In early 2000, blood bank regulations were changed to permit specially trained licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to administer blood. Recently, the NYS Board for Nursing and State Department of Health collaborated to revise and clarify the role of LPNs participating in the administration of blood components, resulting in new guidelines that agencies must follow if they choose to permit LPNs to perform such activities. Every hospital in the state has been alerted to the new guidelines. Hospitals must document the curriculum used in training LPNs, and the completion of training and determination of competency of individual participants.
Each institution must specify, in writing, whether LPNs may participate in blood administration and, if so, which tasks they may perform and for which components. The institution must verify and document that RNs have been educated regarding the delegation of blood administration tasks to LPNs. Delegation of these tasks is based on the RN’s professional judgment, the competence of the LPN, policies and procedures of the institution, and standards of nursing practice.
The RN retains the ultimate responsibility for administration and clinical management of blood components, including assessment of the patient for signs and symptoms of a transfusion reaction or other adverse event. Since current Education Law does not permit LPNs to make patient assessments, the practice of blood component administration requires an RN’s supervisory presence on the patient care unit at all times when blood components are being administered by LPNs.
“The Administration of Blood Components by LPNs” and the “Course Outline for Training Licensed Practical Nurses in the Administration of Blood Components” are available online under “Practice Alerts and Guidelines.” Questions on the scope of practice for LPNs or RNs may be answered by calling 518.474.3817, or by e-mail. Questions relating to blood transfusion requirements may be directed to the Blood and Tissue Resources Program: 518.474.5341 or by e-mail.
For questions, contact Education, Practice and Research at 518.782.9400, ext. 282