Is Negligence a Misdemeanor or Felony?

  1. I'm currently in RN school and am learning about all of the legal ramifications within the nursing role. I can't seem to find straightforward information regarding prosecution of nursing negligence. If prosecuted and found guilty, would negligence be a misdemeanor or felony? Thanks for any legal insight!
  2. Visit happyhealthynurse profile page

    About happyhealthynurse

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 7
    LPN to RN student; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Family Practice


  3. by   Esme12
    Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

    First of all.....we are not lawyers and it is against the Terms of Service to ask for legal advice....I know this isn't really advice.

    You can't find concrete information because it isn't a concrete subject...... It depends.....If you are going around injecting potassium into the elderly to "ease their suffering" and they die that's first degree murder. It depends of the offense and depends if there was any criminal intent and it the offense is punishable by drug diversion and then infecting people with Hepatitis B (Hospital tech indicted in NH hepatitis C outbreak - News - like in New Hampshire.

    Some are criminal and receive criminal charges. Some are with the board and the board disciplines. Some are both and the parties may seek civil compensation.

    A nurse should ALWAYS have malpractice insurance. If you need more concrete than will need to seek a lawyer that specializes in this field.
  4. by   happyhealthynurse
    Thank you for responding to my first thread! Very helpful.
  5. by   happyhealthynurse
    Wow thank you for the link.....That story is horrifying. That is definitely an example of negligence in the worst form. I can't even begin to understand why someone would do that..
  6. by   nurseprnRN
    You can see the difference between intentional push dose of a lethal amount of potassium, an episode of giving what turns out to be a harmless dose given to the wrong patient in error, and the repeated omission of potassium doses as ordered because you just didn't feel like it that week. All different forms of offense involving the same substance.

    Negligence is not the same thing as murder