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Digital Seminar

Short Staffing: Legal Risks & Implications for Nursing Practice

Deborah Ward, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, LNC
2 Hours 01 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jun 05, 2023
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar


Do you as a nurse/clinician ever feel overwhelmed by your workload? 
Has short staffing and increased workload ever negatively impacted your nursing/clinical practice, exposing you to legal risk? 
The current and projected nursing shortage and short staffing rates present a continuing and long-term problem for all levels of nursing professionals. Despite the prior knowledge of nursing shortage projections, the COVID-19 pandemic only aggravated staffing complications. Aside from negatively impacting the health and well-being of nurses, short staffing can also expose nursing professionals to increased legal risk.  
Take a look at how staffing shortages and increased workload can place your nursing practice at legal risk and identify ways to improve and prevent yourself from landing in the courtroom. 


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - **

NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after passing the online post-test (80% passing score) and completing the evaluation). Instructional methods will include PowerPoint, didactic lecture, and others.

Continuing Education Information:  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Program content is reviewed periodically per accrediting board rules for currency and appropriateness for credit. Credit approvals are subject to change. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. 
For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before purchase.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.  

For Planning Committee disclosures, please see the statement above.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - ---

Earn up to 2.0 CE hours. Please see below, for more details, as credit amounts vary by state and profession. 

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists - ANCC

PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses completing these self-study materials will earn 2.0 contact hours. Expires: 06/05/2026.

California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of  Registered Nursing, Provider #: 17118 for 2.0 self-study contact hours. 

** You will need to provide your license number to PESI. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Florida Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Florida Board of  Nursing. Provider #: FBN2858. These materials qualify for 2.0 self-study contact hours.

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Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Nurses successfully completing these self-study materials will earn 2.0 self-study contact hours. Please email with your license number, include the title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Other Professions

This self-study activity qualifies for 2.0 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.


Deborah Ward, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, LNC's Profile

Deborah Ward, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, LNC Related seminars and products

Deborah Ward, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, LNC, is a nurse practitioner with extensive experience and expertise in both the clinical and legal arenas. Her expertise as a nurse practitioner and legal nurse consultant continues to facilitate bridging the gap between the medical and legal sectors through detailed analysis, support, and education. As a legal nurse consultant, Deborah provides full case development services for her legal clients, both plaintiff and defense, for a wide range of medical related cases. Her background as a nurse practitioner brings a unique and progressive approach to case development for her legal clients. Deborah is also an enthusiastic and passionate educator providing programs and presentations focusing on improving patient care and the health of our communities.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Deborah Ward maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with Boulder Crest Foundation Boundless Leadership LLC. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Deborah Ward is a member of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Evaluate current factors affecting nursing shortage and short staffing. 
  2. Analyze how short staffing and increased workload affect nursing processes, patient care, and safety. 
  3. Identify deviations in nursing practice that increase legal risk/exposure related to short staffing and increased workload. 
  4. Formulate and apply practices to improve nursing care and reduce legal risk.  tify ways to improve and prevent yourself from landing in the courtroom. 


Background and Factors Affecting Nursing Shortage 

  • History of Nursing Shortage     
  • Projections and Factors Affecting Future Nursing Shortage 

Short Staffing Effects on Patient Safety and Care 

  • Relationship between workload and patient safety 

Legal Risks of Short Staffing/Increased Workload 

  • Ways in which nursing professionals deviate their nursing practice that exposes them to legal risk. 
    • Scope of Practice 
    • Assessment 
    • Documentation 
    • Errors in Treatment/Patient Care & Management 
    • Communication 
  • RNs & NPs  
    • Inpatient Setting 
    • Outpatient Setting 

How to Improve Nursing Practice and Protect from Legal Risk 

  • Ways in which nursing professionals can improve their nursing practice and protect from legal risk. 
    • Education 
    • Scope of Practice 
    • Assessment 
    • Documentation 
    • Patient Care & Management 
    • Communication 
    • Time Management 
    • Leadership 
  • RNs & NPs 
    • Inpatient Setting 
    • Outpatient Setting 

Target Audience

  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners 


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