Q What is the next step in determining a nurse’s negligence?

A In our previous discussions of “negligence,” a nurse’s “duty” to the patient is defined within the context of the “”standard of care” that applied to a specific situation. A nurse’s duty applies anytime he or she is “within the scope of employment” and has formed the nurse-patient relationship. The standard of care for nurses can be found in the policies, procedures, and protocols that apply to the specific area of practice.

Once these first 2 elements of negligence have been determined, the next element, which is crucial to the finding of negligence, is whether there was a violation of the nurse’s duty within the applicable standard of care. In other words, did the nurse do something in his or her practice that was below the standard of...

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