NSO: Nurses Malpractice Claim Report Key Learnings

September 28, 2020

  1. NSO and CNA provide malpractice insurance to more than 500,000 nursing professionals. In 2020 they released their fourth nurses’ malpractice claim report.  The report includes a 5-year analysis of malpractice claims and license defense matters. Nurses can use the report’s findings and risk education recommendations to reduce potential liability.  Get your free copy of the Nurse Professional Liability Claim Report.
  2. According to the 2020 Nurse Claim Report produced by NSO and CNA, the average cost of a malpractice claim against a nurse is $210,513.  This is an increase from $201,670 in the 2015 report.  Get your free copy of the NSO Nurse Claim Report: 4th Edition.
  3. While less than 1% of medical malpractice claims are against student nurses, when they are sued the results can be severe, with an average claim cost of $309,835.  Registered Nurses (86.8% of all closed malpractice claims with paid indemnity ≥$10,000) and LPNs (12.8%) experience more frequent malpractice claims, but their average costs are less, $208,636 and $219,871 respectively.  To learn more, download your free copy of the latest NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  4. Since NSO released their first claim report in 2007, improper care or treatment has been the most common category of malpractice allegations made against nurses, accounting for more than half of all claims.  The allegation category that has seen the greatest increase over time is unprofessional conduct, increasing from 7% to 14.3% of all claims.  Learn how to reduce your risks with the new NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  5. Over the years, patient care has shifted from the hospital to the patient’s home.  In 2011, 20.2% of nurses’ malpractice claims occurred in hospital inpatient medical services.  Today, 6.6% occur there.  Conversely, 8.9% of claims occurred in the patient’s home in 2011, while today 21.8% of claims occur at the patient’s residence.  Find out how to reduce your liability with the NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  6. With more care being delivered in patient’s homes, malpractice claims against home care nurses have increased from 8.9% of all claims in 2011 to 20.7% in 2020.  Over this same period the frequency of claims against med/surg nurses dropped from 40.1% in 2011 to 18.5% in 2020.  Find out more in the NSO Nurse Claim Report: 4th Edition.
  7. Infants injured during delivery can require lifelong care, making the malpractice claims against obstetrics nurses the most severe ($558,007 average).  The three next most severe nurses’ malpractice claims occur in post-anesthesia care ($384,912), behavioral health ($228,518), and correctional health ($219,924).  Learn how you can reduce your risks with the NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  8. Since 2007, when NSO and CNA began analyzing malpractice claims against nurses, the most common injury that results in litigation is patient death.  The latest analysis found that patient death accounts for 40.9% of all malpractice lawsuits against nurses.  In 47.3% of these cases, the underlying cause of the fatality is cardiopulmonary arrest.  To learn how to reduce malpractice risks read the NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  9. Licensing board complaints may be filed against nurses for a variety of reasons.  A patient injury is not required.  One third (32.5%) of licensing complaints are due to unprofessional conduct.  Another 25% of complaints are related to nursing practice.  Documentation errors and improper treatment make up another 19%.  Find out more in the NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  10. 55 percent of licensing board complaints filed against nurses result in some action being taken by the State Board of Nursing.  Types of actions include probation, fines, surrender of their nursing license, license suspension, and license revocation.  Learn more in the NSO Nurse Claim Report.
  11. The average cost for a lawyer to defend a nurse in a State Board of Nursing matter is $5,330.  That’s a 33.7% increase since 2015 ($3,988) and a 58.9% increase since 2011 ($3,353).  To learn more, download the NSO Nurse Claim Report.