Perinatal Nurses Reported to Boards of Nursing: Understanding the Facts

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Abstract

Today's healthcare system is in a state of transformation, as changes in technology, diagnostic approaches, treatments, and levels of professional practice occur on a regular basis. Nurses continue to be the most trusted profession. What has not changed in clinical practice is the amount of responsibility and level of accountability. Therefore, nurses are morally, legally, and ethically responsible for nursing judgment and clinical-based actions covered under each state's Nurse Practice Act, the American Nurses Association's core principles, and position statements as well as standard setting documents from professional organizations. Unfortunately, mistakes happen in an enormous system where human error cannot be entirely avoided, which is why being named in a board of nursing complaint can be so devastating. Stress and accusations of not providing reasonable or prudent care can be overwhelming, which may impact a perinatal clinician's health. This article's purpose is to provide information about the process of a board of nursing complaint, potential sequelae of an investigation, as well as best practices to decrease risk, focusing exclusively on perinatal nurses and advanced practice providers.

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