Online Undergraduate Course

NURS 450 - RN to BSN Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy and the Profession

Module 6: Legal Considerations


Nursing is a regulated practice.  Legal frameworks inform nursing practice as each include direction that reflect relevant laws and regulations supporting professional standards of practice. As such, nurses must be able to execute their professional duty to the clients under the relevant laws and standards thereby minimizing risk of harm. Knowledge of the law enhances the nurse's ability to provide safe and effective care in all settings. This is important because nurses are held legally accountable for their role in as defined by the Nurse Practice (NPA) as well as relevant state and federal laws.  In an increasingly complex health care environment, the nurse's ability to make appropriate decisions about the provision of patient care services is facilitated by a sound knowledge of the laws governing practice.

This module discusses criminal, civil, and administrative laws. Concepts of negligence and malpractice are examined as related to deviations of standards of practice. State and national laws influencing professional nursing practice are explained. The Nurse Practice Act (NPA) is discussed as an administrative law.


At the conclusion of this module, the learner will be able to:

  • Communicate as informed by legal, regulatory, and policy guidelines.
  • Explain the difference between civil, administrative, and criminal laws as pertaining to nursing professional liability.
  • Discuss the relevance of legal issues as malpractice to nursing practice.

Required Readings


Read the module and suggested readings within the module. Then complete the assignment for the module.

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