Nurse Managers Liabilities

Nurse Managers Liabilities

Nurse Managers Liabilitie

Nurse Managers Liabilities. Nurse Managers face common legal liabilities and must ensure some legal responsibilities for quality control of nursing practices at all unit levels, including duties or roles such as checking staff qualifications and credentials, reporting dangerous understaffing and carrying out appropriate discipline. Urden, Stacy and Lough (2015) reports that nurse managers may also be held responsible for seeing it that nurses or staff members know how to operate equipment safely. Besides, care standards as indicated in procedures and policies may pose legal liabilities for the nurse managers if procedures and policies are not effectively adhered to. Thus, the nurse manager is responsible or auditing as well as providing follow-up interventions or for delegating this responsibility of practice to other staff if the standard of due care is not adhered to or met. The command chain in reporting insufficient care by practitioners can also cause management legal liability if employees do not learn and adhere to proper protocols. This paper identifies the most common potential legal liabilities for nurse managers and ways to minimize them.

Nurse Managers are presented with multiple responsibilities in order to ensure that hospital institutions run properly and effectively. Under their watch, potential legal liabilities can occur, making their operations extremely difficult. According to Cadiz, Truxillo and O’Neill (2015), nurse managers have responsibilities to see that written policy, procedures and protocols are adhered to in order to minimize possible legal liabilities. Legal liabilities can occur due to negligence, malpractice, lack of due care and employing unqualified nurses. Therefore, nurse managers should report inappropriate substandard medical care, any communicable disease as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elder and child abuse. Nurse Managers may be held legally responsible for product liabilities. This is because involving product negligence doesn’t have to be proved. Thus, this is a strict liability that is a fairly gray field of nursing practices. Therefore, if it can be proven that the product or equipment had defects that caused injuries, then legal liabilities may be debated in court by use of all the constituents essential for negligence. This is because equipment and products fall within the nursing responsibility scope. In other words, if a nurse manager is aware that equipment is faulty, he has the duty to refuse to use 

According to Patton and Lewallen (2015), the risks in nursing management are same. Even though nurse managers supervise members of staff who can be held liable for their own nursing practices, their responsibility scope include ensuring full compliance with organizational procedures, protocols and policies, maintaining safe levels of staffing and enforce contemporary nursing practices. There are various potential liability sources for malpractice against nurse managers. Common potential legal liabilities for nurse managers occur through actions such as failure to supervise and train staff members effectively, negligent retention of impaired or incompetent workers, negligent hiring, and inappropriate assigning of employees. 

Thus, nurse managers will be held liable for providing nursing employees with suitable resources, support, management and supervision to carry out their responsibilities or roles effectively. Negligent supervision can cause potential liability to nurse managers. Nurse Managers should make sure that patients have suitable care and that employees giving care have proper supervision. This is because if patients are injured and suspect that a nurse was not effectively supervised, they will allege negligent supervision. Negligent supervision liability is based upon the delegation of patient care to nurses who were incapable to perform care, failure to supervise the nurses who need necessary supervision, failure to take essential procedures to prevent patient injury, and inadequate staffing unit. For alleged negligent supervision, a nurse manager will be to the “reasonable, ordinary and prudent” standards (Ngo, Patel, Blake Waterhouse, Sanbar & Paterick, 2016). 

According to Dunham-Taylor (2014), a nurse manager could be held liable for the actions of a nurse by description of an imputed liability. Vicarious or imputed liability states that a nurse manager may be accountable for hiring nurses to giving nursing services on behalf of them and their organizations. Therefore, if nurses are found guilty of providing negligent care, the hospital is possible to be held liable for the compensation. It is the duty of the nurse manager to ensure that the recruiting of competent employees and comprehensive orientation, as well as thorough supervision of all the staff members in order to minimize organizational liability. 

The duty to manage staff nurses doesn’t require the nurse manager to know all possible injuries that patients may be exposed due to the negligence of staff nurses. However, nurse manager duty demands them to be aware of those unreasonable and foreseeable risks of injury that patients may be exposed to if the nurses don’t give care as specified through the act of omission and provide negligent care in acts of commission. The duty to manage nursing employees also requires managers to supervise them in a non-negligent approach. Negligent supervision can occur for failing to check on whether a nurse assigned to a patient is fulfilling his obligations diligently. The patient can file a case for negligence. The same patient may also allege that the nurse manager delegated his nursing car to an incompetent nurse to provide the care needed. A nurse manager legal liability for a negligent supervision allegation of failure to adhere to policies governing care can result in patient injury (Ngo et al, 2016). Therefore, a nurse manager role is not a higher responsibility of care in relation to staff nurses he or she manages. Thus, it is a different liability firm with different responsibilities. 

Minimizing Legal Liabilities

The findings show that nurse managers are faced with common potential legal liabilities due to negligence, malpractices and management practices. As a nurse manager, there are different approaches to minimize potential legal liabilities. According to Dunham-Taylor (2014), a nurse manager can avoid potential liability for his role by underscoring the importance of preventing unreasonable and foreseeable risks to patients. Nurse Managers should follow sound risk-management to avoid potential liabilities. They should allow open communication with staff, patients and their families as well as fostering respect and trust for and with all nursing colleagues. They should also respond to patient and family concerns more sincerely and promptly. As a nurse manager, it is important to know the weaknesses and strengths of the nursing staff in order to assign and delegate patient care based on the strengths of the staff (Ngo, Patel, Paterick & Chandrasekaran, 2016). They should also provide more additional orientation and supervised patient experiences for improving patient care skills. They should ensure that nurses consistently adhere to the patient care procedures and policies. In addition, they should ensure that patient-care policies involve reflecting currently accepted practices through continuous performance appraisal and training.


In summary, nurse managers must understand areas of potential liability and approaches to minimize them. They should be able to protect the organization management competency by showing their enforcement of all the necessary education, training and hiring specifications. They should ensure continuous enforcement of procedures and policies associated with patient care. It should be apparent in the compliance rate with the completion of education requirements, annual competency, and job orientation and effective communication with all employees in regard to organizational practices and new policies and practices in the nursing field. Thus, nurse managers must know and follow the nurse practice act, policies and procedures and stay up to date in the nursing field. Future research should focus on product or equipment liability and how nurse managers should mitigate all the possible product liability as well as practices or policies to ensure safe and sufficient operations. 


Cadiz, D. M., Truxillo, D. M., & O’Neill, C. (2015). Common risky behaviours checklist: A tool to assist nurse supervisors to assess unsafe practice. Journal of nursing management23(6), 794-802.

Dunham-Taylor, J. (2014). Financial Management for Nurse Managers-Merging the Heart with the Dollar. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Ngo, E., Patel, N., Blake Waterhouse MD, M. B. A., Sandy Sanbar, M. D., & Paterick, T. E. (2016). Professional liability pertinent to graduate medical education: the intersection of medical education, patient care, and law. The Journal of medical practice management: MPM31(4), 233.

Ngo, E., Patel, N., Paterick, T. E., & Chandrasekaran, K. (2016). Why Patients Sue Physicians: Risk Management Strategies. The Journal of medical practice management: MPM32(2), 134.

Patton, C. W., & Lewallen, L. P. (2015). Legal issues in clinical nursing education. Nurse educator40(3), 124-128.

Urden, L. D., Stacy, K. M., & Lough, M. E. (2015). Priorities in critical care nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.


Unlike most other websites we deliver what we promise;

  • Our Support Staff are online 24/7
  • Our Writers are available 24/7
  • Most Urgent order is delivered with 6 Hrs
  • 100% Original Assignment Plagiarism report can be sent to you upon request.

GET 15 % DISCOUNT TODAY use the discount code PAPER15 at the order form.

Type of paperAcademic levelSubject area
Number of pagesPaper urgencyCost per page: