With a new year on the horizon, here’s a list of resolutions that can be useful for nurses to learn more about the law and its incorporation into their lives and practices.
Nurses can work toward the following goals in 2016:
• Attend a CE course in person or online that furthers knowledge of the law unique to your area of nursing practice.
• Identify and attend to your own personal legal concerns. Make sure to prepare an estate plan and evaluate your professional liability insurance for inclusion of your practice. Be sure to assess its coverage amounts, determining if your home and automobile insurance provide you with adequate coverage if a loss occurs.
• Vow to continue to provide quality, non-negligent care to your patients.
• Consider seeking additional degrees and/or credentialing in your area of nursing practice.
• Attend a board of nursing meeting in your state to see how the board operates and to meet its members.
• Consider applying for an open board position when one occurs.
• Become active in a professional association of your choice, either through membership, joining a committee or running for an office.
• Review current and proposed state laws that affect nursing and nursing practice and become active in the legislative process to make necessary changes in both.
• Read a book or see a movie about how the law is portrayed as affecting one’s everyday life.
• Increase awareness of your rights as an employee in your work setting.
• Continue to advocate for your patients.
• Vow to meet or increase nursing’s rating as No. 1 in Gallup’s Honesty and Ethics Poll for professions. The 2015 poll showed 85% of Americans consider nurses to have high or very high honesty and ethical standards.
• Advocate for the continuation of the U.S. system of laws because despite its need for improvement. It is the best system in this troubled world.
I wish you and yours a peaceful, healthy and prosperous 2016. Thanks for reading!
Editor’s note: Nancy Brent’s posts are designed for educational purposes and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice.