See this post by nurse attorney Taralynn Mackay, RN, JD. http://nurseattorney.blogspot.com/2009/08/tort-reforms-unexpected-impact-on.html. This is cause for concern because as Taralynn notes the due process and discovery afforded to licensees in State Nursing Board investigations and adjudications does not and cannot compare to the rights afforded to litigants in civil medical malpractice or nursing malpractice case.
Damn as if mandatory reporting by healthcare employers or former employers wasn't enough. Now nurses have to be concerned about more patients and family members using a State Nursing Board complaint to gain an advantage in a medical malpractice or negligence case or because there are caps on how much money can be awarded in some states, a consumer may say why not go after the professional license and livelihood of those healthcare professionals involved.
I have personally been involved in 4 cases where this was an issue in the last 3 years and everyone has a different agenda. This are the Tylenol with coffee at 8am type cases where I wake up thinking about the case and my nurse client.
How wonderful and you can thank business lobbying groups like the Chamber of Commerce and physicians groups and others pushing and lobbying heavy for tort reform in some states. I am sure those groups didn't count on this as a waste product of tort reform when bashing trial attorneys and the legal profession.
How amusing and I may be able to do the "money dance" if and when tort reform talk starts again here. Bottomline. As a healthcare professional, with tort reform you may not have to worry about punitive damages and other concessions driven in a tort reform package, but who cares about malpractice and negligence claims if you don't have a license to practice or your license is so restricted that you cannot find employment anyway.