As a nurse, your proximity to patients means you're legally responsible for what happens in your presence. Unfortunately, even when you're doing your best, dissatisfied patients may hold you liable for problems outside of your ability to control.
Nursing insurance provides coverage for claims that go beyond what your school or employer provides (including incidents they don't cover or that exceed their policy limits), allowing you to have a sense of security and perform your job with the confidence that comes from being protected. Common uses for this coverage include:
HIPAA fines or penalties
Reimbursing patients for losses they may sustain while in your care
It is important to keep in mind that your workplace's insurance will not protect you from every problem that can occur. For example, if a complaint is filed with your local board of nursing and you need to fight it, you may be on your own unless you have individual insurance that can reimburse you for your expenses.
Nursing Malpractice Insurance
Accusations of malpractice have been on the rise, particularly as nurses are required to take on more responsibility. That's all the more reason to get an individual insurance plan as soon as you can, because the coverage provided by your practice or hospital may not be enough to pay for a malpractice suit.
The best way to obtain coverage against malpractice suits is to talk with a First Community Insurance and Annuity Center agent about what you do in your workplace and what kind of risks or exposures you may face. Different offices ask nurses to do different tasks, and you don't need to pay for coverage on anything that's not your responsibility.
You may need insurance of this type even if you are not a nurse, but are performing any of the tasks normally associated with nursing. This includes volunteering to help care for others, with or without a license. If you're unsure whether or not you need nursing insurance in your current situation, talk to one of our agents and find out for sure.
1. "Patient Assessment: Roles of RNs and LVNs." National Nurses Organizing Committee. Accessed April 11, 2016. http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/page/-/files/pdf/nursing-practice/advo-alerts/rn-lvn-role-assessment.pdf.
2. "Malpractice Suits Against Nurses on the Rise." Announcements & Articles - The Law Office of Deborah L. Phillips. Accessed April 11, 2016. http://www.dprnesq.com/pages/news/malpractice-suits-against-nurses-on-the-rise.