Colorado Board of Nursing Review – No Policy
Reviewed by Sedation Certification – March 20, 2019
State Sedation Policy – NO  – Board of Nursing – Scope of Practice Statements


Scope of Practice for Registered Nurses (RNs)

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:

1)  Task/practice must be within the field of nursing, and

2)  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.