Should practical nursing students secure their own malpractice insurance during the 12 months they are in school?
Dear Nancy replies:
All nursing students should secure their own professional liability insurance during the time they are students in their nursing education program. Students can be sued for an alleged injury to a patient during their clinical experiences so it is essential to have liability insurance coverage in the event that might occur.
Some nursing education programs require that students purchase the insurance on their own and set certain requirements for the policy. Such requirements include the amount of insurance they should purchase, whether the insurance should be a claims-made or an occurrence policy, and the date upon which the insurance must become effective. Other nursing education programs purchase the insurance for the students and the cost of the professional liability insurance is passed on to the student as are other costs of the program.
Before purchasing any insurance on your own, you should check with your nursing program and determine how it is handling the insurance issue. Regardless of whether you purchase it on your own as the named insured, or the school purchases it for you and passes the cost on to you, not having this protection places you at risk.
Should a patient you were caring for decide to include you as a defendant because you were the student PN caring for the him/her at the time the injury occurred, you will need representation. Granted, the educational program, your clinical faculty member and the clinical facility in which your clinical rotation took place also would be named as defendants in the suit, but you don’t want to be without an attorney who is representing you.