Dedicated to Serving the Insurance Needs of Nurses Since 1976™
The NSO Risk Advisor is published as an added benefit for the insurance customers of Nurses Service Organization. The Risk Advisor shares articles of interest, answers to frequently asked questions and actual case studies. Our panel of experts in nursing, insurance, and law comment on how you can minimize your professional liability risks.
2016 NSO Risk Advisor
2016 Nurse Edition V2
Featured Article: This case study involves a
nurse practitioner working as a
forensic nurse in an emergency
A 40 year old female (patient/plaintiff) presented to the emergency
department after being sexually and physically assaulted. According
to the healthcare record, the patient was working alone at a wireless
telecommunication store when a male came in the door with a knife
in his hand. He physically and sexually assaulted the patient for over
an hour before leaving. Shortly after the assault, the male was arrested
a few blocks away from the store.
2016 Advanced Practice Nurse Edition V2
Featured Article:This case study involves a licensed
practical nurse working in the
The one year old minor patient had a history of extreme
prematurity and had been cared for in her home by her
mother and, for sixteen hours daily, by nurses who provided
ventilator care, tracheostomy care, tube feedings, and
prescribed medications. The patient had experienced multiple
hospitalizations for episodes of respiratory distress and
difficulty in replacing the tracheostomy tube, with the most
recent episode occurring one day prior to the event at issue.
2016 Nurse Edition V1
Featured Article: This case study involves a nurse
working as an occupational health
Our insured registered nurse (defendant) was employed in a
healthcare setting working as an occupational health nurse.
While she was in the cafeteria during her lunch break, she
was approached by a 42 year old, maintenance employee
(plaintiff) complaining of a headache. She instructed the
employee to come to the occupational health office after
lunch and she would give him some over-the-counter
An hour later, the employee came to the office stating that his
head was hurting worse and he felt nauseated. He had been
working on air condition units in an older part of the building
which was known to have mold and dust. He contributed the
dust and mold to the cause of his headache. The patient/
employee seemed in a hurry when he entered into the office,
so the nurse bypassed assessing him or ascertaining about a
medical history and instead gave him medications. She gave
him 500 milligrams of acetaminophen and 25 milligrams of
Benadryl® and told him to go home and rest. The employee
thanked the nurse and left the office to take her advice of
going home early from work to rest. This is the last contact
our nurse had with employee.
2016 Advanced Practice Nurse Edition V1
Featured Article:This case study involves a nurse
practitioner as an owner and
treating practitioner in a family
medical office setting.
Our insured family nurse practitioner (defendant) was the primary
provider of a 67 year-old male patient (plaintiff) for various medical
conditions including diabetes, Crohn’s disease and hypertension. He
had a 50 year history of one to two packs-a-day cigarette smoking
habit and for the past 40 years he admitted to being a “heavy beer
drinker.” Our insured NP was his primary treating provider for five
years after he was discharged from his previous primary medical
provider due to non-compliance with his chronic illnesses and
abusive statements to the former provider’s office staff. The patient
claimed that he had issues affording medications and this is the
reason for his non-compliance, but offered no explanation for his
2014-2015 NSO Risk Advisor
2014-2015 Nurse Edition
Featured Article: Caring for Aging Patients
A nurse working in a long-term care facility replaces a resident's gastric tube without an order and without notifying the nurse practitioner, who is the resident's primary care provider. The resident subsequently develops sepsis and dies. A nurse working on a medical/ surgical unit in the hospital fails to fully assess a 76-year-old patient who complains of abdominal discomfort. The patient has frequent complaints, and the nurse dismisses this latest as "gas." Unfortunately, the patient has a perforated ulcer and requires extensive surgery. These two cases would likely result in litigation, illustrating the legal risks associated with caring for older patients. As members of a vulnerable population, juries are likely to be highly sympathetic toward older plaintiffs. Fortunately, you can take steps to safeguard yourself.
2014-2015 Advanced Practice Nurse Edition
Featured Article: Evidence-based practice protects against litigation
You're a nurse practitioner (NP) in a primary care practice assessing Mr. Smith, a 66-year-old man who is new to the practice. Mr. Smith, who suffered an anterior wall myocardial infarction (MI), was discharged 3 weeks ago from the hospital. The steps you take to manage Mr. Smith's care will contribute to his short- and long-term outcomes. If you base those steps on the latest evidence, you'll also cover yourself from litigation if an unfortunate event occurs. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a problem solving approach that encompasses research, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) should use information from these three components to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of their patients. Integrating EBP with your practice will improve patient care and reduce your risk for legal action.
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