Legal risk is an inevitable part of nursing practice.
Ask yourself: Who will protect you, your professional reputation and your registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) if a complaint is made against you?
Will you need legal advice if you lose your job? Lawyers’ fees can range from $250 to $500 per hour or more for legal advice and representation. Participation in RNAO’s Legal Assistance Program (LAP) provides RNAO members with security and peace of mind at the incredibly low cost of $64.57 (in addition to your annual RNAO membership fee).
The voluntary LAP was established by RNAO in 1986 to assist RNAO members with certain legal problems, on a case-by-case basis, related to the professional practice of nursing (as recognized by CNO). The program provides financial support for access to legal counsel in a number of circumstances, including:
In addition to access to legal counsel, LAP also provides participants with employment relations advice, free information materials, educational presentations on legal issues relevant to nursing practice, as well as referral to RNAO and external resources which may be of assistance to members in their particular circumstances.
Over 19,000 RNAO members currently subscribe to LAP. To join LAP now contact the RNAO membership department or call 1-800-567-4527 or 416-599-1925.
If you would like more information about the Program or if you are already a LAP member and have legal concerns related to your nursing practice, please contact Mara Haase , LAP Administrator, at 416-599-1457 or toll free at 1-800-268-7199 x223.
To be eligible for assistance from LAP, a member must have been enrolled in LAP at the time of the incident(s) giving rise to the need for assistance and remain a participant in LAP continuously and without interruption from that time, up until their case is resolved. The Program is under no obligation to reimburse LAP members for legal expenses incurred where a lawyer has been engaged or retained prior to contacting the LAP Administrator. In addition, requests for assistance will only be considered for assistance which is not covered by a union or other provider or plan. See “RNAO Legal Assistance Program Policies” below or contact the LAP Administrator for more information.
Webinars Please see the events calendar  for upcoming webcasts.
Legal Assistance Program - What is it and why should I have it?  Legal Assistance Program - Violence and Harassment in the Workplace - Getting to know the legislation  Legal Assistance Program - Moving towards electronic documentation in nursing  Legal Assistance Program - Legal issues for nurse educators  Legal Assistance Program - CNO complaints and investigations 
Legal Column from the Registered Nurse Journal
Know your rights. A practical guide to dealing with CNO complaints  Different programs, different policies: Why ONA and other Unionized RNAO members should have LAP  Access to legal counsel is critical  The Risks of Leadership