Over the last few years, the insurance industry has seen a substantial increase in applications for Therapists’ Professional Liability Insurance from applicants who are trained Nurses. In general these are Registered Nurses from two distinct groups: those who have between 5 to 10 years of experience after their graduation and professional certification, and those who have retired.
Retired Registered Nurses are starting a new, second career in an occupation where they already have basic knowledge, and in most cases, require only short and basic training or education.
The other group of Registered Nurses, who are still working, are concerned with the question of a possible surplus of Registered Nurses who will not be able to find employment, or alternately, that as a result of the global village, employees from low-income countries are preferred over local higher-paid employees. Maybe the answer lies with a combination of the two situations.
The direct beneficiaries of this situation are the Therapists’ professions (including, but not limited to acupuncture, massage therapy, aroma therapy and respiratory therapy). The increased entry of highly-educated and trained Medical and Paramedical Professionals into the various Therapists’ occupations upgrades these occupations and the status of the therapists.
In previous years a great many therapists in many countries were practicing in a non-regulated environment. This enabled many people who would otherwise have been unemployed, to practice in easily-accessible occupations. Schools and academies for various Alternative Therapies or Holistic Therapies only managed to produce an entire generation of poorly educated and trained professionals. Almost daily, a new therapy based on a concept that was never checked scientifically popped up, jeopardizing the status of many excellent highly trained and educated therapists, who provided excellent service and treatments to their clients.
It is only in the last decade that many countries have begun regulating the vast number of therapies, and conducting a through review of the standards under which all therapists should practice and be trained. The current movement of Registered Nurses into these occupations will contribute to the upgrading of the standards and the reputation of the therapists and therapies in the public eye, and consequentially, in the insurance market as well. The better the education of the practitioner, the stricter the regulations are, the lower the premiums can go.
This is definitely a win-win situation, where everybody benefits from this trend. We, as insurance providers, need to follow this trend, and respond to the development of the therapeutic occupations with more relevant and better adjusted Professional and Public Liability insurance products, Malpractice Insurance E&O (Errors and Omissions) coverage, and fair premium charges.