Nurses Services Organization (NSO) Insurance: What it Covers and Who Needs itCareer News July 29, 2013
Nurses Service Organization, or NSO, insurance offers those within the nursing field coverage against potential malpractice suites. The president of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, Edie Brous, R.N., Esq, explains that in today’s world all healthcare providers, from nurses to social workers, are considered separate, licensed individuals who are responsible for their own work. While doctors often remain the primary target of malpractice suits, there are also a number that will go after those in the nursing field and related positions. It is critical, therefore, that these professionals protect themselves through NSO insurance. If they are ever accused of going off the approved plan for care, they can be sued for any resulting injuries. Without insurance, plaintiffs can cause major problems for an individual, such as going after personal assets. Being protected does not make a person a more likely target, but it does offer peace of mind.
Who does NSO insurance cover?
NSO policies cover many people, not just nurses. If a nursing student is working on clinical rotations, they will need coverage. If another student has graduated from school, but have not obtained a license, if their state allows them to have some jobs, they must also have coverage. Those who are currently registered nurses and are studying to become a Nurse Practitioner can also purchase coverage that will protect them while they are studying and doing clinical work, which may include work beyond that of a standard registered nurse. The insurance for nurses provided through NSO is easy to change from one position to another. For example, if you have protection as a student, you can graduate and continue working as a nurse and be covered as a professional, automatically. You can just update the policy at the regular renewal time.
Why do those in nursing and related fields need NSO insurance?
Most people mistakenly believe that employer coverage is all they need. Unfortunately, they do not realize that problems can arise if lawsuits happen years later, after an organization has closed or changed hands, or when conflicts of interest arise. The policy of an employer will always be looking to protect the employer first. Having a personal policy helps to ensure that there will be someone involved whose primary concern is protecting that individual. There are also often gaps in the insurance policies. Personal NSO policies help to offer relief, so that practitioners have one less thing to worry about. The policies also provide coverage if an event happens on or off the clock, for example, when assisting a neighbor during an emergency or performing volunteer work.
How do policies work?
The policies offered by NSO are designed to be as hassle free as possible. Since they are insuring professionals based on their license, they will have the same coverage whether they work three jobs or one. There are discounts for those taking breaks from the profession while still maintaining their license. Upgrades to policies, changes to the job titles, and transitions from student to professional are covered in a simple procedure of documentation and letter writing. As already described, the NSO also offers benefits for those who become professionals to continue working under their student insurance with full coverage until it is time for renewal. Premiums are also consistent for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Registered Nurses (RNs) within a state whether they work in a nursing home or hospital. This makes transitioning between jobs simple.
Policies offered by the NSO also have the added benefit of including coverage for any medical expenses incurred while working on the job (with the exception of Texas). While hopefully no one would ever need this bonus, there has been a rise in workplace violence, and this additional coverage is an added peace of mind for many.
NSO insurance policies offer coverage for those in nursing and related fields should one of the worst possible scenarios arises. Most professionals have the mistaken belief that it is only the doctors who need coverage, as they are usually seen as the ones who are in charge of the care a patient is receiving. In reality, all licensed professionals, including nurses and nursing students need coverage for the jobs they are trained to do as well. Understanding the nursing insurance offered by the NSO and the benefits that can be received can present options and subsequent peace of mind for those who choose to purchase insurance.