Legal Issues of an Advanced Practice Nurse in the Workplace

One of the major goals of the healthcare sector entails ensuring that all stakeholders, including nurses, employees, and patients, operate in a secure environment. Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) play a major role in helping to realize the above objective by assuring all interested parties of a workplace setting that is free of counterproductive practices such as sexual harassment. Cases of sexual abuse among the sick, nurses, doctors, and patients’ family members have been on the rise in the American healthcare industry.

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Managing this situation requires the input of legal practitioners and APNs. As revealed in this paper, sexual harassment in the workplace influences the role of APNs because they are expected to implement programs that enlighten patients and staff members regarding ways of managing this issue, including the underlying legal implications.

How Sexual Harassment Influences My Role as an APN

APNs are responsible for ensuring that employees, patients, and their relatives are aware of what sexual harassment entails. They also take part in developing mechanisms for dealing with any eventualities, which follow after such a vice is perpetrated. For instance, according to Kirton (2014), patients and staff members who experience sexual abuse have a higher likelihood of contracting HIV, which has contributed to the increased number of deaths reported in America. Cases related to sexual harassment originating from nurses and directed to patients and vice versa have significantly influenced my role as an APN. Initially, in addition to developing an evidence-based care plan for ailing individuals, my duties revolved around ensuring that patients’ records were regularly and effectively updated.

Currently, following the rising number of sexual harassment cases in various health centers, I have been required to participate in the implementation of initiatives that educate patients and hospital staff members concerning the impact of this vice on their health and career respectively. According to Morris, Hoerner, and Smith (2018), the topic of sexual harassment requires me as an APN to work collaboratively with healthcare providers in a program that persuades workers and patients to report instances of abuse directed to them or other people.

The goal is to ensure zero-tolerance through the execution of strict measures that seek to discourage the perpetration of such a crime, including developing scientifically proven approaches to helping victims of sexual harassment (Morris et al., 2018). Overall, as indicated in the book by Westrick (2013), the subject of sexual harassment in the workplace has advanced my duties to include awareness creation and the development of preventive approaches, which aim at ensuring the safety of all stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

Legal Implications Related to My Role

Advanced Practice Nurses are required to act in line with the laid-down legal guidelines. Any attempt to violate policies that inform the extent of their practice may result in prosecution or penalties. As an APN, I am expected to be aware of the U.S. Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991, which reveal the steps that one can take when dealing with any cases related to sexual harassment in the workplace (Morris et al., 2018). The study by Nickitas, Middaugh, and Aries (2014) emphasizes the need for APNs to be conscious of various legal frameworks that guide their operations in the American healthcare sector.

Specifically, these authors mention the idea of APNs working closely with the U.S. government to execute legal interventions that seek to help victims of sexual harassment, including holding accountable any individuals linked to this criminal offense (Nickitas et al., 2014). Hence, I understand that sexual harassment contravenes the safety rights of all people, for instance, patients and staff members. Consequently, I am expected to ensure that my role as an APN is in line with the laid-down legal policies that guarantee patients and healthcare practitioners of a workplace environment that is free from sexual harassment.

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Impact of Understanding the Chosen Topic on My Future Role as an APN

Understanding the topic of sexual harassment is bound to influence my future role as an APN. Cases of sexual abuse directed to nurses and patients are projected to increase. The implication is that more evidence-based preventive measures will need to be implemented. Hence, as an APN, I anticipate my future role to be characterized by thorough explorations on the best ways that can be adopted to reduce or eliminate instances of sexual harassment in various health centers in the U.S. (Nickitas et al., 2014).

I also expect to undertake many campaigns that seek to create awareness regarding consequences, which perpetrators of sexual abuse in the workplace should face. Understanding the selected topic implies that I also need to advance knowledge regarding various legal implications, which define the extent of my role as an APN.


Advanced Practice Nurses operate in an industry that requires them to confront the rising instances of sexual harassment. This vice threatens the safety of people who operate within healthcare centers, including patients and medical practitioners. As revealed in this paper, APNs have a huge role to play in addressing this situation, which exposes individuals to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, for instance, HIV.

The topic of sexual harassment requires me to participate in the implementation of awareness creation campaigns, including training staff and patients to report any instances of abuse to the appropriate authorities. This strategy indicates the underlying legal implications related to my role as an APN. Overall, understanding the topic of sexual harassment is projected to influence my future role as an APN because more awareness campaigns and evidence-based measures will need to be executed to manage this situation.


Kirton, C. A. (2014). HIV infection and its implication for nurse leaders. Nursing Management, 45(10), 24-31. Web.

Morris, F. C., Hoerner, J. K., & Smith, K. (2018). Second circuit decision in sexually in sexual harassment case shows heightened risk for health care employers. Employee Relations Law Journal, 44(1), 5-9.

Nickitas, D. M., Middaugh, D. J., & Aries, N. (2014). Policy and politics for nurses and other health professionals (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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Westrick, S. J. (2013). Essentials of nursing law and ethics (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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