The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure
Application: The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure
American writer Nikki Giovanni once said: “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts” (Goodreads, 2012). Whenever you make an error when writing a prescription, you must consider the ethical and legal implications of your error—no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be. You may fear the possible consequences and feel pressured not to disclose the error. Regardless, you need to consider the potential implications of non-disclosure. How you respond to the prescription error will affect you, the patient, and the health care facility where you practice. In this Assignment, you examine ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure of personal error.
Consider the following scenario:
You are working as an advanced practice nurse at a community health clinic. You make an error when prescribing a drug to a patient. You do not think the patient would know that you made the error, and it certainly was not intentional.
Consider the ethical implications of disclosure and nondisclosure.
Research federal and state laws for advanced practice nurses. Reflect on the legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure for you and the health clinic.
Consider what you would do as the advanced practice nurse in this scenario including whether or not you would disclose your error.
Review the Institute for Safe Medication Practices website in the Learning Resources. Consider the process of writing prescriptions. Think about strategies to avoid medication errors.
Write a 2- to 3- page paper that addresses the following:
Explain the ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
Describe what you would do as the advanced practice nurse in this scenario including whether or not you would disclose your error. Provide your rationale.
Explain the process of writing prescriptions including strategies to minimize medication errors.
This Assignment is due by Day 7 of this week.
Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at https://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm). All papers submitted must use this formatting.
Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Chapter 1, “Issues for the Practitioner in Drug Therapy” (pp. 2–14)
This chapter introduces issues relating to drug therapy such as adverse drug events and medication adherence. It also explores drug safety, the practitioner’s role and responsibilities in prescribing, and prescription writing.
Chapter 59, “The Economics of Pharmacotherapeutics” (pp. 918–927)
This chapter analyzes the costs of drug therapy to health care systems and society and explores practice guideline compliance and current issues in medical care.
Chapter 60, “Integrative Approaches to Pharmacotherapy—A Look at Complex Cases” (pp. 928–939)
This chapter examines issues in individual patient cases. It explores concepts relating to evaluation, drug selection, patient education, and alternative treatment options.
Due to the importance of ethical and legal considerations in advanced practice nursing, several resources have been provided for your reference.
Crigger, N., & Holcomb, L. (2008). Improving nurse practitioner practice through rational prescribing. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 4(2), 120–125.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article explores issues relating to prescription drugs, specifically the frequency in which drugs are prescribed to patients. It also examines factors to consider before beginning drug therapy plans with patients.
Philipsen, N. C., & Soeken, D. (2011). Preparing to blow the whistle: A survival guide for nurses. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 7(9), 740–746.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article examines issues that nurses encounter when reporting errors in medical settings. It also outlines the role of ethics and the responsibility of nurses to notify all individuals who are impacted by a medical error.
American Nurses Association. (2001). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Nursing World. Retrieved from
This article outlines ethical standards in the nursing profession and identifies nine provisions of care that must be adhered to by all nurses.
Anderson, P., & Townsend, T. (2010). Medication errors: Don’t let them happen to you. American Nurse Today, 5(3), 23–28. Retrieved from
This article examines factors that lead to medication errors as well as consequences of these errors on patients and nurses. It also recommends methods for avoiding and eliminating medication errors.
Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.). Mid-level practitioners authorization by state. Retrieved from August 23, 2012, https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugreg/practioners/index.html
This website outlines the schedules for controlled substances, including prescriptive authority for each schedule.
Drug Enforcement Administration. (2006.). Practitioner’s manual. Retrieved from
This manual is a resource for practitioners who prescribe, dispense, and administer controlled substances. It provides information on general requirements, security issues, recordkeeping, prescription requirements, and addiction treatment programs.
Drugs.com. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/