Who Gets to Decide: Determining Patients' and Surrogates' Capacity for Medical Decision-Making

Author(s): Correll-Yoder Natalie

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Dec 31, 2025

Topics: Decision-making, Ethics

Role: APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Patients who present more acutely ill may lack capacity to make decisions. A complete understanding of the principles of informed consent is vital when discussing clinical interventions with patients. APRNs need to have the expertise to assess the patient’s decision-making capacity prior to obtaining informed consent. This session explores the process to determine the patient’s or their surrogate’s ability to understand the information provided and make an informed choice.


  • Identify clinical conditions which should prompt the APRN to assess the patient's or surrogate’s decision-making competence/capacity.
  • Define the assessment process for determining the patient and/or their surrogate’s competence or capacity for decision-making.
  • Compare and contrast the capacity assessment tools used in dementia patients versus patients with psychiatric disorders.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 1.00 contact hours.

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN, ANCC, or CBRN approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


Any relevant relationship between an ineligible company and an individual with the ability to influence clinical content will be identified by the Nurse Planner within the activity. Any relevant relationship between an ineligible company and an individual with the ability to influence clinical content has been mitigated.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Refund Policy

Continuing Education Activities are nonrefundable.