In a 2007 study by American Nurses Association stated that 48% of injectable medication errors happened during preparation and administration of IV medications. A similar study stated that most errors occurred during IV bolus administration (73% rate of error). This was mainly due to bolus doses being injected faster than recommended. The report also stated that the reason for all these errors was lack of training and preparation for IV medications and lack of space for medication preparation.
Because of errors like these, states placed limitations on how much nurses can do within a work facility.
Each state is different in deciding how much an LPN is allowed to perform. Many states are very clear in what procedures nurses can perform while other states are very vague. Some states are very broad in their interpretations on what the nurses can do and then some others set very specific limitations.
Uniformly, LPNs are not allowed to administer IV pushes at all. RNs are the nurses who usually deal with the IV pushes in the work facility, however, LPNs can learn from RNs how to do an IV push. Depending on the state, some LPNs are taught within their work facility how to do IV pushes.
One example is the state is Texas. The Board of Nursing in Texas limits the LPN only in the insertion of PICC lines and the administration of epidural medications. The board also states that the LPN must have successfully completed an IV therapy validation course that relates to the types of therapies the nurse will administer.
Furthermore, LPNs in Texas must have education related to the types of procedures and IV therapies that the employer policy and procedure says they may perform within the facility. In other words, it is up to the employer to mandate what LPNs can do in relation to IV procedures and therapies.
Keep in mind, this all depends on which state you live in. In Illinois, LPN are not allowed to give IV push medication, take care of central lines, or hang blood.
As an LPN, it is always acceptable to ask your DON, ADON, or another trained professional how you can learn a new skill. Don’t be bashful, always look for learning opportunities!
If you’re an LPN looking into an option to earn your RN license, Accell Education Group provides a tutor-based online program that makes earning your RN license fast, fun and affordable. Call Accell at 866-74-ACCEL to set up a brief phone consultation to discuss your options.