This is a question many nurses have when they embark on their career in nursing. In many instances they are quickly told by their employer not to worry about it, because they are covered by the facility they are working for.
The problem with this is if the facility gets a judgment against them and you're involved, they don't pay the claim, their insurance carrier does.
Regardless of what the facility tells you the insurance carrier is entitled to recover their losses from you. So if you don't really care about your standard of living and don't mind losing everything you've worked for then by all means don't buy malpractice insurance.
While there are laws to protect your assets under the bankruptcy law, they can still garnish your wages and leave you working for pittance. Plus when you file bankruptcy this will seriously effect your credit rating, ability to acquire loans...etc.
Unlike physicians who pay thousands of dollars a year to carry insurance that protects them against malpractice lawsuits, malpractice insurance for nurses is much less. You can get a great policy for about $50.00 a year.
There are a few things you need to know before shopping for malpractice insurance for nurses.
Be sure the policy you choose is very clear on the coverage you will receive. Does it only cover you while it's in force and you are still paying it?, or does it also cover you for incidents that have happened in the past and you may not be aware of yet?
Make sure the insurance you choose will pay for your attorney fees. Don't EVER rely on your facility to pay for your lawyer. There could be a major conflict of interest here and if comes down to who was at fault, (the facility or you), guess who's going to win?
Obviously, if you are self employed you definitely need malpractice insurance for nurses. Even if you're not in a clinical role, you never know what could happen.
Arm yourself with the best malpractice insurance you can find. You can't afford not to. I went for years without carrying it, because I was uneducated about it and believed my employer when they told me I was covered. Luckily nothing happened that required me to worry about it. But not having it is like playing Russian roulette with your income.
If a lawsuit is filed and they can prove you were negligent in any way, you'll lose the roof over your head trying to defend yourself and ultimately have your wages garnished. if you don't have malpractice insurance yet, it's time to go shopping.