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  • Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Psychiatric Technician
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Patricia M. Pierce, PhD, ARNP, FAAN
Peer Reviewer(s): Cherie R. Rebar, PhD, MBA, RN, COI
Item#: N1775
Contents: 1 Course Book (48 pages)
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Legal Implications for Nursing Practice, 2nd Edition

Price $22.95
Item # N1775
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 18, 2017

Expiration Date: July 31, 2020


Involvement in a legal issue during one’s nursing career is an ongoing possibility. It is easy for new nurses to become so busy learning the daily nursing routine, developing time management skills, and implementing the skills they learned that they do not readily recognize situations that could culminate in legal action. Similarly, experienced nurses may become so engaged in their regular routines that the thought of potential legal concerns is not at the forefront of their minds.

The evolution of nursing includes an expanded role greater than patient care and patient care management. Nurses are now expected to participate as knowledgeable team leaders and team members who can analyze the relationships among organization policies, procedures, strategic initiatives, and patient outcomes. Legal concerns are more likely to occur when patient outcomes differ from expectations. Therefore, nurses, as stewards of the organization and advocates for patients, need tools to manage this important role. Processes such as root cause analysis and failure modes and effects analysis, as well as familiarity with legal responsibilities, combine to provide strategies necessary for professional nurses to successfully carry out this role.

The purpose of this course is to increase nurses’ (including certified case manager nurses) awareness of potential legal issues and how to use best practices to prevent them. As nurses become more aware of situations that may present legal concerns, they can behave proactively to avoid unanticipated legal entanglements. This course is targeted to all nurses, because legal concerns are present in every healthcare setting.



CCMs - This program has been pre-approved by The Commission for Case Manager Certification to provide continuing education credit to CCM® board certified case managers. The course is approved for 3 CE contact hour(s). 



Course Objectives

  • Discuss legal considerations pertinent to the practice of nursing.
  • Identify issues to consider when delegating nursing duties to other nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel.
  • Recognize potential areas of conflict that can evolve from decisions made when documenting care.
  • Describe how to maintain patient health and personal information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other applicable confidentiality requirements.
  • Describe how a conflict of interest can compromise professional behavior.
  • Describe the difference between slander and libel and how to avoid committing them.
  • Describe the difference between assault and battery and how to avoid committing them.
  • Discuss how The Joint Commission and National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators contribute to the improvement of patient care and safety.
  • Describe how root cause analysis and failure modes and effects analysis are used to improve patient safety.


Patricia M. Pierce, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, began her nursing career as a diploma nurse and completed her BSN at Miami International University, her masters at Vanderbilt University, and her doctorate at the University of Texas. Dr. Pierce is an independent consultant, providing legal nurse, healthcare, and personal development consultation. She has served on the nursing faculties at the universities of Florida, Tampa, and Phoenix, as well as the business faculty at St. Leo University, Florida. Her educator role has involved oversight of nursing affiliated schools, students, and instructors, as well as classroom and clinical supervision of students in long-term and acute care settings. Dr. Pierce has authored several publications on legal issues related to nursing and has presented on professional nursing practice topics at many professional meetings. Her special interests include professional education, standards of care, healthcare policy and delivery systems, end-of-life decisions, and litigation services.


Cherie R. Rebar, PhD, MBA, RN, COI, is a resident of Ohio and has been a licensed registered nurse since 1995. Dr. Rebar holds an associate’s degree in nursing from Kettering College, a baccalaureate degree in education from Morehead State University, a master’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, a post-master’s certificate in family nurse practitioner studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a doctorate in psychology from Northcentral University. She is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner intern through the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Rebar has taught prelicensure and postlicensure nursing since 2005, is a professor of nursing at Wittenberg University, is a research adviser for Indiana Wesleyan University’s MSN program, and has served in nursing educational leadership positions, including director and chair of nursing. She is a published author and editor, a regular podium and poster presenter in numerous nationally recognized nursing and nursing education venues, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau. In addition to continuing to teach and advise, Dr. Rebar serves as a consultant by partnering with institutions to strengthen nursing programs, faculty, and students via support with program evaluation, accreditation, curriculum design, National Council Licensure Examination success, and faculty development strategies.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.