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Workarounds: 6 ways nurse leaders can reduce their risks

Nurses must contend with many competing demands during a typical shift (delivering care to patients, educating families, communicating with other members of the healthcare team, to name just a few), often causing them to seek ways to compress everything they must do into a short time frame.

Full practice authority: What it means for NPs

Recent developments have led to significant progress with achieving full practice authority (FPA) for nurse practitioners (NPs) in the United States. However, it’s crucial for NPs to understand that FPA comes with professional responsibilities and the need to protect yourself against potential liability. This article provides a general overview of state practice and licensure laws, trends driving FPA, and strategies that NPs can use to reduce potential legal action related to their practice.

Documenting nursing assessments in the age of EHRs

Nurses have grown accustomed to documenting assessment results in the electronic health record (EHR), rapidly clicking responses to assessment checklist questions. However, at times nurses complete these actions without giving enough thought to their documentation because they want to move on to their “real” work: caring for patients.

Liability considerations as nurse practitioners’ scope of practice expands

The authors of the report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine state that allowing NPs to practice to the full extent of their education and training will improve access to care and health equity. The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, released May 2021, calls for eliminating restrictions on the scope of practice of nurse practitioners (NPs).

When the patient disagrees

Nurses and nurse practitioners take pride in providing detailed information to patients to help them make treatment decisions. But what happens when patients don’t make what you think is the “right” choice? Ultimately, you need to respect the patient’s autonomy and right to choose (self-determination) even if you feel the patient isn’t making the best decision, for example, by refusing an important diagnostic test.

Risk Management Considerations in Telehealth and Telemedicine

As the provision of healthcare services via technology—commonly called telehealth or telemedicine—expands during the current COVID-19 emergency period, questions arise regarding the permitted scope of practice, licensure requirements and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), among other regulatory-based inquiries.

Understanding the Nurse Practice Act: NCSBN’s Guide to Reducing Your Liability

Date: Thursday, August 10, 2023
Time: 3:00 PM ET – 4:00pm ET
Duration: 1 hour*

Defending Your License: Strategies for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)

The presentation will focus on providing strategies for advanced practice nurses to defend their professional license.

Healing and Humor in Nursing: A Path to Resilience

Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2022 
Time: 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Duration: 1 hour

Defending Your License: Strategies for Nursing Professionals

In 2017, more actions were taken against nursing licenses in the U.S. than there were malpractice claims.  

-National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)  

Workplace Violence Prevention: Recommendations for Nurses

Nurses are at increased risk for experiencing workplace violence due to their close contact with patients as well as working in an occupational environment marked by stress and burnout.

Medical Malpractice 101 for Nursing Students: Know the Facts, Know Your Risk

What do nursing students need to know about medical malpractice? What should nurses know about their professional liability risks?

What Nurses Need to Know About Metadata, Documentation, and Legal Liability

Metadata analysis of information in a patient’s electronic health record (EHR) has the potential to provide valuable information to attorneys in the case of a lawsuit. This information, such as patterns of missing data, can bolster a legal case, leaving nurses vulnerable to punitive action. The best way to avoid negative results of a metadata analysis and subsequent legal action is effective documentation.

Incident reports: A safety tool

Nurses tend to cringe when they think about completing an incident report. Reasons for this reaction include the distress that occurs when something untoward has happened, anticipated loss of precious time to complete the report (particularly if the organization’s reporting system is cumbersome), and fear of being blamed for the incident or becoming embroiled in a court case. In this situation, it’s easy to forget that incident reports are a valuable resource for keeping patients safe. They also can keep employees safe by identifying system-wide problems such as insufficient staffing or equipment to move patients, which often contributes to staff injuries.

Nurse Practitioner Case Study: Failure to screen and test for lead poisoning, leading to a delay in diagnosis

Medical malpractice claims may be asserted against any healthcare provider, including nurse practitioners. This medical malpractice case study with risk management strategies, presented by NSO and CNA, involves a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (CPNP-PC) working in a pediatric practice.

Nurse case study: Float nurse’s failure to follow sepsis protocol guidelines and institute chain of command contributes to extensive patient injury

Medical malpractice claims may be asserted against any healthcare practitioner, including nurses. This medical malpractice case study with risk management strategies, presented by NSO and CNA, involves a registered nurse working in a hospital emergency department setting.

Do’s and don’ts of defensive documentation in the EHR

Documenting care is a basic nursing responsibility, but it’s one that nurses often struggle with because of time constraints and challenges associated with electronic health records (EHRs), such as poor user interfaces that leave nurses unclear as to where to document findings. However, taking time to document correctly and completely provides the first line of defense should you be named in a lawsuit.

Questions you should ask before volunteering

Volunteering is a great way for nursing professionals, including registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice nurses (APRNs), to get involved in their communities and to support causes that are important to them. However, there are some operational and legal considerations that nurses should investigate before agreeing to take on a volunteer position. This article will review some questions nurses should ask prior to taking on a volunteer position. It will also review some of the legal protections for nurses who are volunteering, and when those legal protections generally do and don’t apply.

Nurse Practitioner License Protection Case Study: Failure to document medication management in EHR

A State Board of Nursing (SBON) complaint may be filed against a nurse practitioner (NP) by a patient, a patient’s family member, colleague, employer, and/or other regulatory agency, such as the Department of Health. Complaints are subsequently investigated by the SBON to ensure that licensed nursing professionals are practicing safely, professionally, and ethically. SBON investigations may lead to outcomes ranging from no action against the NP to revocation of the NP’s license to practice. Therefore, when a complaint is asserted against an NP to the SBON, NPs must be equipped with the resources to adequately defend themselves. Being unprepared may represent the difference between an NP retaining or losing one’s license. This case study involves a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMH-NP) who was working in an outpatient psychiatry practice.

Nurse Video Case Study: Failure to assess and monitor

Failure to complete nursing assessments or adequately monitor patients are some of the most frequent malpractice allegations asserted against nurses. They account for a combined 12.7% of all malpractice claims against nurses, according to the Nurse Professional Liability Exposure Claim Report: 4th Edition. These claims most often involved nurses working in areas of high patient acuity, such as the ED, ICU, and PACU.

NSO Puts Your Best Interests First

You’ve studied hard and invested a lot of time and resources into becoming a nurse. You identify as a nurse. it’s your career. Your ability and license to practice can be taken away by a complaint. Further, one lawsuit can be financially devastating in legal fees. Help protect your investment and future by renewing.

Nurse Practitioner Case Study: Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is the most frequent malpractice allegation asserted against nurse practitioners. It accounts for 32.8% of all malpractice claims against nurse practitioners, according to the Nurse Practitioner Claim Report: 4th Edition. Failure to diagnose cancer and failure to diagnose infections account for 50% of failure to diagnose allegations.

Nurse Practitioner Case Study: Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is the most frequent malpractice allegation asserted against nurse practitioners. It accounts for 32.8% of all malpractice claims against nurse practitioners, according to the Nurse Practitioner Claim Report: 4th Edition. Failure to diagnose cancer and failure to diagnose infections account for 50% of failure to diagnose allegations.

Nurses’ Malpractice Insurance Claim Reports

Ever wonder why nurses are sued for malpractice and what you can do to reduce the risk of a potential lawsuit? Now you can find out. NSO, in collaboration with CNA, has released their new report: Nurse Professional Liability Exposure Claim Report: 4th Edition: Minimizing Risk, Achieving Excellence.

Nurse Practitioner Professional Liability Exposure Claim Report: 5th Edition

This Nurse Practitioner Claim Report, released by NSO and CNA, reports that the average total incurred of professional liability claims is $332,137 in 2022. 

Responding to questions in a pre-trial deposition.

This video can help you be prepared. 

Learn about malpractice prevention and earn CE credits.

"Focus on Malpractice Prevention" is a risk management continuing education program that offers CE accreditation and a 10% discount on NSO premiums. 

Test Your Nursing Malpractice Insurance Knowledge!

There are common misconceptions about professional liability coverage and malpractice lawsuits, and how they may potentially impact your career. Let’s take the opportunity to debunk some common myths regarding medical malpractice insurance and lawsuits.

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