I am a school nurse employed by the local board of education and working in a non-public high school. Should I carry malpractice insurance?

By | 2022-02-03T17:38:22-05:00 April 10th, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Nancy,

I am a school nurse (RN, BSN CPN) employed by the local board of education and working in a non-public high school. Should I carry malpractice insurance?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Charise,

As you are aware, the practice of school nursing is a highly complex area of nursing practice. One is faced with many legal issues on a daily basis, including informed consent for any treatment provided, confidentiality concerns, and the administration of medications. Issues like this can be (and have been) challenged in courtrooms in many instances — and for many reasons. School nurses have been named individually in such suits.

When deciding on whether to carry one’s own professional liability insurance, there are many factors to consider, not the least of which is how one would fare if a judgment were brought against the school nurse and how that judgment would be paid (e.g., out of own’s own funds or through the insurance policy that provides coverage for the insured).

There are other factors to consider, and these are best discussed with a nurse attorney or an attorney who can guide you through these issues. It might be helpful for you to review other responses in this column that have covered the purchase of individual professional liability insurance.

There are also several websites that would be helpful to you in deciding on whether or not to carry professional liability insurance of your own. One is the National Association of School Nurses website at http://www.nasn.org. The website carries the association’s position statements, FAQs, and a members and membership feature. Membership in the association is a clear requisite if one practices school nursing.

A second website to review is http://www.schoolnurse.com. It features a publication for purchase, Legal Issues in School Health Services, that appears to be a comprehensive resource for school nurses.


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.


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