authority (Repealed 10/24/2012)
40-03 Consideration of ALJ Initial Decisions
40-04 Subpoena enforcement
40-05 Personal appearances before the Full Board, the Panels or the Nurse Aide Advisory Committee (NAAC)
40-06 Nurse Aide Advisory Committee (NAAC), authority and purpose
40-07 Applicants who wish to serve on the Nurse Aide Advisory Committee (NAAC)
40-08 Composition and terms for the Nurse Aide Advisory Committee (NAAC)
40-10 Designation of Complementary Rules and Regulations
40-11 Release of Complaint and Investigatory Information to Other Licensing Boards
40-12 Release of Investigatory Information to FGovernmental and Law Enforcement Agencies
40-13 Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) Practice Coverage Outside of Normal Office Hours
50-01 Licensees subject to conditions pursuant to a Board Order regarding the Nurse Licensure Compact
50-02 Multistate practice of licensees under public discipline or participating in the Nursing Peer Health Assistance or Nurse Alternative to Discipline Program ("Alternative to Discipline") for physical, mental and/or substance abuse problems (Repealed 7/27/11)
50-03 Clarification of establishment of residency in Colorado when changing residency from another compact state
60-01 (Replaced with Policy 10-07)
60-02 Nursing Student Extern
60-03 Nurse Aide Training Program Pass Rate
60-04 Calculation of full-time to part-time faculty for professional and practical nursing education program
60-05 Further Clarification of the Definition of Nursing Education Program
60-06 Faculty Waiver Submissions for Nursing Education Programs
60-07 Ratio of Faculty to Student in Professional and Practical Nursing Education Programs
60-08 Clinical Simulation Laboratory Experience Evaluation and Faculty Competency in the Clinical Simulation Experience
60-09 Submission of Educational Material for Board Consideration
Scope of Practice
The Board has developed the following statements for use in determining scope of practice. Individual situations should be reviewed against these statements for verification of scope of practice.
In Colorado, the practice of professional nursing (including those listed on the advanced practice registry) includes the performance of both independent nursing functions and delegated medical functions. The Board of Nursing (BON) considers RNs to be independent practitioners.
Two things limit the independent scope of nursing practice:
- Task/practice must be within the field of nursing, and
- RN must possess the specialized knowledge, judgment and skill required to complete the job/task undertaken. There is no BON requirement for physician oversight of nurses during the course of independent nursing practice. However, individual facilities or physician practices may have policies requiring some level of physician involvement or oversight.
Dependent nursing function falls under delegated medical. CRS 12-38-103 (4) defines delegated medical function to include the RN implementation of a medical plan. ".a written plan, verbal order, standing order, or protocol - whether patient specific or not, that authorizes specific or discretionary medical action, which may include but is not limited to the selection of medication." The amount of physician oversight would be determined by the physician and nurse involved in this process.
The Board of Nursing has been working to empower Colorado nurses to determine their own scope of practice. The Board's mission is the regulation of nursing practice in Colorado; this regulation does not mean dictating how individual nurses should carry out that practice, but whether or not the practice meets the standards established by the Nurse Practice Act. Using the following guidelines and the attached flow chart, a nurse may decide what is within scope, and to make certain the task or practice is documented in facility or institution policies and procedures.
Begin by asking the following question: Is this task/practice within my scope of practice?
A. Basic Nursing Education Preparation
- Was the skill/task taught in your basic nursing program?
- If it was not included in your basic nursing education, have you since completed a comprehensive training program, which included clinical experience?
- Has this task has become so routine in the nursing literature and in nursing practice (e.g. sharp wound debridement), it can be reasonably and prudently assumed within scope?
- Is the skill/task in your hiring agency policy and procedure manual?
- Does carrying out the duty pass the "Reasonable and Prudent" standard for nursing?
If you can answer "yes" to all the above questions, the task is within your scope of practice and you do not need to seek a practice question decision from the Board. If you cannot answer "yes" to all of the above, proceed to option B.
B. If you answer "no" to any of the questions above, consider two possible outcomes:
- The task is not within your scope of practice - Omit task
- The task may not be within your scope of practice - Request Board of Nursing advisory opinion if needed.
The Nurse Practice Act defines the scope of practice of the licensed practical nurse (LPN) as that which is taught in schools of practical nursing in Colorado at this time. Therefore, all decisions regarding which tasks may be performed by a LPN are based on the present curriculum criteria. The LPN curriculum in Colorado is a 9 to 11 month course focusing on the care of patients with predictable outcomes. The curriculum emphasizes the maintenance of those patients and performance of nursing skills with a high degree of technical expertise. The practical nursing student is taught to identify normal from abnormal in each of the body systems and to identify changes in the patient's condition which are then reported to the RN or MD for further or "full" assessment. For further information regarding the specific tasks and skills taught in the LPN curriculum, you may wish to contact one of the many Colorado colleges offering an LPN program.
Legislation passed during the Legislative Session impacts the Division of Professions and Occupations. Please review the program's Laws, Rules and Policies web page to learn of any changes due to legislation.
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