Nurses ' Right : Safe Harbor

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Nurses’ Right: Safe Harbor
Cheree’ M. Kirkwood
Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing

The nursing profession is a profession where people put their trust in you to provide care that is not only effective, ethical, and moral, but safe. Not all health situations are simple or by the book. Not all hospitals have the same nurse-patient ratios, equipment, supplies, or support available, but all nurses have “the professional obligation to raise concerns regarding any patient assignment that puts patients or themselves at risk for harm” (ANA, 2009). When arriving at work for a shift, nurses must ensure that the assignment is safe for not only the patients, but also for themselves. There are times when this is not the situation. In these cases, the nurse has the right to invoke Safe Harbor, because according the ANA, nurses also “have the professional right to accept, reject or object in writing to any patient assignment that puts patient or themselves at serious risk for harm” (ANA, 2009).
“Peer review is the evaluation of nursing services, the qualification of a nurse, the quality of patient care rendered by nurses, the merits of a complaint concerning a nurse or nursing care, and a determination or recommendation regarding a complaint,” (Texas Board of Nursing, 2013). There are two types of nursing peer review: incident based peer review (IBPR) and Safe Harbor peer review (SHPR). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Texas Board of Nursing’s (BON) Safe Harbor Peer Review (SHPR).
Facility Policy
The facility’s policy referenced appears to be in alignment with the BON. “It is the policy of the Hospital to allow nurses to advocate for their patients when asked to participate in what they ...

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...iation. (2009). ANA Position Statement: Patient Safety: Rights of Registered Nurses When Considering a Patient Assignment. Washington, DC: Author.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Texas Health Resources. (2012). Safe harbor peer review. Unpublished internal document.
Texas Board of Nursing. (2013). Texas Board of Nursing Position Statements: 15.14 Duty of a nurse in any practice setting. [Located at]
Texas Board of Nursing. (2013). Texas Board of Nursing: Practice – Peer review: Incident-based or safe harbor. [Located at]
Westrick, S. (2013). Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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