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The joy of qualifying as a nurse and being able to help people recover from sickness and injury provides for a satisfying and rewarding career. However, as a health care professional you are exposed to the possibilities of a claim being made against you for breach of statutory duty, negligence or misconduct.
As a registered nurse, you must not practice unless you are covered by a Professional Indemnity Insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Even if you are covered under your employer’s insurance policy there is no guarantee that you will be given enough protection.
Holding your own Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI) policy is the best way to ensure you are fully covered against financial loss for any legal action that may be taken against you if you were to make an error or omission. Particularly if you perform part-time independent or contract work, or any type of voluntary work that you may do, such as assisting at sporting events or offering your services to a charity group.
Revised minimum requirements set by the NMBA for Professional Indemnity Insurance arrangements for all enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives came into effect on 1st June 2016 and state that, whether covered by their own PI arrangements or third party PI arrangements, PI cover for nurses and midwives must include:
a) Civil liability cover
b) Appropriate retroactive cover* for otherwise uncovered matters arising from prior practice
c) Automatic reinstatement#
If a third party cover does not meet this standard you must take out additional cover to ensure this standard is met.
For further information, please refer to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website.
New registration standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia came into effect on June 1, 2016, which sets out minimum requirements for Professional Indemnity Insurance for all enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives.
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*Provides cover for claims or circumstances of which the Insured becomes aware and reports to the insurer during the policy period (subject to the policy terms and conditions) but only in relation to professional services that were performed after the Retroactive Date. No cover is provided for professional services that are performed before the Retroactive Date, even if the claim arises and is notified to the insurer during the policy period. An Unlimited retroactive date implies that there is no restriction on the retroactive cover (subject to the policy terms and conditions)
#Reinstatements relate to the Limit of Indemnity. Where one claim or a series of claims during the period of insurance add up to and exhaust the specified Limit of Indemnity, then the Limit of Indemnity is ‘reinstated’ for future unrelated claims. The number of times (if any) that the Limit of Indemnity may be reinstated, depends on the number of reinstatements offered in the policy.