I attended the Ohio League for Nursing Spring Conference in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 24, 2006. The keynote speaker was Dr. M. Elaine Tagliarini, President-Elect of the National League for Nursing. Her keynote was intriguing and thought provoking. She stated the transformation of nursing practice requires a reconceptualization of nursing education and the current system of educating RNs is too content focused.
She asked "What is NOT being taught in nursing educational programs because there is TOO much content?" Educating nurses on the law, legalities, and legal process associated with clinical practice if you ask me.
I presented a poster at the conference entitled Dodging Legal Minefields in the Transition from Student Nurse to Clinical Nurse that in my opinion fit in rather nicely with the keynote. In my law practice I am seeing more graduates from "accelerated nursing programs" being reported to the Board of Nursing for unsafe practice. Are nurse educators so focused on graduating students, NCLEX scores, and the "nursing shortage" that schools and colleges are smashing content into semesters/quarters and not providing students with the opportunity to develop clinical judgment, critical thinking, and decision making skills?
In general nurses are not familiar with the legal foundations of clinical nursing practice and the different types of potential law and liability facing nurses. Why?
I ask this question in my CE presentations and I will ask it here. Whose role is it to educated nurses on the law, legalities, and legal process associated with clinical nursing practice?
Does it belong to nursing schools and colleges, nursing employers, nursing unions, nursing professional associations, and/or individual nurses who are of course accountability for his or her own individual nursing practice and any acts or lack of action therein?