1. Section Editor(s): Coogan, Neil MSN, MBA, RN-BC, CEN
  2. Book Review Editor

Article Content

Fast Facts About Nursing and the Law

Law for Nurses in a Nutshell


Grant, P. D., & Ballard, D. C. (2013). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Softbound, ISBN: 978-0-8261-1045-9, 234 pages, US $30.00.


Reviewed by:


Deborah J. Borelli, RN, CCRN, MSN


Clinical Nurse Educator


Bay Pines VA Healthcare System


Bay Pines, Florida


All nurses need to be familiar with the laws and regulations that govern their practice. Nurses do not practice independent of state statutes, federal laws, standards of care, and workplace policies and procedures. With the ever-changing complexity of health care and the additional responsibilities of the nursing staff, it is imperative that nurses have an understanding about how nursing legal issues can affect them.


At a minimum, nurses need to be cognizant of their state's nurse practice act and the rules and regulations affecting nursing practice. Being familiar with these allows the nurse to provide safe, competent nursing care and helps to prevent potential legal actions.


The authors of this book are both registered nurses and practicing attorneys. Their backgrounds provide valuable insight into the legal issues relevant to the practicing nurse. The fast facts format allows for a quick and concise read and covers a multitude of topics.


The book is organized into eight parts, each consisting of two to four short chapters. Each chapter contains "fast facts in a nutshell" that focuses the reader on important key points. A summary at the end of each chapter highlights the theme of the chapter, and case studies supplement the chapter content.


Information about state boards of nursing licensing requirements and disciplinary actions, negligence and malpractice, requirements for documenting patient care, and the use of electronic health records is presented. There is also content related to advance directive issues, personal liability, continuous quality improvement for nurses, and federal laws and regulatory requirements. Although the information provided is direct to the point, the book does not provide in-depth coverage on any of these topics.


This is a must-read book for all nurses as it provides foundational knowledge related to legal issues in nursing. Fast-paced care, split-second decision making, and critical judgment skills place the nurse at risk in the litigious world we live in. The book provides the nurse with essential facts necessary for everyday practice. It will certainly promote better patient outcomes and safer care.


Disclaimer: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this review.