What Are the Legal Protections for Nurses – Guest Post

Legal Protections for Nurses

Nursing is a revered profession in which most workers are perceived as being trustworthy. Despite this, some nurses do get into legal trouble on occasion either due to their own fault or, as is more often the case, due to patients or family members who are unhappy with their medical care. While more laws could certainly be put into place federally as well as at the state level to further protect nurses from legal concerns, some protections are already in place.

The Nurses’ Bill of Rights

The Nurses’ Bill of Rights (NPA) has been put into place by the American Nurses Association and contains seven rights that all nurses have while working. While the NPA is not technically law, some laws have been created by states as well as the federal government to protect certain rights. The NPA exists to show the type of environment and work situations required for nurses to practice safely and effectively both for themselves as well as their patients.

Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (UEVHPA)

One specific law, which is currently only accepted by fewer than half the states, is the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act. This act protects nurses who are providing emergency medical services across state lines. This is a good faith act that allows nurses to practice without approval from a specific state’s Board of Nursing in emergency situations.

Nurse Practice Acts (NPA)

In addition, each state has a Nurse Practice Act, which specifies what types of environments are appropriate for nurses. For example, nurses must practice in environments that allow them to follow their professional standards, provide ethical care, and remain safe. A nurse license defense attorney can help nurses navigate difficult environmental situations when employers refuse to make appropriate changes.

National Labor Relations Act

According to the Nurses’ Bill of Rights, nurses have the right to negotiate with their employers in regard to their jobs. Whether nurses are part of a union or not, the National Labor Relations Act protects these workers as they negotiate pay, benefits, and other important subjects. Both unions and employers are forbidden from interfering with each other or with employees on these matters.

Besides these specific laws, nurses are also protected by the policies of their workplaces as well as by the state Board of Nursing. This is why it is vital to regularly read through these policies and understand what they both require and protect. However, keep in mind that there will be times when one must work with a defense attorney to refute lawsuits or other false claims.