The new law redefines “psychiatric nurse” [as used in Chapter 394, Florida Statutes; The Baker Act] as a certified advanced registered nurse practitioner, instead of a registered nurse, who holds a national advanced practice certification as a psychiatric mental health advanced practice nurse. The bill retains requirements for a psychiatric nurse to hold a master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric nursing, and complete two years of post-master’s clinical experience under a physician’s supervision.
The bill authorizes a psychiatric nurse, who performs within the framework of an established protocol with a psychiatrist, to:
- Examine a patient upon admission to a receiving facility; and
- Approve a patient to be discharged from a receiving facility if the facility is owned or operated by a hospital or health system.
The bill prohibits a psychiatric nurse from approving a patient to be discharged if an involuntary examination of the patient was initiated by a psychiatrist, unless the discharge is approved by that psychiatrist.