Assignment: NSGCB 426 Competency 1 

Assignment: NSGCB 426 Competency 1 

Assignment: NSGCB 426 Competency 1 

Assessment Details

The health care industry is heavily regulated from multiple sources. It is important for nurses to understand health care policy and regulatory environments for their local area to make sure they are following industry standards as well as not performing tasks nurses are not allowed to do locally.

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Research common legal issues in health care that nurses frequently face or choose 1 of the legal case studies from the Nurses Service Organization.

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Select a legal case study of interest or area in which you have experience.

Analyze the legal case study and ensure you include the following:

Summarize the legal issues present in the case.

Explain how these legal issues impact nursing practice.

Summarize regulations, laws, and industry standards present in the case.

Explain how the regulations, laws, and standards impact the nursing practice.

Brainstorm risk mitigation techniques that the hospital could have employed to prevent the situation and increased compliance with the regulations, laws, or standards relevant to the situation.

Determine actions the nurse could have taken to improve the outcome and increased compliance with the regulations, laws, or standards relevant to the situation.

Cite at least 3 evidence-based, peer-reviewed sources published within the last 5 years to support your positions.

Assignment: NSGCB 426 Competency 1 Sample

            Nurses’ conduct is critical to patient safety, and in most cases, codes of ethics are applied in judging nurses’ actions. These ethical principles are common guidelines that protect the rights of patients and healthcare professionals in the healthcare setting (Billstein-Leber et al., 2018). Advanced practice nursing is guided by codes of ethics that consider care and patient safety the central issues. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to research common legal issues in health care that nurses frequently face.

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The Legal Case Study

            The case study involves a nurse working in the ICU where she was accused of failing to monitor and utilize the chain of command and common medication errors. A 23-year-old woman was admitted to an institution with flu-like symptoms. She has been taking over-the-counter drugs, but her condition is worsening, and thus she decided to seek medical attention. The chest CT scan showed an abnormal condition that prompted the healthcare professionals to start her treatment with oxygen and antibiotic therapy. The first physician to attend to the patient in the ICU to increase potassium levels in the body.

            Two days later, the potassium levels went lower than expected, and more doses of potassium were added. The documentation of the intravenous fluids was not updated, resulting in the second nurse adding another dose of potassium to the patient. The nurses at the ICU noted the changing heart rate of the patient but failed to notify the physician of the developing changes. The documentation also failed to validate the intensive care nurse’s statement that the patient was in cardiac arrest. The missed documentation did not relay the desired information on the condition of the patient, which resulted in her death.          

Summary of the Legal Issues

            In this case, medication administration errors and failure to monitor are among the common problems involved in the presented case. Even though no uniform definition has been used to describe the problem, it may refer to a preventable event that could result in patient harm or inappropriate medication used while a consumer, patient, or healthcare professional is handling the medication. The patient in the case died because of a medical administration error and failed documentation that limited the doctor from having complete information on the condition of the patient.

            The ICU nurses failed to notify the doctor that the heart rate of the patient was rising despite the measures taken to control her condition. She also needed to adhere to the medication orders the doctor gave, hence administering the wrong potassium dosage at an incorrect rate. Besides, the nurse also needed to document her actions effectively. The handing over of the patient from ICU nurses and telemetry nurses was also improper as they failed to include reconciliation on medication, reports on the rising heart rate, results on ordered lab tests, and verification of cardiac arrest.

Impact of Legal Issues on Nursing Practice

            The legal issues have a negative impact on nurses who are found in the middle of such issues. In this case, the patient lost her life because of the negligence of the nurses. Indeed, the situation shows that the quality and safety of patients at the facility is not a major objective that deviates from the main objective of nurses. This resulted in a legal expense of $6, 152 and the total amount for settling the case was $1.4 million. This is a revenue loss that could have been prevented by the nurses in the ICU. Therefore, violation of legal issues always attracts various ramifications, including termination of employment, loss of license, and even jail term. Such issues could be avoided by limiting such errors in healthcare units.

Summary of the Regulations, Laws, and Standards in the Case

            The main objective of the organization is to represent the interest of all nurses and support them in attaining their full potential in nursing practice. In this case, the nurses have violated the ethical conduct of overseeing the patient’s safety. The medication errors that later resulted in the death of the patient violate the safety objectives that a nurse must have on a patient (Di Simone et al., 2018). ANA regulations and laws have been in operation for the last 100 years, and many nurses have had the ability to develop their nursing profession from the organization. Almost all nurses in the US are registered to these codes of ethics because of the great reputation it has been having in developing nurses and furthering nursing research in the US. The better health care that the US can achieve now stems from the efforts that ANA has been taking towards equipping nurses with skills that increase their nurse’s professionalism and thus escalate the quality of health care delivery in all parts of the US.

Summary of the Regulations, Laws, and Standards Impact the Nursing Practice.

            As stipulated in the ANA codes, the laws and regulations protect both nurses and patients. The laws help nurses gain a better understanding of the nursing practice by forming guidelines governing the nursing practice. This aids the organization in offering a skilled workforce devoted to offering high value of health care services (Di Simone et al., 2018). The organization trains nurses on various ethical principles that define the nursing profession. This has been effective in solving various nurses-related dilemmas that have been on the rise in the recent past. On the other hand, these regulations are used in judging the conduct of nurses and determining violations that do not align with the desired adherence to the code of ethics.

Mitigation Techniques

            When medications are prescribed for patient use, the nurse or pharmacist must educate the patient on drug use and associated factors such as the dosage and potential side effects. However, if such education is lacking, the patient may end up taking the medication in the wrong doses or times, leading to error (EscriváGracia et al., 2019). Poor or failed communication refers to giving misinformation about a particular patient from one clinician to another due to a lack of standardized procedures, the distraction of clinicians, incomplete sharing of information, and rushed handovers can also lead to errors. Incorrect drug administration occurs when a healthcare professional gives medication to the wrong patient, gives the wrong medication to a patient, or administers the medication through the wrong route.

Actions that Nurse Could Take to Improve Outcome and Compliance

            Nurses at the ICU need effective training and experience that is necessary to demonstrate the competencies required in performing the nurse roles in healthcare. The nurses have an obligation to document any medication and condition of the patient before changing handling the patient to another nurse unit (Härkänen et al., 2019). These nurses should also learn to utilize the chain of command, which includes direct physician instructions. The nurses should also learn to fit into their roles at the facility.


            Drawing facts from the discussed case, nurses have a critical role in ensuring patients’ safety. These measures are met through effective nurses’ training to ensure they offer desired quality. Incompetent nurses working in various units in healthcare facilities affect the patient’s safety and increase the chances of medication errors.


Billstein-Leber, M., Carrillo, C. J. D., Cassano, A. T., Moline, K., & Robertson, J. J. (2018). ASHP guidelines on preventing medication errors in hospitals. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 75(19), 1493-1517. DOI 10.2146/ajhp170811

Di Simone, E., Giannetta, N., Auddino, F., Cicotto, A., Grilli, D., & Di Muzio, M. (2018). Medication errors in the emergency department: knowledge, attitude, behavior, and training needs of nurses. Indian Journal of critical care medicine: peer-reviewed, official publication of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, 22(5), 346.

EscriváGracia, J., Brage Serrano, R., &FernándezGarrido, J. (2019). Medication errors and drug knowledge gaps among critical-care nurses: a mixed multi-method study. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 1-9.

Härkänen, M., Vehviläinen-Julkunen, K., Murrells, T., Rafferty, A. M., & Franklin, B. D. (2019). Medication administration errors and mortality: incidents reported in England and Wales between 2007 ̶ 2016. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 15(7), 858-863.

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