APRN Prescriptive Authority for Nonscheduled Legend Drugs and CAPA-NS


For more information, please review KRS 314.011(8); 314.042(8); and 201 KAR 20:057.

Collaborative Agreement for APRN Prescriptive Authority for Nonscheduled Legend Drugs (CAPA-NS)

An APRN with a CAPA-NS for prescriptive authority must maintain a copy of the agreement and provide it to KBN upon request. 

Once an APRN has entered into a written CAPA-NS that defines the scope of prescribing authority for the APRN, and it is signed by a physician licensed in Kentucky, the APRN may write prescriptions for nonscheduled legend medications.  Prescribing nonscheduled legend medications without a written CAPA-NS is considered a violation of the Kentucky Nursing Laws and could subject the APRN to disciplinary action.  There is no KBN application process for an APRN to complete in order to prescribe nonscheduled legend drugs; consequently, KBN has neither developed nor distributed a format for the CAPA-NS.  Section 6 of 201 KAR 20:057 lists the items that must be in this agreement.

The Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives website has detailed information on APRN Prescribing and offers editable CAPA Forms  at no charge.  The Kentucky Coalition's website address is www.kcnpnm.org External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.


...See History of CAPAs

APRN Scope of Practice

It appears that questions concerning an APRN’s scope of practice stem, most often, from the requirement defining an APRN’s scope of prescribing authority.  An APRN’s scope of practice is determined by the following factors:

  • The APRN's post basic nursing education.
  • The type of advanced nursing practice certification.
  • The scope and standards of practice of the APRN's national nursing certification organization that credentials the APRN.

Further, 201 KAR 20:057 incorporates by reference the various scopes and standards for advanced nursing practice published by the various national nursing organizations thereby giving the incorporated scopes and standards of advanced nursing practice the force and effect of law.  All of these elements in combination provide the framework for the individual APRN’s "scope of practice."

In addition, KRS 314.021(2) imposes individual responsibility upon a nurse to undertake the performance of acts for which the nurse is educationally prepared and clinically competent to perform in a safe, effective manner.  This section holds nurses individually responsible and accountable for rendering safe, effective nursing care to clients and for judgments exercised and actions taken in the course of providing care. For example, if an APRN doubts his/her ability to appropriately and safely prescribe a particular medication for a patient, then the APRN should not prescribe the medication. The APRN should consult with a collaborating physician licensed in Kentucky concerning the appropriate medication or refer the patient to the appropriate health care provider for further evaluation and treatment.  In addition, the APRN has a legal responsibility to acquire the necessary education and supervised clinical practice that would validate his/her competence in prescribing medications in the future.  APRNs should only prescribe medications that are within their "scope of practice" and for which they have the knowledge and competence to prescribe.

CE Requirement

All APRNs are required to earn 5 contact hours of approved nursing continuing education in pharmacology.  This requirement applies regardless of whether or not the ARNP’s practice includes prescribing nonscheduled legend and/or controlled substance medications. The 5 contact hours may be included in the total 14 contact hours of approved nursing continuing education required for licensure renewal.

...more on Pharmacology CE​​​​​

See Also...

APRN Prescriptive Authority for Controlled Substances
Includes CAPA-CS form and information.

APRN Practice
Includes information regarding APRNs & Medication Samples.