HERE’S THE GIG NURSES!  A malpractice claim will be made against you at some point in your career.  Registered Nurses (RNs) had an average of 1.44 malpractice reports made against them from 2003 to 2013. (1)   A claim may be directly related to your individual nurse’s practice or it may involve being part of a “group” lawsuit.  These odds aren’t very appealing are they?

So, does this mean I suggest you tear up your license and consider pouring coffee or selling earrings for the rest of your life?  Of course, come on, most of us can’t imagine being anything but nurses.  The personality traits that inspire us to float in Florence Nightingale’s wings also strangely propel us to enjoy dodging the meteor shower of risks we face every day.

What I can recommend to lower your odds of being portrayed in an episode of Law & Order, is that you understand the most common allegations and how they happen.

Awareness is the key factor in risk minimization!

Those in the know (2) tell us most malpractice claims involve at least one of these five allegations:

  1. Failure to follow standards of care
  2. Failure to use equipment responsibly
  3. Failure to document
  4. Failure to assess and monitor
  5. Failure to communicate

Lisa Sewell RN, CRNI


Top 5 Malpractice Claims Made Against Nurses: Lowering the Odds (Part 2).

(1) CLS Healthcare Liability Specialists: The Latest Statistics Regarding Nurses and Medical Malpractice Claims.

(2) Top 5 claims, prevention tips and reference material provided through: Reising, Deanna L., PhD, RN, ANCS‐BC, ANEF. “Make your nursing care malpractice‐proof.” American Nurse Today, Volume 7, Number 1, January 2012.