Nursing Standard of Care
(The “Prevailing Professional Standard of Care”)
Licensed nurses (Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners) are expected to know what the prevailing/current nursing standard of care entails and are required to adhere to the current nursing standard of care in their daily practice while providing patient care.
Florida law defines the “prevailing professional standard of care” as:
“that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” Florida Statutes §766.102(1).
With the advancement of science and medicine, the prevailing standard of care for health care providers must adapt to continually improve patient care. In Florida, the nursing standard of care is determined by a variety of sources, including the following:
Principles, Guidelines and Standards of professional nursing associations, such as the American Nursing Association (ANA);
The Florida Nurse Practice Act, Chapter 464, Florida Statutes; The Florida Administrative Code, particularly Department 59-Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and Chapter 64B9-Department of Health Board of Nursing;
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations(JCAHO);
Hospital Policies & Procedures (which are required by JCAHO and must conform to JCAHO standards);
Authoritative Nursing Texts and Journals (which are consistent with and apply the sources herein); and
Standard of Care testimony from expert witnesses in the same or similar field and/or specialty (who apply the Standard of Care sources herein to the case-specific facts).