Malpractice Insurance

  1. 0
    Again I am seeking the assistance of anyone who would be willing to share their experiences and opinions on nursing ethics questions. This time, the subject is malpractice insurance.

    I'm wondering how many of you carry your own malpractice insurance. If you do carry it, why did you decide to do so? If not, why not? What is your view on malpractice insurance?

    Any help on this issue would be very much appreciated!!

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 5 Comments...

  3. 0
    I have been an RN for almost 20 years (about half that time, a CNS), and have never practiced a DAY without my own insurance. Wouldn't consider doing it. In my current position, I'm not even practicing clinically, but am still carrying my insurance. This is something my father, an MD, drilled into me while I was in school.

    So many nurses say, well, I'm covered under the hospital, and that's technically true. But in this, as in so many situations, your best interests and the hospital's best interests may not always coincide ... If you are practicing "bareback" and depending on the hospital's coverage, and something goes wrong, the first thing the hospital will do is look for a reason to blame it on you and cut you loose. If you varied in any tiny degree from the official hospital policy and procedure for whatever the situation was, the hospital will say, "Well, it's not OUR fault -- we told her the right way to do (whatever the procedure was) but she didn't follow hospital policy/procedure! We can't be held responsible for THAT!" And if that works, you'll be out in the cold on your own (and looking to hire a malpractice attorney out of your own pocket. :uhoh21: ). Are you confident that you ALWAYS, 100% of the time, follow the official hospital procedures in every detail?

    If _that_ doesn'twork, keep in mind that, under the hospital's coverage, it will be the hospital's insurance company's attorneys who will be consulting with you and advising you. Who is their real client? THE HOSPITAL. And whose interests are they representing? THE HOSPITAL'S (well, actually, the hospital's insurance company ... But you can bet that you are quite a ways down on the list of priorities for those attorneys).

    If you have your own insurance, your insurance company provides you with your OWN attorneys who are not representing anyone else's interests (except the insurance company's, but there's no way to get around that ...) I consider it the best $89 I'll spend this year. For the vast majority of nurses, premiums are <$100 year (more for some advance practice roles, those with prescriptive authority).

    There used to be the argument that carrying insurance was just asking for trouble, that the plaintiffs were looking for "deep pockets" and wouldn't include the lil' ol' nurse in the suit if she didn't have any insurance. That doesn't really apply anymore (if it ever even did ...) -- nowadays, they just name everyone including the housekeeping staff and the ward clerk in the suit, and wait to see how it shakes out in court.

    I'm sure there are lots of nurses out there who will offer other perspectives, but I don't have that much faith in my employers to look after me if something goes wrong, and I'd much rather be safe than sorry ...
  4. 0
    elkpark,
    Your reply makes a lot of sense. I would agree that lawyers representing the hospital would not have your interests at heart. I also was unaware that malpractice insurance for nurses was that inexpensive. This is great information for me and I appreicate your time in responding so thoroughly to my question.

    chickel
  5. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    For the vast majority of nurses, premiums are <$100 year (more for some advance practice roles, those with prescriptive authority).

    I'm sure there are lots of nurses out there who will offer other perspectives, but I don't have that much faith in my employers to look after me if something goes wrong, and I'd much rather be safe than sorry ...
    I totally agree with you elkpark! Nurses must watch their own backs...no one else will!
  6. 0
    I also carry malpractice insurance. As elkpark mentioned, it is only about 90$ a year, well worth the peace of mind for me (lets be honest, that is less than I pay for a new stethoscope or scrubs for a year)--for all of the reasons elk mentioned. If you do a search of past threads, you will find quite a few debates on this subject with both various pros and cons. In school, all of my teachers drilled into us the importance of carrying our own insurance and that was the first thing I did after passing the NCLEX. I just see too many sue happy people and with increasing complexity of disease, technology, and patient care needs, I am an advocate for it. Just my 2 cents.
  7. 0
    Cheerfuldoer & Zambezi,
    Thanks also for your comments Zambezi, I will definitely look up the past threads on the subject just to see the different prospectives, but what you guys are saying makes complete sense to me. Thanks again!


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top