Legal Aspects of Nursing – Care Example

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"Legal Aspects of Nursing" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. The legal aspects of nursing are imperative in medical practice because it eliminates the problem associated with the conduct. The success of a nurse depends on the understanding of the legal implications in the practice. The law of tort is applicable in the nursing sector and nurses are familiar with the law. This law covers malpractice and negligence cases which have been taught to the nurses and is the biggest fears in the medical community. Malpractice is a tort that occurs when the standard of care is not met.

During the shifts, nurses must take as many precautions as they operate (Davis, Fowler, & Aroskar, 2010, p. 29). Recording, documenting and reporting daily routines and decisions are major events in the nursing sector. Law in nursing has several functions. It establishes the framework for the nursing actions in the care of the client is legal. It helps in differentiating the nurse’ s responsibilities of other health professionals by establishing boundaries of independent nursing action. It enables the maintenance of a standard of nursing practice by creating accountability.

Malpractice is a professional person’ s wrongful conduct, improper discharge of professional duties or the failure to meet the standards of acceptable care (Marquis & Huston, 2009, p. 55). The failure to observe such laws and standard of practice leads to personal harm to the patients. Negligence is the breach of duty or the failure of an individual to provide care that a reasonable person would ordinarily use in a similar circumstance.   The nurses are governed by the Nursing Practice Act which is stipulated by the legislature and developed with the sole purpose to offer guidance in nursing.

Legal issues affecting nurses can be classified into two main categories which are criminal and civil law. Criminal law involves the issues that may affect the public and create a serious case for the nurse (Marquis & Huston, 2009, p. 212). For instance, public law is used to protect the public from harm emanating from nursing practice. Such cases include diversion of drugs which is a crime. It can lead to fines, loss of license and incarceration of the nurse.

In addition, the nurse can be jailed. However, civil law deals with the case between a nurse and a client which may affect personal health. For example, if a nurse fails to offer the necessary support and guidance for the client leading to serious health challenges, the individual can sue the nurse using eh civil law and address issues of sustained injury. The problem does not affect the public but it affects the clients. The client in such cases receives compensation for the injuries but the nurse is not jailed for the offence, the differentiation of the two laws is vital in order for the nurse to operate effectively.   Public law is stringent and has serious legal repercussions for any violations.

The main reason for the law is to protect the public from health issues (Davis, Fowler, & Aroskar, 2010, p. 78). Consequently, contractual agreements occur between the two parties and include issues of rules and regulations which govern the service. The legal agreement is enforceable in law and any signatory to the contract may be held liable for the violation of the contract.

Legal issues affect the nurses are diverse but are categorized into the two laws. In setting the standards of operation, the behaviour and conduct of the nurses are clearly stipulated in the working environment. The legal issues affecting nursing can be addressed by maintaining the professional code of conduct.


Davis, A. J., Fowler, M. D., & Aroskar, M. A. (2010). Ethical dilemmas & nursing practice. California: Pearson.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing: Theory and Application. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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