Mandatory reporting is a legal requirement, in state statute or regulation, for nurses to report an occurrence or individual, including another nurse, when the public is at risk. Mandatory reporting is enacted when the interest of public protection requires state-enforced regulation. This article offers guidance to help nurses better understand their roles and responsibilities in mandatory reporting.
What Is Mandatory to Report?
In addition to reporting of nurses by other nurses, states seek to protect at-risk individuals by requiring health professionals to divulge suspicions about behaviors such as abuse and neglect. There is a wide range of interpretation from state to state as to how vulnerable situations are identified, which states mandate reporting, and who is required to report. All states require reporting of child abuse, for example, but only a few states require reporting of domestic violence against a man or woman who is not classified as a child or elder.
Mandatory Reporting Law in Your State
The details regarding mandatory reporting of nurses can be found through the licensing board for nurses in your state. A link to all boards of nursing can be accessed through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). A note: some nurses are licensed under a "health commission," "department of health," or other type of umbrella agency, which is also listed on the NCSBN Website.
Links and phone numbers for reporting child abuse can be found through the Child Welfare Information Gateway sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their state-by-state list is updated regularly. State-specific details for reporting elder abuse are available at the U.S. Administration on Aging's National Center on Elder Abuse Website.
Child abuse. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was passed in 1974. This federal law defines the parameters under which state law must provide regulations mandating child abuse...
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