Can Nurse Practitioners Intubate or Not?

Can nurse practitioners intubate

During an emergency, it is important to make sure that an ill patient has a sufficient amount of oxygen in the blood to prevent damage to the brain and sustain life.

When there is a swelling or damage in the airway, it prevents the free-flowing of air through the lungs.

That’s when it may be necessary to intubate the patient to save a life.

So, can nurse practitioners intubate?

Some states permit residential nurses to intubate patients during emergency purposes.

Continue reading the article to know more about whether a nurse could practice intubation.

So far the duties and tasks of nurses are concerned, they are confined to the state nursing practice acts. As such, the State’s nursing practice act measures the scope of practice.

That means, the act lays forward certain actions that prohibit or allow the nurses to perform a specific duty or task.

See also: What Are Nurse Practitioners Not Allowed to Do?

Nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetics, who fall under the category of advanced practice nurses, are given expanded scope for a certain type of practice.

But can nurse practitioners intubate then?

Intubation is normally added in the scope of practice for an advanced nurse who specializes in anesthetics.

That’s because intubation is the only way through which anesthesia gets delivered in delivery or operating room.

See also: Best Shoes for Operating Room

But, different health care facilities and states have their own set of rules when it is about nurse intubation.

States like Nevada allow intubation when the nurses have completed their special training on certain subjects such as ACLS, or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support training.

Get your ACLS Certification online:

Whereas in Maine, there are separate rules that govern residential nurse intubation. The nurses in Maine are permitted to intubate ill or injured patients since 1986.

The nurses are allowed to do so under the guidelines set by the Maine Board of Nursing. But this is not the case with nurses who belong to other states.

Almost all the other states permit only the advanced practice nurses like the nurse anesthetists to perform intubation.

See also: Where Do Nurse Anesthetists Work?

Also, the nurses who work in the area of emergency medicine are allowed to practice how to intubate injured and ill patients.

Backed by the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association notes, intubation has been given a priority in the field of emergency medicine.

In South Carolina, a residential nurse can intubate a patient in an emergency situation, provided the health care facility has appropriate well-established policies, standard procedures, and standing orders.

Now you know the basic whether can nurse practitioners intubate or not, so it’s time dive in a little deeper.

Can acute care nurse practitioners intubate?

Can acute care nurse practitioners intubate

An acute care nurse practitioner or ACNP is the one providing advanced nursing care to certain patients who are suffering from brief severe illnesses.

See also: Where Do Acute Care Nurse Practitioners Work?

These patients could be found in an ambulatory care clinic, emergency department, or other staying facilities.

ACNPs along with physicians and other members of the healthcare team diagnose and cure acute medical conditions.

The ACNP is a fast-paced and growing profession in nursing career choices. It is full of variety and responsibilities.

See also: Responsibility of a Nurse With Examples

An ACNP is trained to make life-changing, difficult decisions that serve the best interests of the patients.

That’s why it is both a challenging and rewarding career option in nursing.

As aforementioned, acute care NP works with patients who are experiencing critical injuries or illness often.

These professionals not only serve important roles when it is about addressing the urgent needs in intensive care units or emergency rooms.

See also: What Does ICU Stand for?

But, they embrace other responsibilities and duties like collecting detailed health histories of patients and performing speedy procedures such as performing lumbar punctures, placing central lines, or introducing intubation.

As their role is constantly growing and diversifying, these nurses are certified by AACN or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

An ACNP, or acute care nursing practitioner students who are to be employed in their roles in the area of acute care can’t be autonomous while practicing unless they have the least proficiency level when it comes to performing life-sustaining speedy and effective procedures.

Providing added level of benefits of quality and safety in healthcare, simulation as a part of the teaching method is growing in popularity among different levels of education spread across a variety of disciplines.

Hence, providing opportunities to the aspired students in a simulation laboratory could be a win-win situation for the practitioner, consumer, and the healthcare industry.

Can family nurse practitioners intubate?

Can family nurse practitioners intubate

Family nurse practitioners or FNPs work in primary care facilities that include family practice, internal medicine clinics, pediatric and women’s health.

As such, these nurses are mostly found in ambulatory or outpatient settings such as community health clinics, and partner and independent practice clinics.

The expertise of the FNPs makes them a valuable asset to governmental agencies and managed care organizations.

But, in many emergency departments, FNPs are not allowed to run codes or intubate critical patients.

However, this is not true for all nurses in all the ER settings.

And, particularly to those nurses working in critical access hospitals or rural healthcare facilities.

The FNPs may provide treatment to patients with acute health conditions as long as the condition of the patient is not life-threatening.

If the condition deteriorates, the patient has to be shifted to emergency rooms.

See also: ER Nurse Interview Questions

In those facilities, only the ACNPs can take care of the patients.

This way, the FNPs would be able to intubate.

However, it is seen that many NP schools provide programs for aspiring candidates where they can learn invasive procedures like intubation.

Yet, on many occasions, these nurses are not allowed to perform.

The FNPs are licensed and certified to treat patients regardless of their age.

The tern family in FNP means they care for persons throughout their entire life right from infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adult lifespan.

It is often seen that FNPs provide prenatal and postnatal intensive care both to the mother and her baby.

The FNPs are trusted persons in a healthcare facility and their vast knowledge makes them adaptable by individuals in society.

They are capable of research and applying theories to develop strategies that give quality care.

See also: Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions

Conclusion: Can nurse practitioners intubate?

Intubation set

The difference in nursing practice acts makes it impossible to generalize policies that allow nurses to intubate patients.

Because there are many legal aspects to this high-risk process, it should never be taken without proper training.

For issues relating to nursing practices in your state, you may consult your state board of nursing.

Now you know whether can nurse practitioners intubate or not.

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.