How easy is it to lose a license in correctional setting?

  1. I have heard that inmates are very litigious and nurses working in jail or prison are in high risks of losing their licenses because of law suits. Is it true? Can somebody share a story?
    How easy is it to lose a license in correctional setting?
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  2. 44 Comments

  3. by   OrganizedChaos
    I've never heard that. I've heard that about LTC. I've worked in a prison, jail, detention center & never worried about my license. Just be a good & prudent nurse. Yes they are inmates but they are still people. If there is something wrong, document & report it. Always CYA.
  4. by   reptilesavvy
    I just found out that my malpractice insurance from NSO does not cover correctional nurses! I'm shocked!!!
  5. by   OrganizedChaos
    That's scary. I never had any liability insurance, never was told about it. But that is scary to learn!!!
  6. by   LovedRN
    Easy to be named in the law suit but a little bit hard to lose one. Except if you are at fault. Inmates sue the correction faculty often. Every nurses who came into their contact will be named. If the claim is more than $3000 your name got send to the board. What will happen is the case will be review by the (I don't remember the name) claim? department of the correction facility. They often settle out of court if they think they will lose, to save money. The case then got send to a person who will decide who is really at fault and how much. Let say you did every thing by the policy or you have nothing to do with this case (but you were named). You are 0% and the faculty is 100 %. Nothing will happen to you. The board will do their own investigation. They will sent you a letter when you are cleared.

    it is hard but try to do everything by the policies. So if something happened you will be OK . Assessment is big. When you chart, cover as many as you can. Plus patient teaching. You also have to say patient verbalized understanding. Treat every inmates as if they will sue you.

    When it doubt send them out (to the hospital). And no. No supervisor will back you up if you have to go to court (in case patient died and they were the one who told you not to call 911). RNs have rights to call 911.

    Many nurse's intervention is to refer patient to MD (when patient has health problem) and that's it. I was told that is not enough. When it got to court, they will ask you what else did you do?

    Source: me. I am new to the correction but got a 3 weeks orientation (on how not to lose in the law suit ). After the orientation I have doubt if I should work in the correction.
  7. by   Erikadawn RN
    I worked in corrections for over 5 years, and I have seen 1 nurse lose here license. It was at her per firm job at a nursing home. I can say that , nurses who view the inmates as less than, that's when the dangerous practice starts.
  8. by   Orca
    I have been sued more times than I can count. I am a DON, so I am generally named in any litigation involving the medical department. Since I work for the state, the Attorney General represents me in any work-related litigation. I have yet to have a case go to trial. Usually it is inmates who become angry because they are told "no", and some jail house lawyer in the law library convinces them that they have a "really good case". Inmates can file lawsuits for free and they have nothing but time on their hands, so it happens. I have also had two complaints filed with the Board of Nursing by inmates, both promptly dismissed because they were groundless.

    Anybody can allege anything, and inmates often do.

    The only nurse I have seen lose her license in this setting lost it because of repeatedly violating the Nurse Practice Act. The complaint was not filed by an inmate.
  9. by   hodagRN
    is there any company that covers correctional nurses for liability insurance? I too had NSO, only to find out this specialty is not covered.
  10. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from hodagRN
    is there any company that covers correctional nurses for liability insurance? I too had NSO, only to find out this specialty is not covered.
    I googled & found this:
    Ultra Correctional Health Program Insurance from Ultra Risk Advisors
  11. by   reptilesavvy
    Thank you for a lot of info!

    Can you tell me how did she repeatedly violate the Nurse Practice Act?
  12. by   Orca
    Quote from reptilesavvy
    Thank you for a lot of info!

    Can you tell me how did she repeatedly violate the Nurse Practice Act?
    This nurse falsified multiple medication records (we're talking 115-200+) on two different occasions - that we know of. In order to save time, she charted all of her meds for the week either at the beginning of her four-day stretch or at the end. She also altered entries on several controlled medication logs, leading to questions as to whether she might be diverting them. There were also documented instances of her dispensing medications without properly identifying either the medications or the inmates who she was dispensing them to. On one occasion she stuck out her hand with pills in it and told the inmate, "Pick out what is yours because I can't see."

    I was the reporter on both complaints to the Board of Nursing. This nurse was under sanctions from the BON for the first offense when the second one happened. I found out during her hearing (I had to appear and testify) that she had not complied with the board's sanctions regarding the first complaint, which led to her license being suspended prior to the hearing on the second complaint. The board revoked her license.
    Last edit by Orca on Jun 9, '15
  13. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from Orca
    This nurse falsified multiple medication records (we're talking 115-200+) on two different occasions - that we know of. In order to save time, she charted all of her meds for the week either at the beginning of her four-day stretch or at the end. She also altered entries on several controlled medication logs, leading to questions as to whether she might be diverting them. There were also documented instances of her dispensing medications without properly identifying either the medications or the inmates who she was dispensing them to. On one occasion she stuck out her hand with pills in it and told the inmate, "Pick out what is yours because I can't see."

    I was the reporter on both complaints to the Board of Nursing. This nurse was under sanctions from the BON for the first offense when the second one happened. I found out during her hearing (I had to appear and testify) that she had not complied with the board's sanctions regarding the first complaint, which led to her license being suspended prior to the hearing on the second complaint. The board revoked her license.
    Cheese & crackers! O.O Wow...
  14. by   Orca
    It was not something that I enjoyed doing, but it is something that I would do again without hesitation under similar circumstances. I helped to remove an unsafe nurse from practice. The hardest part was that she is very likeable - which may have allowed her to get away with things for longer than she normally would have. I found out later that her coworkers often covered for her rather than to report some of the things that they noticed. There is also a strong suspicion that there was an underlying substance abuse problem.

    I tried everything that I could think of to salvage this nurse. I talked to her about the employee assistance program, I tried different assignments, nothing worked. In the end, she did herself in. I only hope that she has gotten whatever help that she needed.

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