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Because of statute of limitation, you could be named in a lawsuit long after your last interaction with a patient. Protect yourself by completely and accurately documenting patient interactions when they occur.  

Documentation Tips

  1. Check the chart: be sure you have the correct chart
  2. Chart promptly: don't wait until the end of shift
  3. Chart in chronological order: specify exact times and do not chart ahead
  4. Factual comments: keep comments factual, objective, and complete to avoid perception of bias
  5. Write clearly and concisely: avoid using words, such as 'appears' or 'apparently' when describing signs and symptoms or imprecise descriptions, such as 'bed-soaked' or 'large amount'
  6. Document all communication: this includes face-to-face, by telephone, or electronic communication
  7. Charting symptoms: don't chart a symptom without also charting what was done about it
  8. Error when documenting: make the correction noting the date and time of correction
  9. Recalling an important point: if you remember an important point after completing documentation, chart the information with a notation that it's a 'late entry'. Include date and time
  10. Adhere to requirements: adhere to documentation requirements in the state where you practice, your organization's policies and professional standards. If there's a conflict, use the most rigorous requirement

Source:  Arizona Nurses Association. (2019). What Nurses Need to Know About Statutes of Limitations. Arizona Nurse, 9.

eBook - ANA's Principles for Nursing Documentation

ANA's Principles for Nursing Documentation

Clear, accurate, and accessible documentation is an essential element of safe, quality, evidence-based nursing practice.

Nurses practice across settings at position levels from the bedside to the administrative office; the registered nurse and the advanced practice registered nurse are responsible and accountable for the nursing documentation that is used throughout an organization.

ANA’s Principles for Nursing Documentation: Guidance for Registered Nurses, a complete update of the 2005 edition, identifies six essential principles and offers recommendations to guide registered nurses in this necessary and integral aspect of their work in all roles and settings. Get your copy

Professional Liability Insurance

Many nurses mistakenly believe they are covered by their employer's liability insurance — until a lawsuit is filed and they find that no one is advocating for their interests. Protect yourself and your career with professional liability insurance. ANA has partnered with Mercer, a global leader in insurance, to offer liability coverage specifically geared to nurses. Malpractice judgment awards exceed $3.7 billion annually and are growing (Becker's Hospital Review, 5/3/14). Remember, you can be sued even if you did nothing wrong, and an investment in liability insurance will protect your future and the future of your family. Get the protection you need without paying more than is necessary by taking advantage of Mercer's competitive rates for full DNA members.

For an instant quote and to fill out an application for liability insurance offered by Mercer, click here.

Duty to Report


Revised 11/2017

Delaware Division of Professional Regulations

TELEPHONE: (302) 744-4500


Mandatory Duty to Report Medical Practitioners

Delaware law mandates you to report a medical practitioner when you reasonably believe that the practitioner is (or may be) guilty of unprofessional conduct or unfit to practice (24 Del. C. §1731A). The term medical practitioner means anyone who is licensed by the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, including physicians, physician assistants, respiratory practitioners, acupuncture practitioners, and genetic counselors. Unprofessional conduct is explained in 24 Del. C. §1731.

You must file your report with the Division of Professional Regulation within 30 days of becoming aware of the information.

The law imposes a $10,000-$50,000 fine for non-compliance (24 Del. C. 1731A (i)). For information on filing a report, go to the Division’s website and click File a Complaint.

The law allows the Division to keep your identity confidential. It also affords immunity from civil or criminal prosecution for good faith reporting (24 Del. C. 1731A (g)).

Mandatory Duty to Report Unsafe Nursing Practice or Conditions

The Delaware Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations require you to report any unsafe nursing practice to the Board of Nursing and to report any unsafe practice conditions to the recognized legal authorities (Section You must file your report with the Division of Professional Regulation. For information on filing a report of unsafe Nursing practice, go to the Division’s website and click File a Complaint.

Mandatory Duty to Self Report

Delaware law (24 Del. C. §1930A) mandates you to self report any of the following within 30 days:

  • Arrest, indictment or information charging you with a crime substantially related to the practice of nursing
  • Conviction, including any verdict of guilty or plea of guilty or no contest, of any crime substantially related to the practice of nursing.

Crimes substantially related to the practice of nursing are defined in Section 15.0 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations.

Mandatory Duty to Report Child Abuse

Delaware law also mandates you to make an immediate oral report to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families when you know of, or suspect, child abuse or neglect under Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code and to follow up with any requested written reports (16 Del. C. §903).

You may report child abuse or neglect by calling the Department’s 24-hour child abuse and neglect hotline at (800) 292-9582.

The Department will notify the Division of Professional Regulation of child abuse allegations.

Delaware Nurses Association 

DNA is a constituent member of  
4765 Ogletown Stanton Road, Suite L10 | Newark, DE 19713

Phone: (302) 733-5880 Organizational Affiliates

   - Delaware Organization for Nursing Leadership

   - Delaware Diamond Chapter - Oncology Nursing Society

   - Delaware Emergency Nurses Association

   - Delaware State Affiliate - American College of Nurse-Midwives

   - Delaware Coalition of Nurse Practitioners


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