Correctional Nurse Legal Briefs: Important Information to Keep You Out of Court!

An online continuing education course for nurses, medical health professionals, and other interested individuals working in a correctional setting, whether jail, prison, or juvenile detention facility. This information is also helpful for those working in forensic mental health units or hospital locked units.

Possibly more than any other nursing specialty, correctional nursing practice is lawsuit-prone. Our patient population, already in the criminal justice system, frequently seeks legal action when they feel they have not received rightful healthcare. Nurses working in the correctional setting have all the same accountability for delivering and documenting care as those working in traditional settings, along with some unique risks and liabilities that need attention. Correctional nurses must be acutely aware of malpractice and negligence concerns along with specific constitutional and civil rights issues related to the incarcerated patient.

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Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. List common areas of nursing malpractice as they relate to the correctional nursing specialty.
  2. Differentiate malpractice legal claims from constitutional and civil rights claims in correctional health care.
  3. Outline methods for delivering quality nursing care to avoid legal challenges to practice.


Chapter 1: Professional Liability Issues

  • Components of a Malpractice Claim
  • Common Areas of Nursing Malpractice Claims
  • Additional Resource: Preventing Nursing Negligence in Your Practice

Chapter 2: Constitutional and Civil Rights Issues

  • Deliberate Indifference Explained
  • Serious Medical Need
  • Three Basic Rights of Estelle v. Gamble
  • Section 1983
  • Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)

Chapter 3: Confidentiality, HIPPA and the Correctional Nurse

Chapter 4: Ten Ways Correctional Nurses Can Land in Court

  • Additional Resource: Nursing Negligence - What Can You Do?

Chapter 5: Resources

  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $12.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author

Lorry Schoenly

Lorry Schoenly, PhD, RN, CCHP-RN is a nurse author and educator specializing in the field of correctional health care. She provides consulting services to jails and prisons across the country on projects to improve professional nursing practice and patient safety. 

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Course Accreditation

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