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CNA's Next Town Hall Meeting - SAVE-THE-DATE!

CNA will hold its next members-only Town Hall Meeting Wednesday, June 28 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

These CNA Town Hall meetings are designed to be an open forum and a way to provide access between CNA members and CNA leaders and lobbyists. They are informative, address current topics, and open for Q&A. 

See CNA's Town Hall Guidelines and Code of Conduct Here.

Not a member? Join today!

Participation in the Town Hall Meetings is a member benefit of CNA/ANA.


5 Common Legal Issues in Nursing

May 18, 2023

While registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses (“nurses”) work to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients, they may also face a range of potential legal challenges - from malpractice lawsuits to licensing board complaints - that can have a significant impact on their careers and personal lives. By understanding the legal issues that may arise in their practice, nurses can protect themselves and their patients while delivering the best possible care.

Medical malpractice lawsuits. A medical malpractice lawsuit is defined as an allegation that a healthcare provider failed to provide the degree of care required of a professional under the scope of their license resulting in injury, death, or damage. As licensed healthcare providers, nurses are held to a high standard of care and are expected to adhere to ethical, legal, and professional standards. When a patient or their family member believes that a nurse provided substandard care that resulted in harm or injury, or a patient’s outcome differs from anticipated results, nurses are at risk for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Nurses could be named in a lawsuit for many types of allegations, including:

  • improper or negligent performance of treatment;
  • failure to properly or fully complete patient assessments;
  • failure to monitor;
  • improper medication administration; and
  • failure to follow facility policies and provide a safe environment.

Nurses can help minimize the risk of a medical malpractice lawsuit by taking actions including maintaining clinical and specialty competencies, practicing within the requirements of the state nurse practice act and the standard of care, and complying with organizational policies and procedures.

Licensing board complaints. One of the most common legal challenges that nurses face is State Board of Nursing (SBON) complaints. SBON complaints differ from medical malpractice lawsuits in that allegations can be directly related to a nurse’s clinical responsibilities and professional services, and/or they may be of a personal, nonclinical nature, such as allegations of fraudulent billing, substance use, or improper behavior on social media. Complaints may be filed by patients, patients’ family members, colleagues, employers, and/or regulatory agencies, sometimes anonymously, and they are subsequently investigated by the SBON. SBON investigations can result in no action against the nurse, or disciplinary actions that can range from warning letters to revocation or suspension of their nursing license. The SBON may then report any disciplinary action to other agencies, regulatory authorities, or other SBONs, which may decide to initiate their own investigation and take reciprocal action. Staying up to date with the regulations and the legal, ethical, and professional standards of practice set by their SBON can help nurses avoid these types of complaints. Nurses should also immediately contact their professional liability insurer if they become aware of an SBON complaint that has been filed or if they have any reason to believe that there may be a potential threat to their license to practice nursing.

Depositions. A deposition is a question-and-answer session conducted under oath for the purpose of compiling information from an individual who is either named in a lawsuit (i.e., a named defendant) or is a witness to the matter being litigated. An attorney will ask the witness questions while a court reporter records the testimony verbatim. Nurses may be subpoenaed to provide a deposition or court testimony in matters where they are not a defendant but are or were involved in the assessment and/or treatment of a patent who is involved in legal action. Following the receipt of a subpoena, nurses should immediately inform their professional liability insurance provider and employer’s risk manager or legal counsel of the deposition notice. Together, these professionals help ensure that a proper response is filed, while also counseling the nurse against the unauthorized release of information in their responses. Nurses should never testify in a deposition without first consulting their insurer or legal counsel.

Records requests. In addition to subpoenas to provide a deposition, nurses may also be subpoenaed to provide patient records in a case where they may not be named as a defendant. Records requests can be time-consuming and stressful to manage, so it is crucial for nurses to work with their professional liability insurance provider and employer’s risk manager or legal counsel to understand their legal obligations and rights when it comes to these requests. The issues to consider include protecting patients’ confidentiality, compliance with state privacy requirements, and adherence to federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

Confidentiality of patient information. The healthcare industry is governed by strict privacy laws, including HIPAA, and nurses must be diligent in safeguarding patients' protected health information (PHI) to avoid legal repercussions. As a healthcare professional with access to patient data, nurses are subject to HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA allows covered entities, including nurses, to disclose PHI solely under defined circumstances – for example, in the case of organ donation or domestic violence or abuse. Disclosure of PHI that violates HIPAA regulations can result in severe consequences, from loss of employment to license revocation or even becoming subject to a lawsuit or substantial fines. Nurses should keep in mind that additional state and federal requirements under patient privacy standards may also apply to their practice, in addition to HIPAA. To help safeguard patients’ PHI, nurses should be mindful of the patient information that they access or share, use caution when posting comments or pictures of their workplace online, and be aware of employer security policies and procedures with regards to handling patient information. Nurses should also make sure to attend employer-provided security awareness training(s) and review updates regarding new measures.

Understanding legal issues
Nurses face a range of legal issues in their practice that can have a significant impact on their professional and personal lives. From malpractice lawsuits to confidentiality issues, nurses must be aware of their legal obligations and rights to avoid potential legal challenges. By staying up to date with regulations and standards of practice, taking precautions to avoid malpractice, managing deposition and records requests effectively, and protecting patient privacy, nurses can mitigate legal risks and continue to provide high-quality care to their patients. With a strong understanding of the legal issues they may encounter, nurses can navigate their career with confidence and professionalism.

Article by Georgia Reiner, MS, CPHRM, Risk Analyst, Nurses Service Organization (NSO)


This publication is intended to inform Affinity Insurance Services, Inc., customers of potential liability in their practice. It reflects general principles only. It is not intended to offer legal advice or to establish appropriate or acceptable standards of professional conduct. Readers should consult with a lawyer if they have specific concerns. Neither Affinity Insurance Services, Inc., NSO, nor CNA assumes any liability for how this information is applied in practice or for the accuracy of this information. This publication is published by Affinity Insurance Services, Inc., with headquarters at 1100 Virginia Drive, Suite 250, Fort Washington, PA 19034-3278. Phone: (215) 773-4600. All world rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

Nurses Service Organization is a registered trade name of Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. (TX 13695); (AR 100106022); in CA, MN, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency, Inc. (CA 0795465); in OK, AIS Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.; in CA, Aon Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. (CA 0G94493); Aon Direct Insurance Administrators and Berkely Insurance Agency; and in NY, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency.



Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Finance PHE Updates

May 15, 2023

Community Partners: 

The federal public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 has stretched and challenged all of us, and transformed our health care system in ways that were unimaginable pre-pandemic. I want to sincerely thank you for your partnership to support and care for our members over the last three years. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus have grown by more than 500,000 members since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (from 1.25 million in March of 2020 to 1.78 million in March 2023), reflecting the struggles felt by families and businesses across the state caused by COVID-19. 

Together, we have been there through this chapter for Coloradans with disabilities, those in between jobs, pregnant persons and more than half-a-million of Colorado’s children. You helped encourage our members to mask-up, expanded testing, disseminated important public health messages, got Coloradans vaccinated, figured out telehealth, helped us stand up alternate care sites as the system was pushed to capacity, evolved critical safety precautions and implemented new protocols to protect the most vulnerable and all Coloradans – all without a playbook. 

We know that during this time, many of your staff experienced incredible personal challenges, heartache and loss while still coming to work each day to be there for Coloradans. Thank you for stepping up again and again during this unprecedented chapter to go above and beyond to support and care for our members and the communities you serve. We sincerely appreciate you and the contributions that you have made. 

With the end of the federal COVID-19 PHE, we are transitioning back to normal operations while escalating our collaborative, united focus to Keep Coloradans Covered through this time of coverage transition. Thank you for your partnership through our 14-month March 2023 to April 2024 eligibility renewal period to ensure that those who qualify for Health First Colorado and CHP+ remain covered and those no longer eligible are connected to affordable, alternative coverage such as Medicare, employer-sponsored health insurance, or Connect for Health Colorado individual coverage. Please continue to visit to stay updated on emerging information, tools and messaging. 

This special edition of our COVID-19 newsletter outlines policy changes we made under the PHE’s temporary federal flexibilities. Some of these emergency flexibilities granted were never needed, thankfully; other policy changes we have made permanent, while others will need to be rolled back in accordance with federally mandated timeframes. The policy changes outlined in the link below will be communicated through the Department’s regular member, provider, partner and stakeholder communication channels as well. 

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Update:

The COVID-19 public health emergency ended May 11, 2023. Learn more about flexibilites that have been made permanent and those that are changing.

 Overview of COVID-19 Emergency Federal Flexibilities Colorado Medicaid

 HCPF will be communicating changes to impacted providers, case managers, stakeholders and members through our member communications, provider bulletins, billing manuals, operational and policy memos, websites and other stakeholder communications as timelines are finalized. Some provisions could still change as additional federal guidance is received.

Resources and How to Stay Informed:

The PHE Planning Resource Center will be updated as new information about the end of COVID-19 public health emergency and other COVID-19 policy evolves. To stay informed about the latest updates, sign up for the COVID-19 public health emergency updates monthly newsletter

In addition to the policy changes connected to the end of the public health emergency, HCPF has developed extensive partner toolkits regarding the end of the continuous coverage requirement. Update Your Address, Understanding the Renewal Process and Take Action on Your Renewal toolkits all include resources to help members take action to keep their coverage. A new joint webpage includes partner resources and information for those who may need to transition to other coverage.


ECHO Series: Past the Pandemic: Individual Wellbeing, Connection and Support

May 12, 2023

This ECHO series offers providers and other staff working in health care settings an opportunity to navigate, normalize and validate worries, stressors and experiences related to various health care environments. Participants will develop an awareness of the manifestations of stress along a continuum. With this framework, each session will provide helpful, tangible tools in a psychoeducational, didactic format to increase capacity, mitigate burnout, elevate connectedness and mindfulness, and promote self-efficacy and quality patient care.

This series is the newest iteration of Past the Pandemic, launched in 2020, and provides updated curriculum to capture current stressors in health care. This program is now a part of a state-wide initiative, Colorado CARES, aimed at increasing health care worker retention and resiliency.

The first two sessions are required, as they are foundational to the rest of the series and will introduce language and concepts that will be woven throughout the remaining sessions. Presence is encouraged at all sessions, as this is an interactive series offering a space to connect with other health care workers.  Video modules are posted and available to view at one’s own pace for sessions that are missed. Participants will have access to a Toolkit as well as ongoing weekly Resource Rooms led by a mental health professional to encourage and practice a common language, support and resources.

Health care workforce in Colorado

Six weekly ECHO sessions held virtually
Thursdays 5:30 - 6:30 PM MT
June 8 - July 13


Upcoming CNA Events & Meetings

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