- •The growing role of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners is discussed.
- •Liability risks for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are reviewed.
- •Recommendations to ensure best practices and avoid legal issues are suggested.
Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners play a key role in providing care to patients with mental illness. This role is increasing caused in part by a nationwide shortage of psychiatrists, as well as a lack of primary care physicians trained in basic psychiatric services. However, with increased clinical responsibilities come important legal considerations. Psychiatric nurse practitioners should become familiar with legal issues surrounding this practice area in order to ensure best practices for patients and to avoid malpractice litigation and licensing issues.
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Melanie L. Balestra, JD, MSN, PNP, works at the Law Offices of Melanie L. Balestra in Irvine, CA. She is available at .
Published online: September 29, 2018
In compliance with national ethical guidelines, the author reports no relationships with business or industry that would pose a conflict of interest.
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