Live Support

Professional Accountability & Legal Liability for Nurses

Online, self-paced CE course

Explore the legal liability of your decisions as a nurse.

Cost: US$30

CE Credit: 5.4 Contact Hours

Subscription Length: 3 weeks

Enroll Now: Go to NCSBN's Online Campus Now

Audience: This program is for every nurse (PN/VNs and RNs) in every practice setting at every level of practice.

Stay above reproach as nurse-to-patient ratios increase.

Professional Accountability Course Avatar

As a nurse, you are accountable for your individual practice of nursing. With the increased demands of patient care, understanding nursing accountability and legal liability will help you make educated decisions — that protect you and your patients!

This self-paced course can help you answer critical questions including:

  • What should I do if I check my assignments and find I have something to do that is outside of my skill set?
  • How do I decide whether to accept or reject an assignment?
  • What are some of the legal implications of my daily nursing decisions?
  • How should I react if I see one of my colleagues acting incompetently or unethically?

For only $30, you will receive three weeks of unlimited, 24-hour access to the course materials, earning 5.4 contact hours.

Sign up and start learning about professional accountability in nursing today!

Weigh your options… and make educated decisions!

Professional Accountability & Legal Liability for nurses will help you master these course objectives:

  • Understand the concept of professional accountability for nurses.
  • Locate at least four resources that delineate professional accountability for nurses.
  • Utilize elements of accountability when making assignments and delegating nursing care to other health team members.
  • Apply the concept of professional accountability when deciding to accept or refuse patient care assignments.
  • Participate in the "chain of command process."
  • Carry out the duty of professional nurses to report incompetent, illegal, or unethical conduct of health team members.
  • List the four elements required to establish nursing negligence.
  • Distinguish between the various areas of the law that effect nursing practice.

By learning about your rights and responsibilities within the health care environment, you will demonstrate a commitment to being accountable—increasing your level of professionalism.

Study nursing accountability at your convenience.

This online course uses fun and interactive e-learning techniques:

  1. Learn by doing — Explore “Links to Knowledge,” visual and graphic aids and key terms as you navigate through the course contents.

  2. Solidify your knowledge — Complete fun and interactive exercises including multiple-choice and matching assessments.

  3. Reflect on what you learn — Complete short-answer and essay questions in the downloadable workbook. Note: Completion of the workbook may be necessary to meet board of nursing requirements.

  4. Complete the course at your own pace — Guide yourself through the course and complete assignments at your convenience.

At the end of the course, evaluate your understanding of key concepts by completing the posttest. A score of 75% or above is required to receive your contact hours!

Take the first step towards a higher level of nursing professionalism!  Sign up now.


Developed by: This course was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)

Author(s): Beatrice Crofts Yorker, RN, MS, JD and Laura R. Mahlmeister, RN, PhD

Background: Beatrice Crofts Yorker is a nurse and an attorney who is currently the Director of the School of Nursing at San Francisco State University.  She received her BS from Indiana University, her MS in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco, and her Juris Doctor from Georgia State University.  She has published extensively on the interface between health care, violence, and the law.

Background: Dr. Mahlmeister is president of Mahlmeister & Associates, a continuing education and risk management company. She has been a labor and delivery nurse for 31 years and continues to practice as a staff nurse in the birth center, at San Francisco General Hospital. She serves as an expert witness in nursing malpractice cases, for both plaintiff and defense firms, and has published both books and articles on clinical and legal issues in nursing practice. Dr. Mahlmeister has served as a Director-At-Large for the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.  She has been named a Sigma Theta Tau International, distinguished lecturer since 1994 and is listed in Sigma Theta Tau’s media guide to health care experts.