The Illinois Nurse Practice Act does not directly or specifically reference LPN’s providing IV Therapy; however, the existing rules do provide some guidance as to the LPN providing some types of IV Therapy. The Department of Professional Regulation has realized that there has been some recent confusion regarding this issue and has published so on its website, www.idfpr.com. Note that the Nurse Practice Act was recently amended and as such the Rules governing the licensure and regulation of the practice of nursing are being revised to reflect these changes to the Act and existing policy and practices. You should periodically check the Department’s website to ensure that you have current information.
While the Act does not have direct references to the provision of IV Therapy by a LPN, it does reference the LPN implementing plan of care as delegated. Further, matters relating to the scope of the LPN’s practice are often dictated based upon the licensee’s education, training and experience: however, this scope is not to be read as allowing all types of procedures or practices. The Department of Professional Regulation generally views matters on a case by case basis to determine compliance.
Applying these above referenced principles, to the LPN who possesses the proper education, training and experience may in fact administer antibiotic medications through a peripheral IV line via IV piggyback for a continuous infusion of fluids, with or without medications, through an IV access device. A peripheral IV line is defined as a short catheter inserted through the skin into a peripheral vein. Antibiotics may also be administered through peripheral access for intermittent infusions. The medication should be premeasurered and prepacked. Also, as has been past practice, the administration of chemotherapeutic agents via intravenous routes, starting or adding blood or blood components, administration of medications via intravenous push and adding medication to existing intravenous infusions, including heparin in heparin locks, is not allowed.