having big problems with article in Nursing 2002, AGAIN

  1. This time it is Your State Board of Nursing, Friend or Foe. It is in December 2002 on page 48. The author talks about a case where a nurse recieved a very sever punishment for what sounded like trumped up charges over very mild infractions. You don't find out till the end of the article that the case happened quite sometime ago when you read that the nurse involved has a whole new career going at this point. I think the primary intent of the article was to instill fear and terror into my heart thus making work for lawyers. It teaches a bit but does so in such a heavy handed way that it will only serve to drive people out of the profession at an accelerated rate. It neglects to mention that the chances of coming up on charges like these are about one in a hundred thousand. Also, I think by now nursing boards are so over whelmed with chemically dependant nurses that the chances of them taking a license away for minor infractions are remote. I have to say that if this case is true and I wonder if it is, the people on this board have very poor judgement. The really come accross as a bunch of old grannies. I think a warning in stead of supension would have been enough. The conditions under which the nurse eventually loses her license are outrageous. If I read this article before I became a nurse I would have been totally discouraged. Said it before and will say it again. I will not be renewing this magazine.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    I've said it before and I say it again--state nursing boards do NOT represent nurses. That is NOT their job and never has been. They are there to represent consumers and to make a show of it politically (in order to justify their budgets) that they are doing so. That is the reason for these kind of pointless actions (and the fact that they do nothing if nurses complain to them about staffing levels, etc.).

    They ain't yo' mama.

    And neither is that nursing magazine you mentioned (nursing's version of "People" magazine, IMHO).

    They publish to attract advertisers! As long as they can collect lots of advertising money, they could care less whether you subscribe or not. Of course they love to create the impression of controversy and scandal, and mix it with smarmy "feel-good" wimpy pap, as does the rest of the media, since this seems to attract readers.

    If you write a letter of complaint to them, they see it as one more indication that they have lots of readers (since only one reader in so many ever writes a letter), use this as indication that their readership numbers are higher, and so charge advertisers higher rates. They are happy about all that, and certainly not inclined to change their policies, since the present one pays off so well.
    Last edit by sjoe on Dec 5, '02
  4. by   oramar
    IF you read my post I did not complain about the board till the last third. That is because my problem is much more with the writer of the article than the board. The article states flat out that nurses need to get lawyers when faced with this sort of action. Well, if I represented myself in a case like this the results could not have been any worse. If anything it sounds like the presence of a lawyer in this case caused the board to run the case out to it's worst result. Then the lawyer decides NOT to appeal. Good God, why if you were losing your license would you not appeal. Yes, I think the board in this case decided to make an example out of this nurse and the presense of her lawyer hightened their resolve. I can't help but wondering what would have happened if she would have shown up for the hearing without a lawyer. Perhaps if threw herself on the mercy of the board if she would have recieved a more reasonable ruling. PS If you wonder why I am bothering to read a magazine I don't like, well it is last issue I will ever get and I am snowed in and bored.
  5. by   deespoohbear
    I read that same article yesterday, and it bothered me too. I thought it was definitely a case of where the punishment didn't fit the crime. Sure, that nurse shouldn't have been using profanity where it could be overheard by other patients and families, but for pete's sake we are all human and mess up. And the part about making the elderly patient ambulate 10 feet to their wheelchair? I can see both sides of that argument, and as usual the nurse in the middle is screwed no matter how she handled the situation. Either get yelled at by the doctor because you didn't follow his orders, or get in trouble for "violating" a patient's right. I am all for patient's rights, but sometimes I think it goes a bit far. How about the post-op hysterectomy that refuses to move after surgery and then ends up with pneumonia or a DVT? Sure, it is her right to refuse but if she is left to lay in bed she develops post-op complications the nurses will be left holding the bag, again. Patients come to the hospital to get treatment and part of that treatment includes cooperating with the plan of care. My feeling is that if a patient refuses to cooperate with such reasonable requests such as moving after procedures, and daily ROM activities, then the nurses shouldn't be held liable for any complications that might develop.

    I agree that this BON must have a bunch of nit-picking, self-righteous people on it that have nothing better to do than run off another hardworking, competent nurse. After reading articles like this, is it any wonder that nurses are leaving the bedside in droves for better positions with less risk to their licenses??
  6. by   oramar
    I was just thinking about the state boards. Does it seem to you that they are mostly concerned with the bedside nurse? When is the last time they every went after the license of a DON who sat idly by watching staffing being cut to the point where people are killed. What about the supervisor whose response to the agency nurse who reported that short staffing resulted in maggots in a patients wound was, "we are not made of money". If they want to make an example of someone why don't they roast a couple of managment nurses just to let them know that if they hold a license they better put patients before profits.
    Last edit by oramar on Dec 5, '02
  7. by   Joules
    sjoe posted:
    I've said it before and I say it again--state nursing boards do NOT represent nurses. That is NOT their job and never has been.
    I beg to differ -- at least in North Carolina, the BON TRULY represents our state's nurses, both RN's and LPN's. The Board of Nursing in North Carolina is THE ONLY BON IN THE UNITED STATES THAT IS COMPOSED OF NURSES (PLUS A CITIZEN REP) AND IS ELECTED BY NURSES!!!! Way to go, North Carolina!!!!
    Oramar posted:
    I was just thinking of about the state boards. Does it seem to you that they are mostly concerned with the bedside nurse? When is the last time they every went after the license of a DON who sat idly by watching staffing being cut to the point where people are killed. What about the supervisor whose response to the agency nurse who reported that short staffing resulted in maggots in a patients wound was, "we are not made of money". If they want to make an example of someone why don't they roast a couple of managment nurses just to let them know that if they hold a license they better put patients before profits.
    In North Carolina, the BON actually put an executive RN's license on reprimand due to staffing safety issues. This RN was the Vice-President of Patient Care at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC--a BIG nurse executive position. Yep, they reprimanded her--a matter of public record. But then again, this is NORTH CAROLINA--we have a Board that is ELECTED BY NURSES!!!!
  8. by   oramar
    When a staff nurse says "We" he/she usually means the patient and me. When a management person says "we" they frequently mean me and the corporation. This is not acceptable behavior for someone with RN behind their name. Hoorah for NC!!!
  9. by   sjoe
    Joules--I'm glad to hear of this singular exception. It would be a great improvement if the rest of the States would follow NC's lead.
    Last edit by sjoe on Dec 5, '02
  10. by   abrenrn
    Nothing to add here. Just my thanks.
  11. by   -jt
    <the BON actually put an executive RN's license on reprimand due to staffing safety issues. This RN was the Vice-President of Patient Care we have a Board that is ELECTED BY NURSES!!!!>

    great idea. NY's BON also has working, unionized staff RNs on the board.

    And similar to your example: a few years ago, a staff RN in Massachusetts blew the whistle on unsafe conditions at his hospital. The BON reprimanded him. He turned right around & sued the BON for not also reprimanding the nursing leadership at his hospital who knowingly allowed the unsafe situation to perpetuate.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 7, '02
  12. by   Tweety
    I haven't read it, but it does seem sometimes that writers/reporters are out for sensationalism.

    The Florida Board of Nursing is very harsh. They don't take any other circumstance (such as being busy/short staffed, etc.) when you are in trouble.

    But, other than chemically dependent nurses, I've only come across one nurse who lost her license. That was when she gave a med without an order. It was for "while on vent" and the patient had just been extubated. Lost her license for a year.
  13. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by Joules
    sjoe posted:

    I beg to differ -- at least in North Carolina, the BON TRULY represents our state's nurses, both RN's and LPN's. The Board of Nursing in North Carolina is THE ONLY BON IN THE UNITED STATES THAT IS COMPOSED OF NURSES (PLUS A CITIZEN REP)
    Check again. The BON's function is consumer protection. Not representation of nurses. Just ask NC's Secretary of State.

    Check again. The NV BON is composed of RN's, an LPN, a CNA and a Citizen rep.

    No disrespect intended.
  14. by   oramar
    I thought Joules meant the types of nurses on the board are more reflective of the types of nurses that actually practice. I did not take it to means that state nursing boards are supposed to be some sort of nurse protection agency. Only Joules can say for sure.

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