September 19, 2018 by Robyn W. Madden
South Carolina has placed an increased focus over the past couple of years related to pain management and prescribing controlled medication. In late 2017, The Board of Medical Examiners, Board of Nursing, and Board of Dentistry issued revised pain management guidelines delineating what must be considered when prescribing controlled medications. The lines recently shifted to provide for increased discretion for prescribing practices. In May 2018, Governor Henry McMaster expanded prescriptive authority, signing a bill into law granting nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and clinical nurse specialists the ability to prescribe Schedule II narcotic and non-narcotic medications subject to certain conditions and provided that the practice agreement (entered into by and between the practitioner and his/her supervising physician) provides for the same. Prescribing and/or practicing outside of the guidelines set forth herein may result in LLR disciplinary action.
Any medical acts performed by a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist must be conducted in accordance with a written practice agreement between the nurse and the physician or medical staff. In South Carolina, a practice agreement should include, at a minimum, the following information:
Advanced practiced nurses may continue to prescribe Schedules III through V controlled substances when set forth under the Practice Agreement.
Advanced practice nurses may now also prescribe Schedule II medications when provided under the practice agreement subject to the following limitations.
Practicing beyond the scope of the agreement, or the extent of the new law, can result in disciplinary action with the South Carolina Board of Nursing. Ensuring that a patient’s file is properly documented, and that your practice agreement is up to date and completely outlines the scope of the relationship is one way to limit potential liability. Turner Padget’s Professional License Defense Team assists LPNs, RNs, APRNs, and CRNAs across the State of South Carolina. If you have questions about this article, or need assistance defending a Board of Nursing Complaint, call us today to learn more about how we can help. 803-227-4254