Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress


April 12, 2021

Key Points

  • Laws regulate the practice of the licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/LVN).
  • The Patient Care Partnership and other legislative directives outline what the patient can expect from the health care system.
  • LPN/LVNs are legally and ethically obligated to know the scope of practice and the standards of care that apply in the state or province where they are licensed.
  • Every patient has the right to receive care that meets the established standards of care.
  • Malpractice (professional negligence) is when the health care professional fails to meet the standard of care.
  • Prevention is the best defense to a lawsuit. A competent caring nurse who follows the standards of care is less likely to be sued.
  • Values systems have developed over the history of civilization.
  • Ethical decisions regarding health care are influenced by a person’s culture, beliefs, attitudes, and values.
  • A code of ethics and ethical principles helps guide the practice of nursing.
  • On April 14, 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) for regulating patient privacy standards took effect; these federal regulations have had an impact on the field of health care.

Additional Learning Resources

Go to your Study Guide for additional learning activities to help you master this chapter content.

Be sure to visit the Evolve site at http://evolve.elsevier.com/Cooper/foundationsadult/ for additional online resources.

Review Questions for the NCLEX® Examination

1. The newly licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) has reviewed the nurse practice act (NPA) of the state of licensure. What is the purpose of this documentation?

  1. Determine the quality of nursing care
  2. Enforce the standards of nursing practice
  3. Define the scope of nursing practice
  4. Set the nurse’s educational requirements

2. The nurse working in a nursing home correctly recognizes that duties include patient advocacy. Which role is considered a primary duty of patient advocacy?

  1. To complete all nursing responsibilities on time
  2. To maintain the patient’s right to privacy
  3. To safeguard the well-being of every patient
  4. To act as the patient’s legal representative

3. The health care provider’s order read “assist the patient with walking.” The nurse allowed the patient to walk alone. The patient fell, fracturing the humerus. Which verdict is the most likely occurrence?

  1. The nurse will be found guilty of malpractice.
  2. The nurse will only be guilty of negligence
  3. The nurse will be charged with technical battery.
  4. The nurse will not be found liable for any harm.

4. The patient refused to take the medication his doctor ordered for relief of pain. The LPN/LVN knows this is a patient right established by:

  1. the principle of beneficence.
  2. the doctrine of negligence.
  3. specific nurse practice acts.
  4. the Patient Self-Determination Act.

5. The LPN/LVN knows that one of the best defenses against a lawsuit is for a nurse to:

  1. work only in a large hospital or nursing home.
  2. provide for every patient’s needs as quickly as possible.
  3.  promote a positive nurse-patient relationship.
  4. carry individual professional liability insurance.

6. The nurse believes that all patients should be treated as individuals. The ethical principle that this belief reflects is:

  1. autonomy.
  2. beneficence.
  3. nonmaleficence.
  4. respect for people.

7. LPN/LVNs have a code of professional and personal ethics to follow. The purpose of a code of ethics is to:

  1. establish penalties for any unethical behavior.
  2. promote trustworthy, accountable LPN/LVNs.
  3. make certain that all nurses are competent and always honest.
  4. give the nurse guidelines for ethical decision making.

8. The patient admitted for surgery has a lump in her breast. The patient’s daughter asks the LPN/LVN if her mother should have the surgery. Which issue must be considered before responding?

  1. Confidentiality and invasion of privacy
  2. Informed consent, beneficence, and respect
  3. Respect for people and personal autonomy
  4. Nonmaleficence, justice, and liability

9. The nurse’s first job as an LPN/LVN is on a unit that cares for terminally ill children. What action should be taken by the nurse before helping families cope with their children’s illnesses?

  1. Study the nurse practice act to find rules relating to the medical care of terminally ill children
  2. Spend time performing value clarification to aid in identifying her feelings about this new role
  3. Evaluate her own personal mores and customs that may affect the practice of nursing in general
  4. Review the state and federal laws that prescribe how a child may be treated when near death

10. The LPN/LVN is reviewing the patient’s medical record. The nurse notes the presence of an advance directive. The nurse recognizes that the purpose of this documentation is to:

  1. help every person exercise the right to die with dignity.
  2. encourage a person to determine how he or she will die.
  3. allow a patient to exercise the right of autonomy.
  4. provide a means to prevent medical maltreatment.

11. The nurse knows that all patients have the right to nursing interventions regardless of their race, religion, or gender. The ethical principle that best describes this concept is:

  1. nonmaleficence.
  2. justice.
  3. autonomy.
  4. beneficence.

12. An alert adult patient has refused an intramuscular injection. The nurse waits until the patient is asleep and gives the injection anyway. The nurse could be charged with:

  1. civil battery.
  2. malicious homicide.
  3. criminal negligence.
  4. invasion of privacy.

13. The nurse loves photography and brings his camera to work at the nursing home. He takes a picture of one of his coworkers walking a patient. What best describes the actions taken by the nurse?

  1. He violated the patient’s right to privacy.
  2. He failed to get proper medical clearance.
  3. He performed an act of nursing malpractice.
  4. He legally obtained a realistic picture.

14. The nurse gets a report, puts his patient assignment notebook in his pocket, and goes on break. His notebook has very specific information about his patients and is missing from his pocket when he returns to the unit. The book is found later on the floor in the cafeteria by a visitor and is returned to the information desk. The nurse:

  1. may have breached the Patient Self-Determination Act.
  2. is guilty of criminal misconduct.
  3. could be fired for malpractice.
  4. has violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

15. The newly licensed nurse is assigned a patient who needs catheterization. The nurse has not performed the procedure before. What would be the best action for the nurse?

  1. Contact the nursing supervisor and explain that the procedure will need to be done by another nurse.
  2. Review the agency procedure for male catheterization in the unit’s resource area and ask another experienced nurse to supervise her during the procedure.
  3. Immediately advise the charge nurse that someone else will need to assume care of this patient.
  4. Promptly notify the staff development office that an instructor needs to do this procedure.