Initial Discussion Post:

Most states have laws requiring mandatory reporting for suspicion of child abuse as a condition of professional licensure. Research the law in which you plan to be licensed as an RN and consider the information as you respond to this discussion.

Read the following resources:

Muller, L. & Fink-Samnick, E. (2015) Mandatory Reporting: Let’s Clear Up the Confusion. Professional Case Management, 20(4), 199-203

Office of Children and Family Services (2014).Summary Guide for Mandated Reports in New York State. Rensselaer, NY: New York State Office of Children & Family Services. Retrieved from:

Using your readings and the resources above address the following in your initial response (minimum of 250 words):

Discuss the common ethical and legal implications of mandatory reporting for nurses regardless of the state in which a Registered Nurse practices.

Do the mandatory reporting laws ensure children will be protected? Explain your response.

How would the RN overcome the feeling of hesitation to report suspected child abuse?

Child abuse

Common legal and ethical implications of  RN mandatory reporting

 All registered nurses are mandated to report child abuse. They are expected to learn and know the standards of good faith reports and the confidentiality specifications. If the registered nurse will share medical information with other providers, they are expected to follow HIPAA law and employers procedures (Office of Children and Family Services (2014).

 In some situation, the registered nurses may face ethical dilemma. In this context, they are bound by their profession’s code of ethics. They have an ethical duty to act within the professional guidelines, and must ensure that their decisions are not influenced by their beliefs or values of the accused.  Failure to report child abuse must be sued in civil court and the registered nurse is forced to pay monetary damages for harms associated to failure to report the child abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).

Do the mandatory reporting laws ensure children will be protected? Explain your response.

 Yes and no. Yes because most of the registered nurses fear penalties issued for failing to report. No because child abuse does not begin or end with mandatory reporting. Child protection laws are only effective if the registered nurses and citizens work in partnership to improve the safety of the children in the community (, 2014).

Overcoming the feeling of hesitation to report suspected cases of child abuse

 In most cases, the RN will hesitate to report a suspected child abuse if they are not sure if the information is correct or not. In this case, the RN should make the report in good faith. If the information reported turns out to be incorrect, there are no liabilities attached to the RN.  However, it is important for one to check and understand their obligations as well as protections in his or her respective state (Muller and Ellen, 2015).   


 Muller, L.S., and Ellen, F.S.  (2015).  Legal and regulatory issues.  Professional care management 20 (4); 200-203. . ( 2014 ). Careers in nursing .