Discuss best practice guidelines to avoid medical lawsuits in your future practice area as an
Advance Nurse Practitioner. Also should Advance Practice Nurse purchase liability
insurance, why or why not?
Few nurses have not been in a position to give deposition to give a lawsuit. However, most have
wondered on what it could be if they are sued for malpractice. This makes it necessary for the
nurses to analyze facts and issues case by case to ensure that the actions they make ethical
decisions when confronted by the ethical dilemmas. This is because nurses are held accountable
for their judgments and the outcomes. Malpractice refers to the nurse practices that can be
classified as misconduct, breach of duty and negligence by a nurse, which results to injury to
service users. To avoid lawsuits, evidence based research indicates that most of the lawsuits are
due to failure of following the set standards of care as required by the universal nursing practice
if the healthcare facility. The nurse must never use medical equipments of healthcare procedures
that she or he is unfamiliar (Hyman et al., 2010).
The nurse must learn strategies of effective communication. Most of the lawsuits are due to poor
communication between a nurse and other medical practitioners. If nurses have some doubts,
they should always make enquiries. Research indicates that lack of communication has equal
weight as failure to rescue. Additionally, it is very important to document all treatments
performed. This is because any practice that is not documented is perceived, as it was not done.
Poor documentation could result to patient being administered similar intervention (medication)
twice which could result to toxicity putting the patient life at risk. Documentation in nursing not
only helps substantiate once innocence at legal point of view but also to promote continuity of
care (Rodwin & Silverman, 2015).
As mentioned above, nurses could be sued for any reason and in most cases; the allegations
brought forth are usually unfounded. This is terrifying, damages nurse’s self-confidence, and
could ruin his or her reputation. For this reason, should nurses be insured for malpractice? The
answer is yes, nurses should be insured. This is because the employers’ policy only protects
specific needs, and thus will cover the nurse only to some extent. It is common to get opposing
reactions by the employers where they discourage nursed from getting their individual policy.
This is because the organization wants their own attorney, who will insure that they put the
organizations interests first, represent their nurse. It is important for the APN nurse to understand
that the malpractice insurance policies have specific limits (Carroll & Buddenbaum, 2013).
The main reason why an APN needs liability insurance is that the nurse malpractice coverage is
attached to the nurse actions and practices provided when the nurse is within the scope of
employment. This implies that if the action is committed when one is at the job not as employee,
the liability cover does not cover the APN (Adkins & Corus, 2009). For instance, when one is at
home and a neighbor child develops high fever, is vomiting, and has frequent diarrhea; then an
APN gives his or her opinion and respond. So long as the nurse responded, he or she
immediately forms the nurse-patient relationship voluntarily and you are gave your advice in the
capacity an APN, the nurse is held accountable of their actions. Due to these legal
responsibilities that are attached to a person as a nurse, it therefore important for APN to
purchase individual coverage for malpractice (Durand et al., 2015).
Adkins, N., & Corus, C. (2009). Health literacy for improved health outcomes: Effective capital
in the marketplace. Journal Of Consumer Affairs, 43(2), 199–222.
Carroll, A., & Buddenbaum, J. (2013). High and low-risk specialties experience with the U.S.
medical malpractice system. BMC Health Services Research, 13(1), 465.
Durand, M., Moulton, B., Cockle, E., Mann, M., & Elwyn, G. (2015). Can shared decision-
making reduce medical malpractice litigation? A systematic review. BMC Health Services
Hyman, C., Liebman, C., Schechter, C., & Sage, W. (2010). Interest-Based Mediation of
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: A Route to Improved Patient Safety?. Journal Of Health
Politics, Policy And Law, 35(5), 797-828.
Rodwin, M., & Silverman, J. (2015). Why the Medical Malpractice Crisis Persists Even When
Malpractice Insurance Premiums Fall. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2484015