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Nursing Law & Liability

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Eileen Fruchtl

on 7 November 2016

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Transcript of Nursing Law & Liability

Nursing Law &
Divisions of Law:
Statutory laws - laws written by governmental agencies
State Board of Nursing (agency) & Practice Act (law) are MOST important statutory laws for nursing practice!

Common laws - based off of previous legal cases or precedents
Which type of law
are nurses most often involved in?
First the plaintiff must prove that there is a Professional Relationship WITH
a Duty or Contract
a Breach of Duty
AND Damage
Each must be present for Negligence to be Proven
Four elements of Negligence:
Negligence, Malpractice, & Professional Misconduct are Unintentional Torts
Intentional Tort
Defamation of Character
Invasion of Privacy
Breach of Confidentiality
OTHER Intentional Torts
How are lawsuits defended?
How do I prevent litigation against my practice?
VERY basic Info
Divisions of Law:
Criminal Law

Civil Law
Nurses are most often involved in TORT Law:
Includes -


Professional Misconduct Example


False Imprisonment

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Contributory Negligence
Did the patient refuse to follow advice?
Did the patient cause delay in treatment?
Did the patient provide false, misleading, or incomplete information?
Assumption of Risk
Did the patient know the risks and CHOOSE the course of action willingly & knowledgeably?
Statute of Limitations
Did this occur in the time period that a lawsuit may be legally filed for this situation?
Good Samaritan Act
Did this occur at the scene of an accident, disaster or emergency when the nurse was not working?
Unavoidable Accidents
Was there any evidence that the nurse could have prevented the situation or was is an unfortunate event?
Defense of Fact
Did the nurses actions really cause the injury or could there have been some other cause?

Excellent Documentation &
Know Your Client
Build Rapport
Follow policy & protocols
Keep Your Knowledge & Skills Current
Information to Review:
1 - NCSBN quick YouTube video
2 - State Board of Nursing
Go to the PASBN link above and click on "General Board Information" on right hand side, then read through "Consumer Information" and FAQs of Graduate Nurses
3 - You can find the Nurse Practice Act at:
You don't need to memorize the NPA but know what it is and what does it mean to nurses in PA

Topic Objectives:
1- Discuss various sources and types of law.
2- Relate the Nurse Practice Act to the governance of the profession
3- Understand the structure and function of the State Board of Nursing
4- Identify the elements of nursing malpractice and how they are proved in a malpractice claim
5- Identify key elements to minimize legal risk
Watch if you need clarification on tort...
REVIEW: So which source of law governs nursing practice? Which type of law most commonly involves nurses?
Watch this video AGAIN to investigate what the State Board of Nursing means to YOU!
Full transcript