According to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), there were 3,546 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the United States from 2003 and 2013. During the same period, 1,458 medical malpractice cases were filed against APRNs.

During the same period, 67,368 cases were taken against licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and 100,709 cases against registered nurses (RNs). The NPDB reports that out of the 100,709 cases, 3,743 medical malpractice payments were made.

Types of Nurses

There are 3 basic categories of nursing licenses with each of them subject to different training. Each type of nurse is however allowed to take on different responsibilities.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) - APRNs have the highest level of training and education. They can use advanced diagnostic skills to diagnose patients and prescribe and administer medications. They can also order tests and procedures.

Registered Nurse (RN) - Typically, registered nurses can observe patients and record symptoms to help doctors with diagnosis. RNs also assist doctors with treatment. They can administer medication as well, but are not allowed to prescribe any.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - This is the most basic level when it comes to nursing license. LPNs are required to have a degree from an accredited nursing school and the state nursing board provides them with licenses for practice. They work under a doctor or registered nurse's direction.

Common Nursing Errors

Some common types of nursing errors include:

  • Medication errors - When a nurse makes a medication error, it may be malpractice when the wrong drug or wrong dose is administered, or when the prescribed medication is given to the wrong patient. When a drug is given to a patient who has a known allergy, e.g. to penicillin, it may also be malpractice.
  • Failure to monitor patient - When a patient is hospitalized, the person who monitors them to ensure that the patient's vital signs are normal and that there are no complications from procedures or adverse reactions to medications. If a nurse does not monitor a patient properly, there will not be anyone to notice that the patient is having an adverse reaction to a medication or getting sicker. This could have serious consequences for the patient.
  • Failure to communicate with physicians - Most nurses work in collaboration or under the direction of a doctor. If a nurse does not communicate properly with the physician and report changes in a patient's status, the patient may not get the treatment they need and suffer harm or get sicker.
  • Error in medical procedure - If a nurse makes a mistake while inserting a catheter or an IV, or performing other types of medical procedures, it could result in severe harm to the patient.
  • Chart errors - A nurse may write the wrong information, fail to write information or mix up the charts. Such incidences may be malpractice.
  • Failure to seek help - If a nurse does not know when they have reached the limits of the care they can provide to a patient and do not seek assistance from a specialist or a physician, the patient could suffer serious harm.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a nursing error, you should immediately seek the help of a qualified and experienced medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212-344-1000.

We know how to win cases. Give us a call. We will set out a course of action for you that you will be impressed with. We have been around the block before - we know the angles to take in these types of cases. We have won millions of dollars for past clients, your name can be included on this awesome list.

Give us a call. Let's hear what you have to say and set out some ground work if your case is viable.


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