Introduction to Foot and Nail Care
Learning Objective 1: Explain the principles of being a foot care nurse.
Section 1.1: State Regulations and Scope of Practice
If you haven't done your research regarding your scope of practice, this section will help guide you to your state and professional association regulations. As mentioned in the course description page under State Regulations, most states have adopted a position that follows the Scope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework. After reviewing your state's Nurse Practice Act and other Rules/Regulations that may prohibit specific actions, if you have not had the education and training, it is not within your scope of practice to perform foot and nail care.
Some states require certification, some states require evidence of education and training, most states use the above referenced framework (which calls for education and training), and some states have limited the foot care services that nurses can perform.
Take a moment to look up your state requirements. What did you find? What surprised you? Contact your state board of nursing for confirmation/clarification. Many states consider this a legal issue and refuse to give specific direction, while others additionally require an order.
For states requiring certification, review the eligibility criteria for Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Certification Board for Certified Foot Care Nurse (CFCN) requirements as well as the American Foot Care Nurses Association for Certified Foot Care Specialist (CFCS) requirements.
Activity: What foot care services can nurses in your state perform? If there is only a general description of the nursing scope of practice, contact your state board of nursing for further direction. You may also want to contact your professional liability insurance company since providing independent services or creating a business may increase your premium. Please cite your references.
Rationale: Although there may be other nurses in your state who are performing foot care, they may not have researched the rules/regulations regarding their scope of practice. Document your findings so that you are legally protected.