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June 20, 2008

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LaTonia Denise Wright, RN, BSN, JD

Nurse T,

You have alot going on in just this one post. I will touch on one of your points ie, you did nothing wrong. Backdating charting, even at the request of your supervisor is inappropriate and a violation of nursing law and rules. It just so happens your case was reviewed and closed which is great. However, its not about right and wrong here, the question is whether your actions violated the law and rules. In the future, never backdate or chart ahead as you are essentially falsifying documentation even when "told to do so" by a supervisor. I am glad your case was closed and you will be able to move on soon.

TONYA RAINEY

I have a question as well. In 2010, my supervisor came to me and informed me that my nursing license was expired. I had paid the renewal fees before the deadline, and the charge went through on credit card. I was unaware of my license being expired. After contacting the State Board of Nursing, I found out that the IRS placed on hold on my license for 2009 state taxes. I was not aware of this hold. I obviously was asked to clock out from my employer. I paid the State taxes immediately which removed the "expired" from my license. This took the Nursing board almost 2 weeks to take off the search site for nursing license. Then the status on my license went to "valid to practice while being reviewed".
I again called the State Board of Nursing and found out that the State Attorney General had also placed a hold on my nursing license . I also was unaware of this hold. I was an MDS coordinator at a facility with barely any training. During an audit that year, the auditor brought to my attention that I had "backdated" some assessments. These assessments were dated per my supervisors instructions. I received the letter from the Attorney General clearing my case. I have been unemployed for almost 3 months now. I have not been able to find a job. I have had a couple interviews out of applying for over 100 jobs. Interviews go well, but no calls. I know it is this "valid to practice" on my license. This has totally ruined my life. It has cost me so much since I've lost my job. Is there anything I can do? They can put the hold on it and ruin my life, but they can't remove it when they realize that you have done nothing wrong?

Help!

I need help. I am getting screwed over royally by the State Nursing Board. I can't afford to hire an attorney. One attorney wanted 1500+. Do I stand a chance if I represent myself??

LaTonia

Debbie, I would suggest you contact a nurse license defense in your state or jurisdiction for specific advice and counsel. In general Board action is public action and therefore available to the public i.e. meaning everyone not just healthcare professionals and organizations.

Diane

It appears that if you 'google' someone who has active web activity--for example, even facebook--a link will show up to the Board action. You cannot read the specifics posted on the Board's website--however, you CAN see 'reprimand, supsension, probation' in the header of the link.

I googled 10 nurses in the state of Virginia who had disciplinary action taken over the course of a 3 month period--ALL 10 showed a link with the activity of the Board.

LaTonia, I would like to know if the nurse has any recourse for having the link removed. Has any research on this been done, regarding the internet? Is this not a privacy invasion if the information can be read by EVERYONE, including those not in the healthcare profession?

sandra

I did not realize that occurs I thought that you could only see that through the board website.
What link are you talking out?
I googled a friend of mine from work that had action taken on her license I did not see a link.

Diane

What are a nurse's privacy rights related to the internet and public disclosure of disciplinary action?

In my state, disciplinary notices of nurses are published as active on the web for 90 days. However, if you "google" a nurse's name, despite the length of time of the action, a link will still appear. This provides access to ANY employer, outside of the health profession, to see that a disciplinary action has at least been taken by a licensing board. Any prospective employer can see that the disciplinary action occurred.

I gave up on trying to find a nursing position after receiving a reprimand for 'unprofessional conduct;' however, I want to know if there is anything you can do about the link that shows up publicly with your name on the internet. It has a drastic affect on one's ability to seek any kind of employment in any field.

Thank you.

LaTonia

Carolyn,

I would suggest you contact a nurse license defense attorney in your state. See The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) website at www.taana.org. TAANA has an attorney referral hotline. I too was a single parent and it is extremely difficult. I applaud you on turning your life around. However a State Nursing Board protects the public and each Board reviews criminal conviction(s) differently so it is extremely important that you contact an attorney BEFORE you apply for a license in a particular state.

carolyn

i am a graduate nurse may 2010 I have 4 convictions on my record. one was, i obtained food stamp while i was still working 24yrs ago, another was was theft by check 16yrs ago, petty theft that is about 26yrs and 24yrs old respectively. I was single mother who did these things that iam not proud of at all . But Iam a different person today and I am praying that the board of nursing examminer will show some mercy on me and agree to give me clearance to do my nclex exam. What do you think do i stand a chance. I have a strong faith that they will do the right thing and show mw some mercy. Should contact a lawyer concerning my situation if yes where can I find one

LaTonia

Kelly,

Your career isn't over. Don't despair. Go to allnurses.com and review the threads for nurses in State Nursing Board alternative programs and return to work issues. In my experience in general you have to search for employment alot longer when you are enrolled in an alternative program.

LaTonia

Kathleen,

I would suggest you go to allnurses.com and review the threads related to addiction and return to work issues. I think you will find what you are looking for there. Good luck. You can also contact the Oklahoma Nurses Association practice department with your questions. Take care, LaTonia

Kathleen

I am a nurse in the state of Oklahoma peer assistance program. I will be allowed to return back into practice in a few months and looking for a job. Just wondering - is it against any equal opportunity regulations for hospitals to not hire someone required to be under supervised practice (which I will be). Or is it clearly just at the discretion of the facility whether or not they want to hire someone under supervised practice?? Anyone have a feedback or even any experiences trying to find a job while being in a peer asstance program would help.

Kelly Lyon

I am a RN in Texas and in 2006 I was arrested for calling a rx in for myself. L got a 4 year defferred sentenc, went into rehab, completed all of my legal obligations and was taken off probation in 2008. I continued to work with no restrictions and was contacted by mail from the board every 3 months or so. In May 0f 2009 the board made a ruling after 3 years and put me on a 2 year probation with multiple stipulations. I want nothing more than to complete this part of my responsibility but my problem is...I cannot find a job anywhere in or around my hometown. It is not because of my background but because of the stipulations. I have been reccomended for 5 positions but when we go over the stipulations there is always one that conflicts. I cannot work ICU,OR,ER,Home Health,contract,agency,float pool,night shift,telemetry,surgery. I cannot pass narcotics, must have supervision on my unit, cannot be on call or work overtime. There are more restrictions and I have gone everywhere in town and in a 60 mile radius. I have 13 years experience and cannot get hired. Is my career over?

LaTonia

Hi Mel,

I am so sorry to hear about this. It sounds as if you are handling the issues by obtaining the assistance of an attorney with State Nursing Board experience to analyze and sort out the facts here. Keep us posted on the resolution.

Mel

My name is Mel I am a APRN in TN. I reported an employer for Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Among other things he was billing for patients never seen in the office. The owner is also an APRN. I contacted a lawyer about helping me get out of my contract concurrently with reporting the fraud. When I reported this weeks later to our offsite supervising physician I was dismissed. The APRN owner told my supervising physician I was lying and that I had been drinking on the job while seeing patients. This was a complete fabrication.

The APRN owner has since reported me to the state peer assistance program and the state board of nursing. These malicious allegations are not going away. My attorney tells me I cannot due anything about this because anyone can make a complaint to the board and peer assistance. I cannot believe I do not have whistleblower protection.

I have never had a drug or alcohol screen, a written counseling or anything. I have been in nursing for over 10 years and have never had a failed drug or alcohol screen, I am active in the community, I am president of my local state nurses association district, and I have never been fired from a job. NONE OF THIS SEEMS TO MATTER.

I have been compliant with everything I have been asked to do. But...When I say that I do not do drugs and am not an alcoholic, I get "well you no the first sign is denial." Also, I have never been arrested or had a DUI ect.

This is a nightmare....Do you have any advice for me.


Thanks
Mel

Julie

I would appreciate you input and advice on my situation. If you could please email me so i can give you the whole story, I would appreciate it.
Julie

latonia

APRN,

Thank you for contacting me. As you can see, I edited your post to my blog. Please email me "off the blog" at ldw@nursing-jurisprudence.com as I can assist you if you are being investigated by the Indiana, Kentucky, or Ohio Nursing Board.

I am not sure if you are already being represented by legal counsel as you mentioned that you spoke with another attorney.

I am glad to hear that you have spoke with an attorney and you are taking the State Nursing Board complaint filed against you seriously.

If you being investigated by another State Nursing Board (outside of OH, KY, or IN)please contact the Nurse Attorney referral line at www.taana.org for a referral to a nurse attorney in the State where you are being investigated.

APRN

I am an APRN that is currently being investigated for a misconduct. Another lawyer I have spoken with thinks I will get probation. Additionally, I have no criminal record. What will probation do? Will I have a job?

I am the primary provider for my children and I am terrified. Is there anything that can be done? I need help!

B Meyer

I want to ask you if a consent of order agrees to no restrictions, but orders attending a peer assistance group, would it be considered a permanent public document?

latonia

Sue, thank you for comment. I cannot provide you with legal advice on this blog. I would suggest you contact a nursing license defense attorney or nurse attorney who represents HCPs in Oklahoma for assistance. You can call the Nurse Attorney Referral line and the telephone number is available at www.taana.org.

Suellen Lewis

I am a RN in Oklahoma and have a 12 month restriction on my license. I have 2 years to complete this. I have to work in a hospital. If I don't get a job as a RN will my license be revoked after the two years?

latonia

Phyllis,

Thank you for the comment. Take care of yourself and I hope things are well with you and your family now.

Phyllis

In 2006 I completed a 18 month probation alchol related issues nothing occured at work. In 2001 my 17 yr old daughter called the police becauses I had brought friends home from the bar (she was at the time a typical teenage daughter)I was charged with child nelgect but the charges were dismissed at a later time) Than in 2003 my father had passed and I just had a abortion (on my own)self treating my depression with the hopes of happiness that alchol does not bring I called my sister to tell her I O.D. and I was drunk. No charges where placed just a quick trip to an inpt. psych unit for about 5 hrs. I NEVER in my wildest dreams knew I had to tell the board all this but they found out though a "friend" I did my probation as stated I applied for a travel job and was turned down due to the prbation. In AZ. it stayes on for 10 YEARS is ther anyway it can be removed and why can people steal drugs from work get DUI and such do a different type of restriction and go "scott free" with no marks against them

latonia

Dear Alan,

Thank you for the comment. I would suggest you contact a nursing license defense attorney in Texas to see what can be done at this point. Joe Flores, RN, MS, JD and Taralynn Mackay, RN, BSN, JD are Texas nurse attorneys who represent nurses before the Board.

Whenever your nursing is being investigated by any Board, you should consider attorney representation. Attorney representation costs money of course however you cannot afford to not be represented and advised on the matter affecting your license, livelihood, and career.

I find still after 8 years of nursing license defense that the majority of nurses fail to appreciate the seriousness and adversarial nature of Nursing Board license matters.

Good luck with your issue and I would suggest you speak with an attorney. Watercooler advice from other nurses is not what you need at this point, you need to speak with an attorney familiar with Texas Nursing Board cases. LaTonia

Alan Cochran

Last year I my LVN license was recvoked in Texas.^ 6 yrs ago I diverted drugs at a Houston area Hospital. The hospital pressed charges and I recieved 2yrs deferred adudication (felony)Probation...which I successfully completed. Also required by the state was a lengthy outpatient drug rehab program which I also completed. During this time I continued to work as a nurse as there was no action taken yet against my LVN license. One month after getting off my Texas Probation, I recieved a letter from the Board of Vocational Nursing requiring me to go to Austin to see the Board...After my meeting with the Board...I then recieved probation by the nursing board against my nursing license for a period of 3 yrs. I was really surprised that the board waited 2yrs to take action against my license. My requirements were to send report sheets to a probationer every 3 months from my employer. I was to also CALL a toll free number every day of the 3 yrs to find out if I was to be randomly tested for drugs that day or not. I had to pay fines to my probation officer, money for each drug chain of custody form and also attend a drug AA program. I was relieved to hear the call on the phone by my aunt stating that my license when looked up on the Tx nursing web site was showing to be active and without restrictions 3 yrs later. I had indured 5 yrs of punishment for my stupid decision to take Demerol from a Pixis Machine. I did all this without complaint for I deserved what I got. I was also happy that I stopped using drugs during the 1st year of probation and have never used again. I was so happy to have my license back I applied to a travel nursing agency. My wife, who is also a nurse was hired as well.. The agency paid for both of us to change our license to Alaska so that we could go there on assignment...A few weeks later my wife recieved her Alaska license in the mail and mine did not arrive yet. My new boss also saw online that I now had a Tx license with no restrictions and figured that the Tx nursing board was just slow to issue my license info to Alaska. He flew us to Alaska and my wife starting working her assignment at a hospital. I also had an assignment there. We were just waiting for Alaska to issue my license...It never came. I called the Tx nursing board to find our the reason for the delay..The board stated that they found out I did not call my daily drug test number during probation, a number that was outrageous (400+) missed calls....yeah you saw the number correctly. I worked so hard to keep my License and abide with all stipulations of my probation...I know that I did everything I was so supposed to do for them and was happy when I got my LVN license back only to have it taken away permantly. My wife quit the travel agency as I was not allowed to work and we paid ourselves to fly back to Tx..I could not pay the high amount of money for an attorney to defend myself in this ridiculous charge by the board that I missed all those call in for the drug tests and even if I could afford the attorney ,,how could he dispute the Automated daily phone in system the nursing board used... My question is if I had even missed 5 call ins..why did they wait 3yrs (the entire time of my probation), issue my license...and then take it away for a I am sure is an error...IT HAS BEEN 1 YEAR SINCE I LOST MY NURSING CAREER...I DID MY REQUIREMENTS BY THE TEXAS PENAL SYSTEM AND THE TX NURSING BOARD! Can I hire an attorney now and get my license REINSTATED somehow. Please Help With INFO SOMEONE>

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