2001:  Nurse Practitioners Included as Signers

Nurse practitioners (NPs) provide primary care for a substantial number of Oregonians. In the early years of the program POLST forms for NP patients needed to be signed by a supervising physician even though these orders were similar to other NP orders not requiring this signature. The task force worked with the Oregon Board of Nurses in determining that POLST orders are within the scope of practice for NP’s and therefore do not require physician co-signature. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responders were not allowed to take orders from nurses so the task force worked with EMS to ensure that POLST orders signed by an NP could be followed by EMS based on their standing orders from their EMS supervising physician.