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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

49 Pa. Code § 21.141. Definitions.


§ 21.141. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—The Practical Nurse Law (63 P.S. §  §  651—667) which establishes standards for the education of practical nurses and the practice of practical nursing.

   Approved—Approved by the Board.

   Board—The State Board of Nursing of the Commonwealth.

   Bolus—A concentrated medication or solution given rapidly over a short period of time.

   Central venous catheter—An intravenous (IV) catheter, the tip of which terminates beyond the peripheral vasculature and may be either tunneled, implanted or percutaneously inserted.

   Examination year—The period beginning on October 1st of a year through September 30th of the following year.

   Focused assessment—Appraisal of an individual’s current status and situation, which contributes to comprehensive assessment by the licensed professional nurse and supports ongoing data collection.

   Graduate practical nurse—An individual who has graduated from an approved program of practical nursing in this Commonwealth or a comparable program in another state.

   IV access device—A centrally or peripherally inserted catheter used for the purpose of intravenous infusion therapy, including peripheral short catheters, peripheral midline catheters, peripherally inserted central catheters and central catheters, including tunneled, nontunneled catheters and implanted ports.

   IV therapy—The administration of fluids, electrolytes, nutrients or medications by the venous route.

   LPN—Licensed practical nurse. A nurse licensed under this subchapter to practice in this Commonwealth.

   Oral order—A spoken order issued by a practitioner authorized by law and by facility policy to issue orders for medical and therapeutic measures.

   PICC—Peripherally inserted central catheter—An IV catheter, the tip of which terminates in the superior vena cava and is confirmed by chest x-ray.

   Patient (includes residents and clients)—A person, other than a spouse or immediate family member, who receives professional services from a licensed practical nurse, regardless of whether or not the nurse receives remuneration for the services.

   Peripheral midline catheter—A peripherally inserted catheter, the tip of which terminates no further than the axilla and is between 3 inches and 8 inches (7.5 cm and 20 cm) in length.

   Peripheral short catheter—A venous access device less than 3 inches (7.5 cm) in length.

   Practice of practical nursing—The performance of selected nursing acts in the care of the ill, injured or infirm under the direction of a licensed professional nurse, a licensed physician or a licensed dentist which do not require the specialized skill, judgment and knowledge required in professional nursing.

   Professional relationship—The relationship which shall be deemed to exist for a period of time beginning with the first professional contact or consultation between a licensed practical nurse and a patient and ending with the final professional contact between them. The administration of emergency medical treatment or transitory trauma care will not be deemed to establish a professional relationship.

   Sexual impropriety—The term includes the following offenses:

     (i)   Making sexually demeaning or sexually suggestive comments about or to a patient, including comments about a patient’s body or undergarments.

     (ii)   Unnecessarily exposing a patient’s body or watching a patient dress or undress, unless for therapeutic purposes or the patient specifically requests assistance.

     (iii)   Examining or touching genitals without the use of gloves when performing an otherwise appropriate examination.

     (iv)   Discussing or commenting on a patient’s potential sexual performance or requesting details of a patient’s sexual history or preferences during an examination or consultation, except when the examination or consultation is pertinent to the issue of sexual function or dysfunction or reproductive health care. Discussion of a patient’s sexual practices and preferences shall be fully documented in the patient’s chart.

     (v)   Soliciting a date from a patient.

     (vi)   Volunteering information to a patient about one’s sexual problems, preferences or fantasies.

   Sexual violation—The term includes the following offenses:

     (i)   Sexual intercourse between an LPN and a patient during the professional relationship.

     (ii)   Genital to genital contact between a nurse and a patient during the professional relationship.

     (iii)   Oral to genital contact between a nurse and a patient during the professional relationship.

     (iv)   Touching breasts, genitals or any other body part for any purpose other than appropriate examination or treatment, or using prolonged or improper examination techniques, or after the patient has refused or withdrawn consent.

     (v)   Encouraging a patient to masturbate in the presence of the nurse or masturbating while the patient is present.

     (vi)   Providing or offering to provide drugs or treatment in exchange for sexual favors.

     (vii)   Using or causing the use of anesthesia or any other drug affecting consciousness for the purpose of engaging in any conduct that would constitute a sexual impropriety or sexual violation.

   Titration of IV medications—A process by which medication is administered and dosages are adjusted through a continuous medication-containing intravenous infusion (such as vasoactive drugs, anticoagulants, psychotropic drugs, neuromuscular drugs, hormones, and the like) to effect a desired state based upon patient assessment data and prescribed parameters.


   The provisions of this §  21.141 amended under section 2.1(k) of The Professional Nursing Law (63 P.S. §  212.1(k)); and section 17.6 of the Practical Nurse Law (63 P.S. §  667.6); and amended under sections 2.1(k) and 6.1 of The Professional Nursing Law (63 P.S. § §  212.1(k) and 216.1); and sections 9 and 17.6 of the Practical Nurse Law (63 P.S. § §  659 and 667.6).


   The provisions of this §  21.141 amended July 1, 1983, effective July 2, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 2061; amended September 8, 2000, effective September 9, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 4730; amended December 19, 2003, effective December 20, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 6219; amended May 19, 2006, effective May 20, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2402; amended April 24, 2009, effective April 25, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 2103; amended August 24, 2012, effective August 25, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 5486. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (342920) to (342922).

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