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Seminar Detail

Legal Risks for Nurses: Learn from Real-Life Mistakes

Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is no longer available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

Regardless of the setting you currently practice in as a nurse, you need to have a clear understanding of your legal and ethical responsibilities. Protecting yourself personally and professionally can be a frightening thought. We've all heard the worst case scenarios…. This seminar will prepare you to evaluate risky situations so that you can immediately take the right steps to prevent unnecessary negative outcomes.

Nurse Attorney, Laurie Elston, will explain current nursing laws and present over 20 cases that illustrate how these laws are applied, including:

  • Nursing Practice Acts and Standards of Care: Nurse Practice Acts and specialty organization standards. Watch actual trial video!
  • Staffing and Supervision Issues: RN liability when supervising others. Are you liable for the staff you supervise?
  • Risk Management: Ways to reduce errors and avoid claims and lawsuits. Deposition tips every nurse should know. Watch real nurses giving depositions.
  • Documentation: What the law requires. How to avoid problems when charting in an EHR. Would your charting stand up in court?
  • Informed Consent: Who can consent. Advanced Directives.
  • Confidentiality: HIPAA myths. New nurse social media rules by ANA and NCSBN.
  • Nursing Boards: Know your rights - and how to protect your license.
If there is no CE tab, please refer to the course brochure for continuing education information.
Learner Objectives:

  1. Analyze common errors and claims against nurses.
  2. Explain some of the steps a nurse can take to help avoid claims.
  3. Understand the laws on documentation and rules of good charting.
  4. Identify the new nurse rules on social media.
  5. Determine who can provide informed consent.
  6. Evaluate issues pertinent to Advanced Directives and End of Life care.
  7. Recognize my rights if the Nursing Board takes action against my license.
  8. Interpret employment laws and Nurse Whistleblower Protections.
Program Outline

  • Nursing Liability and Negligence
    • Nursing standards
    • Duties
    • Supervision
    • Delegation
    • Multiple case studies
  • Nurse Practice Acts
    • Changes in scope of practice
    • Requirements every nurse must know!
    • Reporting abuse/neglect
    • Patient abandonment
  • Common Errors and Claims
  • Staffing
    • Assignments
    • Rights when floating
    • Unsafe staffing
  • What should you do if you make an error?
    • How to document
  • Should you buy malpractice insurance?
    • Does it make you a target?
    • Will your employer's coverage protect you?
  • Documentation
    • The do's and don'ts of good charting
    • Problems with EHRs
    • Real charting examples and solutions
  • Confidentiality
    • HIPAA myths
    • Nurses fired and prosecuted for breaches in confidentiality and posting online
  • Informed Consent
    • Who has authority to consent?
    • Capacity to consent?
    • Plus, DNRs, End of life issues, and more
  • Boards of Nursing
    • Most frequent charges against nurses
    • Your rights
    • When do you need an attorney?
    • What can you do to protect your license?
    • Case examples
  • Nurse Whistleblower Protection Laws
Target Audience

  • Nurses
  • Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Legal Nurse Consultants
  • Risk Management


Laurie Elston is a Nurse Attorney with over 20 years of experience as an attorney. She received her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Gonzaga University, and was on Law Review. She has represented health care providers in malpractice and disciplinary cases throughout her career. She has also been a Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem. She has been licensed as an attorney in both California and Washington. Laurie maintains an active law practice:

Prior to becoming an attorney, she obtained a BSN and worked as a registered nurse for over seven years in a large acute care medical center. During this time, she also worked as an assistant head nurse and charge nurse.

Since becoming an attorney, she has taught tort law at the University of Washington. She currently teaches Nursing Law classes across the country for groups and institutions. In addition, she teaches a Legal Nurse Consulting Training Course nationwide, and on DVD for home study. She is a frequent lecturer on medical-legal topics.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Laurie Elston maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Laurie Elston is a member of the California State Bar Association; the Washington State Bar Association; and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
American Nurses Credentialing Center Logo
PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses in full attendance will earn 6.3 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 380 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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