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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Foland


nurse and patient, patient legal status, nursing practice


The purposes of this study were: (a) to examine state's boards of nursing for the presence of abandonment language, (b) to identify the prevalent types of abandonment language, if present, and (c) to compare abandonment language among states. Nurse practice acts and documents on abandonment were obtained from states. Over half of the states' boards of nursing have abandonment language in their nurse practice acts and documents. This language is predominantly in the form of an abandonment term or comparative phrase. Only four states include a definition of abandonment in their nurse practice act. A standard definition of abandonment is recommended to provide consistency from state to state. It is important nurses understand their state laws. Indications are there will be increasing numbers of abandonment claims being brought to the state's boards. Consistency may be of benefit in handling claims.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nurse and patient
Patients -- Legal status, laws, etc
Nursing -- Practice



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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