When you are practicing as a APRN, you of course have an increased scope of practice, increased responsibility, increased accountability, increased risk, and the potential for increased liability. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know this, do you?
If you are an APRN, you should be more mindful of the legal risks associated with your practice and seek assistance if an issue arises. First and foremost, you should not just sign an employment agreement or contract without having it reviewed by an attorney. Second, you should seriously consider having your own personal counsel or attorney on retainer. Why? So when an issues arises (professional practice, clinical, employment, workplace, legal, ethical, criminal, State Nursing Board, and/or regulatory matters may pop up), you can contact your attorney without having to come up with thousands of dollars for a retainer on the spot and ASAP.
There may be somethings that occur that you don't want to take to your facility administrator, risk management, or legal counsel and where you may benefit from independent legal counsel. There may be a conflict or it just may be next to impossible to speak with these individuals in your facility about your issue and besides they are concerned about the facility and its risks, not necessarily you.
Just a thought but APRNs are practicing at a higher level and should think of themselves as business owners and your license and your nursing practice are an important part of your business.
Seriously consider establishing a relationship and fee structure to reflect your practice with an attorney in your jurisdiction now and you will know that when you need advice and counseling, you can contact the attorney or law firm to have your questions answered.
I am seeing more cases involving Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Practitioners who need legal representation, counseling, and advising on a variety of issues but do not proceed because of attorneys fees and not valuing attorney representation. The APRNs may contact several attorneys to obtain tidbits of information to assist with self-representation. Sometimes successfully, Sometimes not.
I have been in practice long enough to tell when someone is interested in proceeding or when someone is on a fishing expedition and contacting as many attorneys as possible to gather information for self-representation.
Always consider legal representation, counseling, and advisng when an issue arises in your nursing practice or when a issue arises with the State Nursing Board.