Medical treatment and healthcare technology are developing and improving, which leads to the extension of nursing specialties. Now it is possible to get both education and certification in such spheres as “clinical practice, including medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, anesthesia, midwifery, emergency care, mental health, public health, critical care, neonatal care, and primary care” (American Nurses Association, 2010). Within several specialties, the mixture of nursing knowledge and that of other professions can be found. It is said to contribute to the better quality of nursing practice and encourage care delivery to the consumer. Thus, specialty nurses can be considered as some kind of a connector that binds the function of the registered nurse with that of other professions. Registered nurses often get an advanced education, such as public health, administration, or informatics (American Nurses Association, 2010). Knowledge in this sphere is a favored addition, however, it is not directly focused on care delivery.
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Registered nurses should always remember that their practice is evaluated according to the laws and their interpretation through administrative rules. If a patient gets some injuries while receiving health care he/she has a right to sue staff or a hospital for medical malpractice. The laws in different states may somehow differ, but they are always aimed at preventing further malpractice and compensation for the patient. Recently the number of malpractice claims increased, so the majority of health care providers make insurance contracts. As a rule, malpractice occurs because of “missed diagnoses, failure to refer, mishandling of medicine, or failure to provide preventive care or routine screening” (Blair & Jensen, 2015). These failures happen due to the disregard of rules of practice and treatments.
To prevent further complications, registered nurses should understand what exact type of insurance malpractice policy will be the most appropriate for them. More often the “occurrence” and “claims made” are available.
An occurrence policy gives nurses an opportunity to deal with the pretension that takes place in the insured time. In other words, in case some claim happens while the period of employment, an advanced practicing registered nurse is covered following employment. This policy is thought to be the broadest type of coverage. However, it has serious disadvantages. If the claim comes with time, for example, in some years after the incident occurred, the policy is not working already. And it will be too difficult for the insurance company to evaluate the cost of that claim. That is why the occurrence policy is not commonly used as a type of medical malpractice policy. Moreover, it is very costly for the policyholder and risky for the insurance company. That is why “occurrence” is not usually offered for such problems.
A claims policy is of an advantage if some complaints are submitted in the period of time when the policy is in effect. However, the very incident can take place sometime before the policy was chosen. In such a way, if a consumer was injured while the policy worked, but reports about it and makes a claim when the contract is ended, it will not be covered. The advanced practicing registered nurse has an opportunity to get a “tail” policy to solve this problem. This one is the best option for those who are going to change their working place, as it will work even after the time the nurse left the first place of employment (Blair & Jensen, 2015). The coverage varies according to the period between the day when the incident occurred, and the claim was reported.
American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice (2nd ed.). Web.
Blair, K. A., & Jensen, M. P. (2015). Advance Practice Nursing: Core Concepts for Professional Role Development (5th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
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