2. how do attorney generals’ opinions protect the practice of professional nursing?

by Westley Hoppe 7 min read

What is the role of the state Attorney General in nursing?

 · Avoid the legal pitfalls — obvious and otherwise. 1) Know your state nurse practice act and its rules and review them on a regular basis. 2) Stay informed by attending board of nursing meetings. 3) Purchase and maintain your own professional liability insurance policy. 4) Remain clinically current in your chosen specialty.

Do Attorney General opinions reflect the Attorney General's personal views?

Maintain a general knowledge of law applicable to nursing practice and your practice specifically. Maintain open lines of direct and honest communication with nursing and other healthcare team members, patients and patients' families.

What are the legal aspects of Nursing Practice?

 · Attorney General’s Opinions. In many states, the attorney general is the official legal counselor for public agencies, including health departments. Questions pertaining to the legality of procedures or the scope of nursing practice within the state can be clarified with the attorney general. The state attorney general provides both informal ...

When to seek the services of a lawyer as a nurse?

 · Chapter 8 Legal Issues in Nursing and Health Care Laura R. Mahlmeister, PhD, MSN, RN Learning Outcomes After studying this chapter, the reader will be able to: 1. Differentiate among the three major categories of law on which nursing practice is established and governed. 2. Analyze the relationship between accountability and liability for one’s actions in professional…

How nurses are protected in their professional role?

The Bill of Rights was conceived to support nurses in an array of workplace situations including unsafe staffing, mandatory overtime and health and safety issues such as needlestick injuries, workplace violence, and latex allergies.

How can nurses advocate to ensure that researchers protect participants rights?

The nurse advocates for the research participant, for example, by helping to assure that the participant understands the study and what she is being asked to do, receives the information needed to make informed decisions before the study starts and throughout its duration, and is aware of her right to withdraw without ...

Do four sources of law protect practice of nursing?

There are four key sources of law that affect nursing practice – Constitutional, statutory, administrative and case law.

What is the most important reason for nurses to publicly advocate for changes in health policy?

"It's important for nurses to advocate for their clients by calling for all political parties to address important health-care policy decisions in an atmosphere of problem solving, compromise, and responsibility."

How do nurses protect patients rights?

Ask questions about treatment and health. Be treated by medical staff who respect patient confidentiality and privacy. Be treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. Discuss with doctors the costs, risks, and benefits of different treatments.

How can nurse researchers protect study participants?

*How can nurse researchers protect study participants? *Researchers can often show their respect for participants and proactively minimize emotional risks by carefully attending to the nature of the interactions they have with them.

How does law influence nursing profession?

Functions of Law in Nursing 1) The law provides a structure for nursing. 2) The law has a role in the development of professional standards. 3) The law is concerned with liability of the nurse. 4) The law also protects and supports nursing values.

Which type of law regulates the practice of nursing?

The Nursing Practice Act (NPA) is the body of California law that mandates the Board to set out the scope of practice and responsibilities for RNs. The NPA is located in the California Business and Professions Code starting with Section 2700.

What is the impact of civil law on nursing practice?

Therefore, acts of omission that may take place during nurses' practice are regarded as quite serious crimes. In the end, civil law has an impact on nursing practice due to special degree of responsibility related to the work with the patients and the necessity of fair relationships between employers and employees.

What role does can the nursing profession play in advocating for social justice?

Nurses can advocate for the right social policies to promote justice, fairness, and health equity and adequately address SDOH. Evidence-based, effective policies can ensure healthier communities and address the lack of access to social and material resources that form the root of health inequities.

Why are standards important to the nursing profession and to healthcare delivery?

The main purpose of professional standards is to direct and maintain safe and clinically competent nursing practice. These standards are important to our profession because they promote and guide our clinical practice.

Why is it important for nurses to be involved in organizations to influence healthcare policy?

Through policy work, nurses can and should influence practice standards and processes to assure quality of care. Nurses who influence policy help shape the care that will be provided today and tomorrow. Policies also impact resource allocation to support delivery of healthcare.

How do you protect participants in research?

Breach of confidentiality is a potential risk of participating in research. To protect participants' confidentiality, you should encrypt computer-based files, store documents (i.e., signed consent forms) in a locked file cabinet and remove personal identifiers from study documents as soon as possible.

What is the most accurate term for making patient care decision on the basis of research findings?

What is the most accurate term for making patient-care decisions on the basis of research findings? Evidence-based practice means making patient-care decisions on the basis of available evidence. Critical reflection is the process of thinking critically.

Why ethical safeguards designed for clinical research may not be appropriate for evidence-based practice?

The ethical safeguards designed for clinical research may not be feasible or appropriate for evidence- based practice or evidence-based practice implementation projects since they have certain effects of limiting the scope for evidence collections, decision making and treatments.

What are human rights nursing?

This includes the right to choose or decline care and to accept or refuse treatment or nourishment; the right to be treated with respect, the right to informed consent; including to be free of non-consensual medical treatment, such as forced or coerced sterilisation, and the right to confidentiality and dignity, ...

What is an attorney general opinion?

Attor­ney Gen­er­al Opinions. An attorney general opinion is a written interpretation of existing law. Attorney general opinions cannot create new provisions in the law or correct unintended, undesirable effects of the law. Attorney general opinions do not necessarily reflect the attorney general's personal views, ...

Can an attorney general give a written opinion?

Only those requestors authorized by law may seek the Attorney General's written advice through a formal opinion. The Government Code lists the officials authorized to request formal attorney general opinions. The attorney general is prohibited by statute from giving a written opinion to anyone other than an authorized requestor.

Do attorney general opinions reflect personal views?

Attorney general opinions do not necessarily reflect the attorney general's personal views, nor does the attorney general in any way "rule" on what the law should say. Furthermore, attorney general opinions cannot resolve factual disputes.

What is an attorney general's opinion?

The state attorney general’s opinions provide guidelines based on both statutory and common law interpretations. The attorney general’s office evaluates the written law, including its legislative history, and provides an opinion as to how the law should be applied. If a legal issue arises and the community/public health nurse has an attorney general’s written opinion offering an interpretation of a particular issue or statute, the court will most likely view the nurse or the agency as having acted reasonably and responsibly in seeking clarification of what is appropriate. If the nursing action conforms with the attorney general’s opinion, the court will usually consider this favorably on behalf of the nurse or agency named as a defendant in a lawsuit.

How does administrative law affect nursing?

Administrative law often details the policies and procedures necessary to implement statutes. Community/public health nurses can influence the development of administrative law by advocating for orders, rules, and regulations and commenting on proposed orders, rules, and regulations during periods for public review.

What is common law?

Common or judicial law is based on common usage, custom, and court rulings called case precedents. Case precedents are useful for interpretation of statutory language and for comparative purposes. The facts of a case at trial are compared with cases previously ruled on and evaluated for similarities and differences. Rulings may also be based upon the testimony of witnesses, external standards, and common sense. Case law reflects the changes in society’s views; cases might be overturned or overruled and, therefore, might not be safely relied on as the law in that state. Relying on the expertise of an attorney who practices in health care law is recommended when engaged in litigation.

What is the HIPAA law?

In August of 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Enforcement of HIPAA privacy regulations began in April 2003. HIPAA provides clients with greater control over their personal health information (e.g., a client’s condition, care, and payments for health care). HIPAA protects confidentiality by defining what privacy rights clients have, who should have access to client information, how data should be stored by providers, what constitutes the client’s right to confidentiality, and what constitutes inappropriate access to health records. Confidentiality concerns how records should be protected, and security involves measures the nurse and others must take to ensure privacy and confidentiality ( Frank-Stromborg & Ganschow, 2002 ). Providers of care must notify clients of their privacy policy and make a good faith effort to obtain a written acknowledgment of this notification. It is the nurse’s responsibility to protect client confidentiality. Nurses need to understand both the federal HIPAA regulations and the state laws that are enacted to enforce those regulations, as well as any changes or updates to either of these. Employers affected by HIPAA are responsible for ensuring that the nurses they employ comply with the regulations.

What are the rules and regulations of a community health nurse?

Rules, regulations, and statutes guide the community/public health nurse and are references with which the nurse must become familiar. A specific law cannot be read in isolation; a wider scope is needed to understand the nurse’s total legal responsibilities.

What is the role of community health nurses?

Community/public health nurses are responsible for understanding the federal and state laws related to their practice.

What is administrative law?

Administrative law consists of orders, rules, and regulations promulgated by the administrative branches of governments. For example, the state board of nursing is the administrative body that regulates the practice of nursing. Other examples of administrative bodies are the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state and local health departments. Administrative law often details the policies and procedures necessary to implement statutes. Community/public health nurses can influence the development of administrative law by advocating for orders, rules, and regulations and commenting on proposed orders, rules, and regulations during periods for public review.

What are the legal and ethical frameworks for nurses?

Nurses are governed by professional, legal and ethical frameworks such as NMC standards and codes of professional conduct, moving and handling guidelines and local policies. These frameworks are put in place to protect patients and assist nurses in delivering safe and effective care.

What happens if a nurse does not act ethically?

If nurses do not act in a professional manner and do what is ethically right there can be serious repercussions to both the nurse and individuals in their care. Professional, ethical and legal principles are not straight forward and continual learning and reflection is necessary to progress and improve as a nurse.

Why is nursing a privilege?

Nurses are in a privileged position as they are trusted with the health of others. This comes with tremendous responsibility and nurse need to ensure that they are competent to deal with the professional, ethical and legal issues that arise in nursing. Nurses are accountable for their own practice and should make the interest ...

Why is dignity important in nursing?

Nurses need to develop an understanding of dignity in care and develop the necessary skills to make people feel comfortable and dignified in the care they receive. If dignity in care is absent it can lead to patients feeling distressed or embarrassed and causes unnecessary suffering. Dignity is a basic human right and should be a main priority when carrying out all nursing activities.

What are the four areas of accountability for nurses?

Savage & Moore (2004) highlight four areas of accountability; accountability to the public, accountability to the profession, accountability to the patient and accountability to employers. Nurses are governed by professional, legal and ethical frameworks such as NMC standards and codes of professional conduct, moving and handling guidelines and local policies. These frameworks are put in place to protect patients and assist nurses in delivering safe and effective care.

What are the three principles of safe practice?

The three main principles this essay will discuss are accountability, informed consent and dignity.

Can a nurse refuse a procedure without consent?

Consent provides nurses with justification for treatment and if a nurse touched a patient or carried out a procedure without valid consent then they can be sued for battery (UK Clinical Ethics Network 20101).

What is the purpose of the Nurse Practice Act?

The aim of regulating practice in this manner is to protect the public and make the individual nurse accountable for his or her actions. State legislatures authorize the nurses’ licensing board to promulgate administrative rules and regulations necessary to implement the NPA. Once these administrative rules and regulations are formally adopted, they have the same force and effect as any other law.

How does federal law affect nurse staffing?

For example, in 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cited several Texas hospitals for understaffing, in part due to increased patient census. (Caramenico, 2011). The CMS placed the hospitals in “immediate jeopardy” of losing their funding. Hospital administrators and clinical leaders must prepare a corrective action plan and submit it to the CMS within a specified time when cited by the CMS for safety violations such as unsafe staffing levels. Nurses can positively affect nurse staffing levels when armed with knowledge regarding federal and state laws. When concerns about work-related issues arise (e.g., a reduction in RN staffing, mandatory overtime, or replacement of RNs with LVNs-LPNs or unlicensed assistive personnel), the first question the nurse asks and answers should be, “Is this legal?” ( Brooke, 2009 ). In 1999, California became the first state to enact a law (California Assembly Bill 394) that mandates the establishment of minimum nurse-patient ratios in acute care facilities. The law took effect in January 2004 and set minimum nurse-patient ratios in critical care units, step-down and medical-surgical units, and maternity departments. No other state has followed California’s lead in establishing nurse-patient ratios, but by 2011, seventeen states had enacted laws that regulate or restrict mandatory overtime for nurses ( ANA, 2012 ). The ANA has also reintroduced the RN Safe Staffing Act for the 2011-2012 session of Congress. It would require hospitals that participate in Medicare to implement staffing plans, established by a committee composed of a majority of direct-care nurses for each nursing unit and shift.

What is the penalty for a nurse in Missouri?

In a criminal action, the nurse may be found guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 93 days and a fine of $500. In a Missouri case, a nurse failed to report a suspected case of child abuse to that state’s division of family services and to the physician in charge of her ED as required by law.

What is the law that requires nurses to report abuse?

In 1973, the U.S. Congress enacted the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act , which mandates all states to meet specific uniform guidelines to qualify for federal funding of child abuse programs. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have created laws that require reporting of specific health problems and the suspected or confirmed abuse of infants or children. Nurses often are explicitly named within the context of these statutes as one of the groups of designated health professionals who must report the specified problems under penalty of fine or imprisonment. Nurses need not fear legal reprisal from individuals or families who are reported to authorities in suspected cases of abuse. Most legislatures have granted immunity from suit within the context of the mandatory reporting statute. There is also a long history of court decisions shielding the nurse from civil claims by parents or guardians when that report is made in good faith, and in compliance with federal and state laws. The case of Heinrich v. Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital (1994) upheld this doctrine of immunity. The family of an injured child initiated a lawsuit against a hospital that reported suspected child abuse after a state investigation found them innocent of the charge. The court ruled that the hospital and the physician who made the report in “good faith” were immune from litigation under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Service Law that required reports of suspected child abuse.

Is the NPA a law?

Surprisingly, many nurses are not even aware that the NPA is a law, and they unknowingly violate aspects of this statute (NCSBN, 2011b). They are not familiar with the administrative rules and regulations enacted by the licensing board. This is an unfortunate lapse because these administrative rules and regulations answer crucial questions that nurses have about the day-to-day aspects of practice and unusual occurrences. For example, the increasing complexity of health care requires effective communication, collaboration, and planning of care among many licensed health team members. Rules promulgated by the Ohio Board of Nursing Section 4723.03 related to the competent practice as an RN direct the nurse in appropriate reporting and consultation.

What is the Patient Self-Determination Act?

This federal statute is a Medicare and Medicaid amendment intended to support individuals in expressing their preferences about medical treatment and making decisions about end-of-life care. The law requires all federally funded hospitals to give patients written notice on admission to the health care facility of their decision-making rights and policies regarding advance health care directives in their state and in the institution to which they have been admitted. Patient rights under the Patient Self-Determination Act include the right to:

What is the purpose of the ADA?

The intent of this law is to end discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities by removing barriers that prevent them from enjoying the same opportunities available to persons without disabilities. Court cases have established that as a place of public accommodation, a health care facility must provide reasonable accommodation to patients (and family members) with sensory disabilities, such as vision and hearing impairment ( Abernathy v. Valley Medical Center, 2006; Boyer v. Tift County Hospital, 2008 ). In another case ( Parco v. Pacifica Hospital, 2007 ), a nurse was caring for a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic patient who was unable to speak or use his call light. She requested a special pillow that activated the patient’s call light when he turned his head, but was told that all the pillows were in use. The patient subsequently experienced three episodes of respiratory distress that he was unable to alert the nurse about, and could only hope that someone would discover his problem before he suffered brain damage or death ( Snyder, 2007a ). The patient sued for emotional distress and mental anguish. The court affirmed that the ADA requires hospitals to provide assistive devices to patients with communication problems related to a disability. The hospital settled the lawsuit for $295,000.

Who has the power to sanction a nurse for performing professional functions?

The state boards of nursing has the power to sanction a nurse for performing professional functions that are:

What is the NPA in nursing?

5. in many states, NPA is a statutory law affecting nursing practice within the boundary of the state

What is the role of RN in a delegated person?

RN is responsible for determining that the delegated person is competentto perform the delegated act.

What is the nursing standard of care?

2. Nursing standard of care - is "what a reasonable prudent nurse, under similar circumstances, would have done."

What does it mean when a professional fails to act as a reasonably prudent professional?

a professional fails to act as a reasonably prudent professional would have actedunder the same circumstances.

Can a RN practice in different states?

Endorsement- the RN may practice in different states without having to take another licensing exam

What is the role of the Board of Nursing?

The board of nursing enforces the laws and publicizes rules and regulations that expand the law.

Why are the ANA standards of practice and the Code of Ethics for Nurses legal?

The ANA Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice ( 2003a) and the Code of Ethics for Nurses ( 2001) have legal standing because they are promulgated by the profession and have been cited in case law. These documents are viewed by the judicial system as the profession’s expectations of all of its practitioners.

What is the difference between the American Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association?

The American Nurses Association (ANA) differs from the specialty-focused associations in that it is a broad-based, multipurpose nursing organization.

What is the ANA code of ethics?

They relate directly to ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements ( ANA, 2001 ), a basic document which sets the ethical framework for the profession and its members. By establishing a code of ethics for RNs and reinforcing ethical behaviors through the standards for professional performance, the profession is providing its members with ethical standards to which they will be held and which can be used by RNs to document the profession’s expectations. These ethical standards also establish an ethical framework by which the public can hold the individual clinician and the profession accountable. Because the standards address basic expectations of professional practice and behavior, they are considered stable over time.

What are professional performance standards?

The standards for professional performance are authoritative statements that describe a competent level of. These ethical standards also establish an ethical framework by which the public can hold the individual clinician and the profession accountable. behavior in the professional role ( ANA, 1996 ).

What is scope and standards of practice?

This current (2003) scope and standards of practice statement, and its predecessor document, Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice ( ANA, 1996 ), are the pivotal documents developed by the profession, claiming the areas of practice for RNs and establishing clear professional and clinical standards for RNs. This document describes the dimensions of the RN role in society. It is an articulation of the who, what, where, when, and why of nursing practice. As nursing, both as a profession and a discipline, matures and the health environment changes, scope statements can become outdated. They must be reviewed for possible revision at least every five years. Specialty associations also write their own scope statements, which describe their focused or specialty area of practice.

What is the nursing profession's commitment to society?

The nursing profession’s commitment to society is articulated in Nursing’s Social Policy Statement ( ANA, 2003b ), a document maintained by ANA. The ANA states: " [this]...is a document that nurses can use as a framework for understanding nursing’s relationship with society and nursing’s obligation to those who receive nursing care" ( ANA, 2003b, p.1). In addition it states: "...the authority for the practice of nursing is based on a social contract that acknowledges professional rights and responsibilities as well as mechanisms for public accountability" ( ANA, 2003b, p. 3).

What is the role of ANA in nursing?

The profession has given to ANA the tasks of articulating nursing’s commitment to society through its charge to serve as developer and guardian of the profession’s social policy statement, the standards and scope of nursing practice statement, and an ethical code.

What is the difference between a nurse and a health care assistant?

The public see a nurse as a woman in a dress or tunic and belt.many health care assistants believe they do the same job as a Qualified nurse and the only difference is that they don’t do the med round. Observe on the posts how many complain they don’t have a levels or maths gcsce so should get easier routes into Nursing.Why on earth should other allied professionals study for degrees, with debt and placements sometimes nation-wide,while the new breed of nursing associates can be paid,study and not have to move.Also,can anyone clarify where does it leave the assistant practioners?

What can't a patient see?

What the patient cannot see is the cognitive process behind that action, the nurse drawing on underpinning knowledge to complete it safely; considering the contraindications, the pharmacology of the drug, the effects we want and expect to see, the effects we may have to counteract, warning signs etc.

Is nursing a bachelor's degree?

Nursing is now a bachelor’s degree only profession, a move that acknowledged nurses’ increasingly complex roles within the healthcare system and need for higher education. So why does the public still seem to misunderstand the role of registered nurses?

Can patients see actions?

Patients see actions, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) we aren’t able to project what we’re thinking at the time of the action. For example, a nurse administering an oral medication. Looks simple, why do they need university for that? What the patient cannot see is the cognitive process behind that action, the nurse drawing on underpinning knowledge to complete it safely; considering the contraindications, the pharmacology of the drug, the effects we want and expect to see, the effects we may have to counteract, warning signs etc.