Bart Siniard presenting legal lecture
Hunter Cowing | UAH College of Nursing

The family nurse practitioner (FNP) students and the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) students completed their legal and malpractice module with a lecture from Mr. Bart Siniard, a partner at Siniard Law, LLC in Huntsville. Bart and his father, Tommy Siniard, have a long history of providing legal services in the Huntsville area. One of their specialty practice areas is medical malpractice. Who better to give a lecture to NP students about reducing exposure to malpractice claims than a plaintiff’s attorney?

“I developed the malpractice module in 2021 at the request of students who were in my elective course, Business Development for the Advanced Practice Nurse,” said Dr. Cheryl Emich, coordinator of the AGACNP program. “One of the assignments in the course was to review a summary and answer questions about a malpractice case involving a nurse practitioner. The students found this to be an ‘eye-opening’ case and wanted to review more cases.” said Dr. Emich.

The learning module contains a short lecture defining legal terminology and a brief video about how a malpractice suit is litigated. Students then break into small groups and are assigned a malpractice case to review and answer five questions about the case. The students present their cases and answers to their questions to the class. The module finishes with a lecture from Bart Siniard and a question-answer session.

This is the second year Mr. Bart Siniard has given his lecture to the NP students. Dr. Emich stated, “overwhelmingly, students enjoyed learning about protecting themselves against future lawsuits and declared the lecture given by Mr. Siniard to be the ‘best interprofessional lecture’ in the program.” Mr. Siniard graciously agreed to return this year to speak to the students.

“Preparing our students to be excellent nurse practitioners is our goal. We also want to be sure they have the skills and knowledge to reduce their risk of ending up in a malpractice lawsuit,” says Dr. Amy Beck, course manager for the FNP class. “Having Siniard Law as a partner in putting this learning activity together has been a wonderful experience for our students. We look forward to having Bart Sinard return every year,” noted Dr. Tracie Morgan, coordinator of the FNP program.