can LPN take verbal telephone orders?


I have been inactive for a while and was just wondering after reading some of the posts on this board. Can a LPN take verbal telephone orders and call a MD with a status change or is this out of the scope of practice?

I used to be evening charge nurse in LTC facility and did the above all the time. I would take telephone orders, send patients to hospital, call MD for status change or when a resident fell ect. If this isn't allowed currently with a LPN license then we aren't anything more than glorified Medicine Aids.

I do believe that I have the skills as an LPN for the assessing a patient and calling MD ect. I was just currious. Thank you and help in this area.

Specializes in ICU, PICC Nurse, Nursing Supervisor. Has 20 years experience.

of course you can. the majority of ltc facilities are staffed by lvn's so if we cant take verbal orders ....your patients are in trouble.


645 Posts

LTC is mostly LPN in my area so yes, you are the one calling the doc's and updating changes in condition. My facility only has about 9 RN's it it and most of us are the office staff nurses.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

Even in acute care the LVN is allowed to take verbal orders. Some Docs might ask for the charge nurse, but "legally" the LVN is perfectly capable.


301 Posts

We do on both of my jobs I work in. One is a traditional LTC facility, the other is licensed as a LTC, but is considered a type of school for developmental and physically challenged people, but, yes, it is a LTC. We call the doctor for problems, and take orders and carry out those orders. However, our facility policy on the job that houses the mentally challenged, is that we also notify the RN on call, as well as the MD. So the RN knows what we are doing before we call the doctor and can have her input into it as well.


1,355 Posts

Yes, I would assume it is legal in most states in LTC, in WI it is definitely legal and done all the time, as most nurses in LTC are LPNs.

Lorie P.

754 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

we sure can, not enough rn's where i work, so whoe else is going to take them?

mianders, RN

236 Posts

Specializes in ER, Infusion therapy, Oncology. Has 13 years experience.

I live in TX and LVN's can take telephone and verbal orders. They can do assessments if an RN signs behind them. They can not hang blood. Although, they can check blood with a RN. There are also some medications they are not allowed to give. In our hospital they are given full pt. loads just like the RN.


95 Posts

Specializes in pediatric and geriatric. Has 19 years experience.

I call the dr. and take telephone orders in peds home health too. I just need to call and tell the RN case manager what was ordered and why so she can update the files. We sure do use tons of assessment skills, so no we are not glorified med pushers!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
Can a LPN take verbal telephone orders and call a MD with a status change or is this out of the scope of practice?
This varies from state-to-state. You'll need to contact your state's board of nursing to receive a more definitive answer to your question.

I'm permitted to take verbal and telephone orders in my state, but I don't know which state you reside (which is the issue).


24 Posts

It depends on your state. Many states allow it, some don't.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

For LTC yes,, but in acute care hospitals you need to check their own policies. In my facility LPN's do not take telephone orders. And according to joint commission, verbal orders(not telephone orders) can only be taken by an RN with a signature by the physician within one hour of the verbal order.

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