Nursing Industry Proves We Don’t Need Feds to Regulate Everything

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Nurses Helping ElderlyBy Mike Maharrey

Americans have an obsession with centralizing regulatory functions in the federal government. Whether it be environmental, business or safety regulations, people reflexively turn to D.C. Most Americans believe only uniform dictates from the feds can adequately regulate various professions and industries. But the field of nursing proves this assumption wrong.

In an article published on his website, constitutional lawyer David Shestokas points out that some areas of life still exist where the feds don’t stick their noses, among these nursing. But despite the fact states manage all nursing regulations, the profession ranks as the most respected in America.

Each state, through their own Nurse Practice Act license and oversee the conduct of one of the most critical components of our health care system. In the rare cases of allegations of nursing malpractice that arise in federal court, a nurse is judged by the standards of the state that licensed her. Even a nurse working for the Veteran’s Administration is held to the standards of her state. This is because there is no federal nursing law, due to the appropriate deference to the 10th Amendment.

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States frequently update their Nurse Practice Act, and in doing so have the benefit of the experience of other states in this area. This is how the state laboratories of democracy are supposed to work in the federal system, to the benefit of each state’s citizens.

This provides a clear example of how the U.S. system was intended to operate. The federal government has no authority to regulate nursing. In this rare case, the feds actually respect their limits. And everything works just fine.

The bottom line is we don’t need one-size-fits-all dictates handed down from Washington D.C. to maintain a functioning society. In fact, it tends to work better when the federal bureaucrats get the heck out of the way.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky.See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at and like him on Facebook HERE

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