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Extension of Liability in Nursing - Paper Example

3 pages
584 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Case study
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In the nursing organization, the chief nursing officer (CNO) together with other nurses develop interprofessional communication skills and work together both having the mutual goal of ensuring that they serve their clients through delivering medical services. Despite working together, the CNO and nurses have independent obligations that they were trained to manage. CNO and nurses are liable for their actions, and in case of a breach, each one of them will be liable for their actions and face the repercussions. The following paper seeks to discuss the main issues involving the Mary Smith case study based o extension of liability in nursing.

How does liability extend to the CNO?

According to Ellison (2017), the liability can be extended to the CNO since Smith is accountable for the establishment of a safe working environment as well as allocating non-nursing tasks to the other healthcare workers for the nurses to focus on the patient safety. In this case, the CNO is left on blames since she failed to ensure that maximum care is provided to the client. Regardless of the fact that there is interprofessional in the workplace, each one of those in duties must ensure that they perform their role as legally required.

What defenses are available to the CNO? In other words, what evidence can the CNO put forth to show that she should be dropped from the suit?

The evidence or defense that the CNO can bring forward include; Firstly, the patient fell when being attended by the duty nurses and therefore, the fall was neither caused by the safety-related issues but happened in the course of treatment. Secondly, the nurses misdiagnosed the patient and it was their fault not to diagnose the patient condition such as stroke that could lead to the fall. Thirdly, the fall might have been caused by polypharmacy. Finally, it can be claimed that the fall was caused by the negligence of the nurses not to assist the patient from falling. With such reasons, the blame on CNO could be relieved and appear not responsible since the environment was already safe but it was the nurse fault for the patient to fall. As per the pieces of evidence that confirm that the nurses contributed to the fall regardless of the operative safety measures that were implemented, she should be relieved from the suit (Sharpe, 1999).

None of the nurses, including the CNO, have liability insurance. Is this a concern? Why or why not?

Yes, this is a concern, Reason the liability insurance safeguards an individual from the risk that may be prosecuted and held legally liable for malpractice and negligence. Due to the fact that none of the nurses together with the CNO has the liability insurance, this a great concern since they will be thought liable leading to the discontinue of operations at the medical facility (Risk management handbook for healthcare organizations, 3 volume set. 2011).

Indeed the following argument has been able to demonstrate how Mary Smith, the CNO, can possibly free herself from the lawsuit that stages her as culpable of the negligence that led to fall of the client while she was at the duties. The plaintiff argued that Mary Smith is guilty of the act but this discussion has proven that there are possibilities that she might be innocent.


Ellison, J. (2017). Geriatric forensic psychiatry: Principles and practice. Oxford University Press.

Risk management handbook for healthcare organizations, 3 volume set. (2011). San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

Sharpe, C. C. (1999). Nursing Malpractice: Liability and risk management. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Auburn House.

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