Nursing Malpractice: Liability and Risk Management

By Charles C. Sharpe | Go to book overview

13

Malpractice Insurance

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR COVERAGE

Anyone involved in the provision of health care in any capacity should have professional liability insurance. It is every nurse's professional duty to be responsible in all matters of practice. This includes competency in nursing skills and also fiscal accountability. Although there may be no legal requirement for a nurse to have malpractice insurance coverage, there is a moral and ethical imperative in this responsibility. It is a reasonable expectation on the part of every patient that a nurse will provide safe and therapeutic care; and, in the event that the nurse fails in this duty, that a financial remedy will be available to compensate the patient for any injuries. The injured patient can seek this remedy in restitution from an insurance company and/or in seizure and conversion of the nurse-defendant's personal assets and future wages. Malpractice insurance is a logical requirement in our litigious society. It should be a practice requirement in the professional community. It has been suggested that proof of such coverage be a criterion for professional licensure.


THE NEED FOR MALPRACTICE INSURANCE

Any nurse, in any practice setting, at any time, can be named in a nursing malpractice claim or lawsuit. This includes the student aspiring to the pro-

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