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Legal Issues in Clinical Nursing Education

Patton, Carla Wheeler MSN, RN, IBCLC; Lewallen, Lynne Porter PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000122
Feature Articles

Nurse educators are concerned about legal implications of teaching students in clinical settings. Although literature is available about legal issues in working with students in the classroom, there is little recent information on clinical nursing faculty’s legal liability when working with students and ways to reduce the risk of becoming involved in a lawsuit. This article discusses the major issues in clinical settings that contribute to lawsuits against faculty and offers suggestions to reduce legal liability with students in clinical settings.

Author Affiliations: Certified Lactation Consultant, Catawba Valley Medical Center Women’s Center, Hickory, North Carolina, and Clinical Instructor, Nursing Department at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Hudson, North Carolina (Ms Patton); Professor of Family & Community Nursing, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (Dr Lewallen).

No funding was received for this work.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Lewallen, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Accepted for publication: October 26, 2014

Published ahead of print: December 10, 2014

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