The Dyad of Nursing and Law

On 11/12/19, at 1:00 p.m. EST, the American Nurses Association (ANA) hosted a webinar (Title, Managing legal issues in nursing leadership) describing the intersection of day-to-day nursing leadership and the law. The offering was educational and free (as part of ANA membership). Nurse managers and risk managers were its intended audience.

During the webinar, the Presenter (Edie Brous, Esq., PC) provided a global survey of the legal issues affecting everyday nursing unit operations. Legal issues facing nurse managers intersected:

• Staffing
• Privacy
• Workplace Violence
• Substance Abuse/Diversion
• Social Media
• Professional Licensure

Currents of law flow within currents of nursing operations, and the webinar fairly represented the knowledge a nursing leader must apply when working within her scope of practice.

Of note: Ms. Brous stated individual professional liability insurance helps MOST when licensing is concerned. In these circumstances your employer’s counsel WILL NOT represent you. Ms. Brous stated never dissuade a nurse from purchasing individual professional liability insurance.

In my opinion, the upshot of webinar was how pursuit of a Just Culture could facilitate good quality care, and minimize process defects and risk exposure. As a nursing leader, you must add value to your nurses’ license, preach fairness, and show dignity and respect for all. You must build trust in management and facility processes, and continuously enhance staff competencies and trainings. Frustration will happen, but building a system of accountability is the responsibility of the nursing leader. You must lead all the while strengthening essential business structures and delivering quality, safe care.

The cost for ANA membership is well worth the content, for any nurse.


James Shannon

Nursing Leader | Quality Leader | Healthcare Attorney

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