Nursing: Legal Implications for Nursing Practice, 2nd Edition

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About Course #N1775

Release Date: July 18, 2017

Expiration Date: July 31, 2020

3 Contact hours 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.

About the Author(s)

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.

Course Disclosures

  • 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.

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