The Powers That Be: Understanding Powers of Attorney, Conservators, Guardianships and More


While legal entities such as power of attorney, conservators, guardians and the like are not generally in the repertoire of nurses, we do encounter these entities every day in practice.  And we may have use for these entities in our own personal lives.  The purpose of this independent study is to acquaint the nurse with a variety of legal entities.  It is further hoped this module will instruct as to how these entities are used.  We will discuss the implications for the nurse in responding to each of these legal entities.  By no means is this module designed to replace legal counsel.  The reader should also consult his or her own legal department at one’s place of employment or an independent attorney.  These entities are being discussed in general terms, and the reader should be aware there might be some differences or nuances that pertain to state law.  Many different life circumstances exist; therefore, there exists a variety of legal entities to suit each situation.  We will begin with a discussion of the entities generally used for and by adults.  In the second portion of the module we will focus on custody issues that affect children.


The nurse will apply their knowledge regarding various legal issues and documents when dealing with patients and family members.


2.0 contact hours will be awarded for successful completion of this independent study.

The Ohio Nurses Association  is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (OBN-001-91).

This independent study was developed by: Barbara G. Walton, MS, RN, NurseNotes, Inc.  The author and planning committee members have declared no conflict of interest.

Disclaimer: Information in this study is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal and/or medical advice or to be a comprehensive compendium of evidence-based practice. For specific implementation information, please contact an appropriate professional, organization, legal source, or facility policy.

Expires   1/20/2021.

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