North Carolina Expands Scope of Nurse Liability, Overturning 1932 Ruling

April 19, 2023 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) may be held liable for exercising independent judgment within the scope of his practice and should not be viewed exclusively as carrying out the orders of a supervising physician, the North Carolina supreme court has ruled. The decision overturns a 1932 opinion by the same court that had limited the scenarios in which a nurse could be held liable.

The case arose from the treatment of a three-year-old patient, who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy after an emergency department visit in September 2010. The cardiologist recommended that the patient undergo cardiac ablation, and the child...

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