Down and Dirty In The Oklahoma State Board of Nursing

  1. Imagine someone who has worked all his adult life in healthcare, an orderlie in high school, EMT, a paramedic supervisor 8 yrs, and RN 17yrs ( ER charge, ICU charge, specializing in open heart recovery & intrathoracic surgical care ), never had a single infraction pertaining to his career nor his personal life, other than a speeding ticket, then after several familly tragedies, he succumbs to Lortab addiction, pleads no contest to a single count prescription alteration charge, reports this to the oklahoma state board of nursing, enters 34 day rehab, lives clean and sober with random drug screening for 1yr, then is reliscensed and placed in PEER assistance for chemically dependant nurses, obtains a job in a surgical ICU open heart recovery, does everything the board tells him to do for 6 months, then one day he is terminated from his job due to his name being submitted to the Office Of Inspector Genreals exclusion list, meaning he can't work for a medicare or medicaid funded facility, now he is back out on the street with no other job experience to fall back on and can't wait tables to pay his 791.00 dollar a month child support, plus a felony on his record. Well this is real, this is me. To begin with the Oklahoma State Board did not advise me they had turned me over to the OIG, nor did the OIG contact me, thus denying me my 8th amendment right to Due Process and any appeal was out of time. This is Double Jeopardy, I'm being punished twice for the same offense, not to mention the two years of low wage jobs during the state boards denial of my license. I contacted several other state Board of nursing and was told they do not keep a person from being licensed after they completed rehab, that is what the dependant nurse assistance programs are for, this was a purposely wanton indifference not only to my pain and suffering but added more missery into the lives of my children. I was told I was huberus by one state board official. It is senseless, that when a person lives his whole life saving the lives of others, that after 2yrs of battling back form lotab addiction and getting my life back, that the Oklahoma State Board would choose to end my career. I know of several other nurses with felony convictions, related to drug diversion at work and charged at a later date than mine, that aren't on the Office of Inspector Genreal exclusion list, this is a good ole boy state, it's not what you know, but who you know. also worth noting, I was charged in another state while working there and never was I reported to that state board nor was my job ever put in jeopardy. Not until I came to oklahoma after being honest and forthright with the Oklahoma State Board was my job placed in jeopardy and my career ultimately ended, for what, I only hurt myself, my children were always taken care of, and what is sad, I did everything they told me to do and I corrected my problem and they still took everything away from me that I had worked all of my life for. I have been in charge positions all of my career and in a movie Rise and Walk the Dennis Byrd story, so I know I fit the part of a good nurse. If anyone has any advice as to what state would be more understanding please contact me. Update: my attorney emailed me and she now is recovering from cervical CA, she is also an RN, she has done so much for me, pro bono, I now will have to do most of the legal work on my own, although she said for me to email or call her with any questions, she's great, I now am a sales associate for a national chain of retail stores, while I'm working on getting my license back.
    Last edit by sleepless in norman on Jun 14, '04 : Reason: Update
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Gosh I don't know enough about this kind of stuff to make any suggestions, however, I would advise you contacting a malpractice lawyer because I do know they can help is some of the wrongful termination problems. I wish you luck and congrats on your sobriety.
  4. by   bilingueRN
    Don't you just love Oklahoma? Thank god I'm leaving after the summer semester. 19 yrs is plenty in this podunk state.
  5. by   redshiloh
    I am so sorry this is happening to you after what must have been he** getting through an addiction.
    I agree a lawyer and perhaps news media assistance.
    I mainly wrote to encourage you to get help so you don't relapse, cause this is a hugely stressing situation.
  6. by   oldfolksnurse
    Are you sure the OK BON reported you to OIG? The corporation that I work for in GA performs "sanction checks" on potential hires. These sanction checks are on the OIG site. Not sure exactly what drives a person's name to be there except that they have somehow committed Medicare/Medicaid fraud.
    I had to terminate a nurse in my employment due to her name coming up on the sanction check (every three months is required by my corp.), and this was 6 months after she was employed (came up clean on her initial check, license clean, etc.) and she had NO CLUE as to what she had done.
    It has to do with the Homeland Security Act...
  7. by   BabyRN2Be
    I wish that I could help you. I'm in Oklahoma, and I agree, this is a podunk state where the Good Ol' Boy System reigns. Have you contacted a lawyer? I think that this would be the appropriate action. Good luck to you, and I hope that you stay clean and strong.
  8. by   CHATSDALE
    Call Your Nursing Board And Get A Personal Injury Lawyer.....were You Convicted Of Drug Abuse Or Did You Come Up In Testing???i Believe That It Would Make A Difference......there May Be A Program That Will Allow A Nurse To Work In A Facility Where They Will Not Come In Contact With Control Drugs....i Know That There Was A Dentist In Town That Could Not Prescribe Anyhthing For Pain But Now
    He Has Full Privileges...don't Know The Whole Story There

    Don't Give Up I Just Read In The Paper This Past Week Of The Arrest Of A Nurse I Used To Work With.....breaks My Heart For Someone To Lose So Much To Bad Decisions...let This Be A Learning Experience And Go Forward Good Luck
  9. by   Town & Country
    Personally I wouldn't bother with a lawyer if OK is a "good ole boy" state.
    The lawyers and BON are probably in bed together and if the BON didn't do a good enough job of screwing you the lawyers will.
    I'd head for greener pastures and put it behind me.

    Of course you may have some 'splainin' to do elsewhere, but I wouldn't get bogged down in a lawsuit. JMO.

    I'd move and get a job somewhere else.

    Good luck.
  10. by   BHolliRNMS
    In mississippi we have to do criminal background checks. Anything you have ever been fingerprinted for will turn up on the report. If something turns up, they won't give you a clearance letter to work. They will send the person with the record a report of why they weren't cleared. I know some who had things showing up that they were never found guilty of and were cleared to work. We can hire a nurse depending on what the charge was.....and that it wasn't a felony.
  11. by   moia
    Do you still have a vaild nursing licence?
    There are alot of states that still have a reciprocity agreement...meaning if you have a valid licence from OK they will give you a licence in their state......there is no investigation etc.
    You do still have to find a large preferably teaching hospital to apply to...these places are just too big and too busy to do any criminal investigations.

    At this point I believe you have done your time and paid for your crime..your business is yours...you need a job...see if a neighbouring state will licence you before you move....apply for a job before you move...don't do anything until everything is set up and ready to go...there are states dying for experienced critical nurses...you may want to check out a travelling agency...you have options..don't give up hope.
  12. by   BHolliRNMS
    As of July 2003, our state requires a criminal background check to be done by every nursing home, home health agency, hospital...everyone who is licensed by the state. The only "business" that doesn't have to do these checks on their employees is agency. However, an agency nurse cannot work without the clearance letter. So, the agencies pay a licensed agent to fingerprint their employees. The clearance letter is good for two years.
  13. by   GEO
    I Thought Being Upfront With The Obn And Following Through With The Peer Assistance Program Was Respected By The Obn. So Questions???? The Office Of Inspector General Exclusion List And Not Being Able To Work For A Medicaid Or Medicare Facilty..where Does This List Come From And Does It Include The Whole Usa...was That Caused By Changing The Script??? Is That A Felony? Sorry, I Am Just Trying To Understand This. And I Guess I Am More Uninformed Than I Ever Gave Thought To. So, Do You Have A Valid Okla License??? Could You Move To Another State, Is This An Option Or Would This Exclusion List Follow You?? It Is My Understanding That Even A Physician Who Losses Their License Can Work For A Place Like The Doc. The Only Reason I Understood This I Worked With A Very Good Physician Once, Who Lost His License And Was Told He Was Working For The Doc In The Same State He Lost His License In. Now That Is What I Understood. Dont Give Up 'sleepless In Norman'....if You Are Clean And Mean To Stay That Way, There Has To Be A Way Through This. Taking A Danger From The Public Is One Thing But Someone Who Has Worked Hard To Clean Up,this Doesnt Sound Right To Me.
  14. by   BRANDY LPN
    I think you can apply for re-instatement, check out this site:

    http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/exclusions/reinstatement.html

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