Nursing Insurance

  1. I have a quick question about nursing insurance. I know that RNs are responsible for their actions and if something goes wrong, a lawsuit could be filed. Therefore they have "insurance" to pay for such situations. Well this is what I heard from someone whose parent is an RN. I was also told that you shouldn't get the insurance because it would put a target on your back for lawsuits. This really worries me about the profession. I know there will always be those people looking for any lawsuit they can get their hands on, but is this really that bad? As an RN, do you have to walk on your toes to make sure not a single mistake is made to avoid a lawsuit? And the insurance, would you suggest it? Any info would be great. Thanks!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   maryshome8
    Quote from lancerRN2b
    I have a quick question about nursing insurance. I know that RNs are responsible for their actions and if something goes wrong, a lawsuit could be filed. Therefore they have "insurance" to pay for such situations. Well this is what I heard from someone whose parent is an RN. I was also told that you shouldn't get the insurance because it would put a target on your back for lawsuits. This really worries me about the profession. I know there will always be those people looking for any lawsuit they can get their hands on, but is this really that bad? As an RN, do you have to walk on your toes to make sure not a single mistake is made to avoid a lawsuit? And the insurance, would you suggest it? Any info would be great. Thanks!
    When my mother worked for the hospital, the hosptial carried this on the RN's and other hospital staff because they were direct-paid, W-2 employees. Doctors, obviously, carried their own b/c they are paid on contract, and not directly employeed by the hospital.

    I would wager this would vary greatly between hospitals, and something to ask during an interview.

    I 100% disagree that NOT carrying insurance is best because it makes you a target. First of all, how would someone know if you were insured or not and with what company? Second, if you get sued, most states have laws that if you are a professional, and carry insurance for that profession, it bars them legally from suing you personally.

    Otherwise, if you get sued, you are looking at losing your home and getting your wages garnished for life.

    Not worth it..100% not worth it.
  4. by   maryshome8
    Quote from lancerRN2b
    I have a quick question about nursing insurance. I know that RNs are responsible for their actions and if something goes wrong, a lawsuit could be filed. Therefore they have "insurance" to pay for such situations. Well this is what I heard from someone whose parent is an RN. I was also told that you shouldn't get the insurance because it would put a target on your back for lawsuits. This really worries me about the profession. I know there will always be those people looking for any lawsuit they can get their hands on, but is this really that bad? As an RN, do you have to walk on your toes to make sure not a single mistake is made to avoid a lawsuit? And the insurance, would you suggest it? Any info would be great. Thanks!
    Not that the media is always right and tells you everything, but when you hear of something going wrong in a hospital, you almost never hear of the nurses involved, it's always the hospital that gets sued, even though it was the nurse or someone else who directly made the error (assuming there wasn't an error on a doctor's order).
  5. by   lancerRN2b
    "First of all, how would someone know if you were insured or not and with what company?"

    That was my first thought. How would they know? I'll have to ask my classmate to get more details.

    So is it pretty rare that an RN would get personally sued for making a mistake?

    Also if you were a W-2 employee, does the hospital take out the insurance payment out of the paycheck? And if you are working contract, then you would have to get your own insurance, right? I just want to make sure I have it right
  6. by   luvmy2angels
    Well, my personal opinion I would never suggest that someone not have thier own insurance, TONS of nurses a year get sued for mistakes, med errors, treatment mistakes etc. Sure the hospital itself gets sued, but if it were a nurse that accidentally killed a patient because of a med error don't you think that nurse is going to be called in on a trial?? After all it was her error. What about the cases were 2 babies have died in the past couple of weeks because they were given the adult dose of heparin??? Just the other day I was changing a dressing on one of my residents hands and she didn't like the way I did it, she grabbed my name badge and said " I just want to remember your name so when my hand gets infected I know who to sue! " The best way to protect yourself is through thourough documentation!! Insurance isn't that expensive. I pay $89 a year and that covers me for up to 3 million dollars, not a bad deal when you consider all the people out there that are just waiting for an opportunity to sue someone!!
  7. by   jones21498
    It is funny that this comes up. I just had a CPR class with the director of the health sciences department at the school I am attending and the same subject came up. She has been a nurse over 30 years and teaches nursing for a living. Without a doubt, get the insurance... it is your next best protection after Universal Precautions. She did give some advice. Always make sure to get insurance that covers per occurance, as some do not. This way if something happens and someone tries to sue you years down the road you are still covered for that incident. Otherwise, if you did not have occurance insurance, if you dropped your insurance, changed policy or carrier, they are not obligated to cover it. As a student I think insurance is only around $20-$30/year, I am not sure how much it is for someone practicing as an RN but isn't the sheer peace of mind worth it.
  8. by   lancerRN2b
    Well the cost of insurance doesnt seem that bad at all! I will most definitely be getting it after I graduate. And I will also look into the "occurrence" type as well.

    Like you said luvmy2angels, being thorough is important. I assume you mean document everything.

    THANKS EVERYONE for the info!

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