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The Legal Implications of Acceptance or Refusal of an Assignment

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Topic 1: The Legal Implications of Acceptance or Refusal of an Assignment

After reviewing the ANA position statement on “Rights of Registered Nurses when Considering a Patient Assignment,” discuss the legal and ethical implications of accepting assignments. When delegating assignments to unlicensed personnel, what considerations need to be considered? What insurance issues come into play? Analyze the legal principle of Respondeat Superior.

Patient Safety: Rights of Registered Nurses When Considering a Patient Assignment
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ANA Position Statement – Approved 3/12/09

The American Nurses Association (ANA) upholds that registered nurses – based on their professional and ethical responsibilities – have the professional right to accept, reject or object in writing to any patient assignment that puts patients or themselves at serious risk for harm. Registered nurses have the professional obligation to raise concerns regarding any patient assignment that puts patients or themselves at risk for harm. The professional obligations of the registered nurse to safeguard patients are grounded in the Nursing’s Social Policy Statement (ANA, 2003), Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (ANA, 2001b), Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (ANA, 2004), and state laws, and rules and regulations governing nursing practice.

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