• Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Psychiatric Technicians
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Patricia M. Pierce, PhD, ARNP, FAAN
Peer Reviewer(s): Cherie Rebar, MSN, MBA, RN, FNP, ND
Item#: N1579
1 Course Book (44 pages)

Legal Implications for Nursing Practice

Price $14.95
Item # N1579
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Note: This course must be completed by 12/31/16. Contact hours will not be awarded beyond this date.

The purpose of this continuing education course is to increase 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 take proactive steps to avoid unanticipated legal entanglements. The course begins by explaining that a nurse’s practice must comply with the applicable state nurse practice act, which delineates legalities of the scope of practice and the relationship of nursing practice within the complexities of the healthcare delivery system. The course provides an overview of the law, with a discussion of topics such as malpractice, negligence, duty of care, and breach of duty. This course uses case studies to highlight the legal implications of the many aspects of nursing practice, such as writing about a patient on Facebook and the use of restraints. Documentation is discussed, including the 10 requirements for medical record documentation delineated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Nurses will learn about the importance of confidentiality, given that trust is a key expectation of the nurse-patient relationship. The course explains why nurses must disclose any personal, business, or financial arrangements that might affect their nursing performance, for example, receiving an honorarium from a pharmaceutical company for supporting the use of the company’s drug. Nurses will also learn that they must guard against forcing children, adults, and older adults to submit to treatments that could be construed as assault or battery. The implications of being involved in a legal action are described. This course is targeted to all nurses, as legal concerns are present in every practice site.


Course Objectives
  • Discuss legal considerations pertinent to the practice of nursing
  • Identify issues to consider when delegating nursing duties to other nurses and/or unlicensed assistive personnel
  • Identify potential areas of conflict that might evolve from decisions made when documenting care
  • Discuss how to maintain patient health and personal information in accordance with HIPAA and other applicable confidentiality requirements
  • Discuss how a conflict of interest can compromise professional behavior
  • Discuss the difference between slander and libel and how to avoid committing either
Patricia M. Pierce, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, began her nursing career as a diploma nurse completed her BSN at Miami International University her masters at Vanderbilt University and her doctorate at the University of Texas. Dr. Pierce is currently an independent consultant providing legal nurse and health care consultation since 1994 and serves as adjunct faculty and as a nurse educator at St. Leo University in St. Leo Florida. Her educator role involves oversight of nursing affiliated schools students and instructors and classroom and clinical supervision of students in long-term and acute care settings. She has spent many years teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Pierce has authored several publications on legal issues related to nursing and has presented on professional nursing practice topics. Her special interests include professional education standards of care health care policy and delivery systems end-of-life decisions and litigation services.
Cherie Rebar, MSN, MBA, RN, FNP, ND has been teaching since 1989. Starting out as a secondary educator, she migrated to nursing education in 2005. She is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, Ohio where she chairs the associate and bachelors degree nursing programs and has taught in the Divisions of Nursing and Health Professions. Dr. Rebar is also the recipient of their 2009 Faculty Excellence Award. She has written, contributed to, and edited several professional nursing publications and is the author of Ohio Nursing Law Affecting Daily Practice, published by Western Schools. She has lectured at national conferences on the Ethical and Legal Implications of Facebook in Higher Education. Dr. Rebar is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, American Nurses Association, and The National League for Nursing.
  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • 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.