Nurses must buy liability insurance

Junior and senior nursing students in clinical courses are now required to purchase individual student liability insurance as part of the re-accreditation process for the undergraduate nursing program.

The New Jersey State Board of Nursing regulations require students to have individual liability insurance policies.

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, dean of the School of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science, and Marcia Blicharz, chair of the undergraduate nursing program, notified all junior and senior nursing students via e-mail.

According to Bakewell-Sachs and Blicharz’s e-mail, the College is not able to purchase insurance that will provide the required coverage, which has resulted in the new policy beginning this semester.

“Having to buy personal liability insurance is certainly an unexpected inconvenience this year, but apparently the state requires it now, so it just has to be done,” Meredith Burgin, senior nursing major, said.

Students who do not have proof of policy will not be able to start clinical practice until documentation is given to the clinical instructor and assistant dean of the School of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science, Antonino Scarpati.

Clinical courses started on Aug. 28.

“It’s unfortunate that society is so sue-happy that these measures are necessary,” Allie Ravell, junior nursing major, said.

Students are being offered policies from Healthcare Providers Service Organization ( and Nurses Service Organization ( These policies will cost about $28 per year, according to Bakewell-Sachs and Blicharz.

According to a document attached to Bakewell-Sachs and Blicharz’s e-mail, “The (College) has always carried a Student Professional Blanket Liability policy, a shared aggregate policy purchased by the College through Healthcare Providers Service Organization.” Nursing students in clinical practice will no longer be included in this.

“I have not personally received any questions or concerns from students or parents about this policy thus far,” Scarpati said. “I assume that our students understand that our undergraduate nursing program must comply with the regulations of the New Jersey State Board of Nursing.”

“Moreover,” he continued, “by purchasing individual liability insurance, nursing students acquire added personal coverage to protect them at clinical practice sites.”