QUESTION: Is it within the Scope of Practice for the licensed practical nurse (LPN) to remove sutures or staples?
ANSWER: It is within the Scope of Practice for the licensed practical nurse to remove sutures or staples if the LPN has demonstrated clinical competency in suture/staple removal and the task is delegated to them by an RN or Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP) who retains accountability for the delegation.
RATIONALE: Practical nursing includes performing additional acts that require education and training as prescribed by the Board and that are recognized by the nursing profession as proper to be performed by the practical nurse, under the supervision of the physician or registered nursing.
Licensed practical nurses must adhere to their employers/agency's written policy and procedures.
Article 1. Board of Nursing; 32-1602. Definitions #12(g)
Alabama State Board of Nursing. n.d. Procedures Beyond Basic Education that have been approved following the requirements of the Standardized Procedure Rule: Sutures and Staples Removal by LPN.
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Registrations. Board of Nursing. (2009). Personal Communication of 6/12/09.
Iowa State Board of Nursing. 2012. LPN Functions.
Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners. (2009) Personal communication 6/15/09.
South Carolina Board of Nursing. (2001). Advisory Opinion #14.