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Legal Resources for Healthcare

Need to find a Nurse Practice Act for a specific state? Need an article that discusses Nursing Scope of Practice? Want to find case law that speaks to a specific issue in healthcare practice? Look in this guide.

How to Search for Primary Sources

Nearly all law sites are arranged in two categories (laws and court opinions) and then by jurisdictional level of the laws or court opinions. So ensure you know what you want before you start:

I want a law, code, or regulation. 

  • Write down your topic Eg. nursing standards of practice

  • What jurisdictional level of legislative body do you want the law, code or regulation from? Professional, State or Federal body? 

  • Is this state-regulated or is it federal?  Can you find it on the website of a professional organization or regulator? Do you need to look at legal sites for this information?

  • Which Primary Resource website in this guide will have this information accessible to you?

I want a court opinion. 

  • Write down your topic.  Eg. Euthanasia

  • Usually only appellate courts write opinions. There are State appellate courts, Federal appellate courts and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Decide what State and what level of court you want the court opinion from. Is this most likely to be a State Court Opinion or at the Federal Court level?  

  • Which Primary Source website in this guide is a good place to start?


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