Unlicensed Assistive Personnel and Infusion Therapy

In case you missed it, the Infusion Nurses Society (INS) has published an updated position paper on The Role of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP) in the Provision of Infusion Therapy. 

UAP is the common term used to describe the various assistive personnel to whom physicians, RNs, and other health care professionals may delegate patient care activities, with the potential inclusion of infusion therapy and vascular access. UAP do not hold a license or other mandatory professional requirements for practice, although many hold various certifications. You may not call them UAPs but we’ve worked with many of them and know them as nursing assistants, IV technicians and/or medical assistants, to name a few.

This position paper is an update to the 2009 INS position paper addressing the use of nursing assistive personnel (NAP) in the provision of infusion therapy. Back then, INS strongly recommended that NAP should not be used in the direct provision of infusion therapy and believed that delegation of related procedures and activities to NAP may result in potential adverse outcomes to the patient and the public, and increased liability risk to the registered nurse (RN). A lot has happened since 2009. We have seen major changes in health care systems, changes in the nursing practice environment, and the provision of infusion therapy has increased in nonacute settings.

Here’s INS position statement: To promote patient safety and ensure safe practice by the RN that
1. The role of UAP involved with infusion therapy is defined in the organization’s policies and procedures.
2. The role of UAP involved with infusion therapy is limited to tasks for which documented education, training, competency assessment and validation, and outcomes monitoring are demonstrated.
3. When working with UAP in any health care setting, RNs are knowledgeable about the ANA principles of delegation, associated risks and benefits, and state laws and regulations governing RNs’ scope of practice.


For more information or to obtain a copy of the INS position paper – click here

Disclosure:  I served as the chair of the INS task force committee on UAP position paper and the primary author listed on the publication.