new rn - professional liability insurance required???

Nurses New Nurse


any new graduate nurse getting the PROFESSIONAL ?

i'm not quite sure if i should get it or not? it $89 and i believe it's per yr.


76 Posts

any new graduate nurse getting the PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?

i'm not quite sure if i should get it or not? it $89 and i believe it's per yr.

At $89 per year for $1,000,000 coverage including representation with any licensure problems with the BON why would you not obtain coverage. If you are ever sued for malpractice - even if you win - you lose. Without coverage who will pay for an attorney to represent you? Looks like a "no-brainer" to me.


178 Posts

yes, i'm planning on getting it but i wondering was it mandatory or optional or when i start working the hospital will offer it???

most of my friends who are working as new rn didn't get the prl.

grinnurse, RN

767 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge.

At least were I will be working it is. I too intend to get it. Making sure I pass boards first :rotfl: There was a pretty good discussion on this topic a couple of weeks ago. Actually I think if you scroll down a little further it is still on the first page.

Good Luck


76 Posts

yes, i'm planning on getting it but i wondering was it mandatory or optional or when i start working the hospital will offer it???

most of my friends who are working as new rn didn't get the prl.

Hospitals carry their own coverage and, in some (but not all) instances, may provide a defense for you. To help you in reaching a decision may I suggest that you check out the Nurses Service Organization web site including actual malpractice cases wherein judgments have been rendered not only against the hospital, but physicians and nurses as well.

Personally, if I discovered that my Nurses Liability coverage had expired, I would not go to work until it was renewed.

Some people may tell you that by purchasing liability coverage you will only invite a law suit - that plaintiff's attorneys will only sue the "deep pockets"

and those who carry insurance. NONSENSE. How will the attorneys know if you have insurance coverage or not? Certainly the insurance carrier does not publish a list of its clients nor will they respond to such inquiries. By and large, plaintiff's attorneys will sue everyone in sight and let those who can, pick themselves out of the mess.

Do yourself a favor and buy Nurse Liability coverage.


It is not madatory that you have it to work. However, every time that I have went back to further my education, the universities have required it, but thats another story.

Lets put it this way. If you are involved in a suit against your hospital, the hospital has their own coverage, it covers you as an employee to an extent. If that pt decides to go after you personally (which I have seen done), the hospital will not cover you. You could lose everything that you have worked for. No one has to know that you have your own . But for $89/yr, it is well worth the cost. If you are sued personally, it could cost hundreds of thousands if not more.


14,633 Posts

It is not required with employment -- purely optional and a v. personal choice. There are numerous old threads here that discuss (at great length!! :) ) the pros and cons, that you could search and review if you want. There are nurses out there who will argue that it's not only unnecessary, it's a really bad idea. Me, personally -- I wouldn't work a day without it.

Yes, your employer will have liability coverage that is supposed to cover you as an employee. However, I have worked for the last several years as a state surveyor/inspector for my state. Our investigations were only concerned with noncompliance with state (and/or Fed) rules/regulations -- not personal responsibility or professional liability. (However, in many situations where we were investigating a complaint about a patient injury, or investigating a suspicious patient death, it was obvious to anyone with any sense that there would probably be a lawsuit at some point down the road ...)

In most of those situations, when we showed up to do our investigation (often within a few days of the incident occurring), the hospital administration would report v. sincerely to us that their extensive internal investigation had determined that it was all "Nurse X's" fault and they had already fired Nurse X (as a means of trying to convince us that the hospital's hands were clean and it should not be held accountable at all for the incident -- we always listened to what they had to say, conducted our own investigation, and drew our own conclusions). When something goes wrong in a hospital, the administration people love to single out some individual, blame it all on that person, and fire that person. Hey! -- problem solved! That's what the hospital risk management department is for -- to manage/reduce risk (of lawsuits) to the hospital, not to protect any individual employees. If they can come up with any plausible rationale for leaving one or more employees dangling in the wind to protect the hospital, they'll do it.

Now, where does that leave Nurse X, who may v. well have not done anything particularly wrong, but only be a convenient scapegoat? (Believe me, if I had a nickel for every time I've seen that, even when nothing particularly horrible had happened, I wouldn't have to work anymore!). S/he is certainly not covered under the hospital's coverage anymore -- that ended the day they figured out how to blame it on her/him and fired her/him ... In fact, if a lawsuit is brought, the hospital's defense will be, "It's not our fault, it's NURSE X'S fault!" If Nurse X didn't already have personal , s/he can choose to buy some now (having learned a valuable lesson from this experience), but it won't cover that incident -- there is no insurance company on earth that will sell you insurance to cover something that already happened before you bought the coverage ... So, Nurse X is just screwed.

Sure, I've heard the argument many times that plaintiffs' attorneys don't bother going after nurses because they only go after the "deep pockets." Sure, the really big pay-out is going to come from the hospital, not Nurse X. But, he hospital and its legal counsel will be squealing like stuck pigs at every opportunity that Nurse X did it -- if the hospital's attorneys are making a strong argument to the jury that it's Nurse X's fault, how can the plaintiff's attorneys explain that they're suing the hospital but not Nurse X? Nurse X will be named in the suit, if only as a formality; Nurse X will need legal representation; and Nurse X will be paying for that representation out of pocket.

So, is it worth $89/year to avoid that scenario? I vote "yes" (I think it's the best 89 bucks I spend each year!), but everyone's free to make her/his own choice ... :)

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