A Proposal for Strengthening Nursing Knowledge of Health Care Law

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Compliance, privacy, and the law are large components of health care delivery, but rarely do these topics receive the necessary focus during nursing education. This leads to compliance, privacy, and ethical lags within practice and creates risk for the patient, the nurse, and healthcare organizations. The purpose of this project is to propose a series of educational programs to increase awareness on the importance of health care law as it relates to practice with the objective to lay a strong legal foundation at the collegiate level prior to entry into the workforce. The proposal uses application of Bloom’s Taxonomy for a theoretical framework. The objectives include increased knowledge and internalization of values surrounding health care law, decreased errors, increased compliance and privacy behaviors, and decreased risk for all stakeholders. Initial methods used include collaboration with a large-scale hospital committed to quality improvement, identification of stakeholders, proposal committee formation to direct the project, and completion of a needs assessment. Findings show a large sample of nurses with a knowledge deficit and interest in advancing practice. The proposal committee design and implement the series with input from hospital leadership and collaboration with Board of Nursing staff, legal consultants, risk management specialists, and medical malpractice litigators. The learner will participate in the three course educational series each lasting twelve weeks and covering Scope of Practice, Compliance/Privacy, and Risk. A pretest/posttest for each session will occur and follow up evaluations to determine retention and synthetization of knowledge will occur at three, six, and twelve months. Upon completion of the series it is expected the learner will receive and internalize health care law concepts contributing to safe care delivery, protection of professional practice, decreased risk, and increased quality improvement at the hospital.