Nurses’ Liability vs. Employer’s Liability

Nowadays, many nurses are obliged to work in teams and follow their liabilities, as they remain members of the hospital health maintenance organization (HMO). Their employers, such as physicians or hospital entities, have various legal commitments as well. The following paper will discuss the responsibilities and liabilities of both nurses and their employers.

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Liability can be identified as a legal responsibility to other people or audiences, and there are several types of them. The first type is called strict liability (nurses’ personal liability), which requires a particular person to be responsible for any harm that he or she causes (Brack, 2014). This term also refers to the hospital employer’s personal liability, as they become responsible for their actions (Brack, 2014). For instance, if a hospital hired a nurse that has no license, the medical institution will be legally held for any possible harm that this worker could have caused to their patients.

Another type of liability is vicarious, which implies the person’s entity or accountability for illegal or wrong actions of another individual or one’s auxiliary (employer’s vicarious liability) (Keogh, 2014). For instance, if a nurse manager obliged his or her assistant to instruct a particular patient about going home after one week of treatment in a hospital, and the staff nurse forgot to explain or bring instructions to the patient about replacing his or her cartridge on an insulin pump, the employer will be responsible for the patient’s disability to do this procedure.


Nurses’ Personal liability requires employees to be responsible for their actions or mistakes that might be caused by their fault, whereas the employer’s vicarious liability obligates one to control and eliminate all possible illegal practices in their hospital. Every nurse and his or her employer have their liabilities that they are intended to follow and remember all the time. In various cases of misunderstandings, medical workers can be left without professional licenses and any rights to work in this sphere again.


Brack, G. (2014). Nurse prescribing and vicarious liability. Nurse Prescribing, 12(3), 147-149. Web.

Keogh, K. (2014). Sorry, need not be the hardest word for healthcare staff to say. Nursing Standard, 28(21), 16-17. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Nurses’ Liability vs. Employer’s Liability'. 17 November.

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