The adoption of new state standards governing assisted living care could bring more nurses to facilities in Jacksonville and other areas of Florida.

The legislation, which was signed by Gov. Rick Scott last week, will make it possible for certifed nurses who work in an assisted living community to practice “to the full extent of their abilities within the scope of the community’s license.”

The new guidelines go into effect July 1.

The action is significant because previously caregivers employed by an assisted living facility had been restricted from performing certain medical functions on residents.

“It’s been very frustrating to tell them, ‘I can’t change your Band-aid,’” said Donna Crivaro, a registered nurse who lives in Jacksonville and works as a consultant training caregiving professionals in assisted living communities across the region.

Under the new regulations, nurses will not only be allowed to perform such jobs but encouraged to do so, potentially saving older residents a trip to the emergency room.

“I think this is going to have the effect of attracting more nurses to the industry because nursing will be recognized in an assisted living setting,” said Crivaro, president of the Florida chapter of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association.

By:  Colleen Michele Jones

Jacksonville Business Journal