I need advice

  1. I have been a good nurse for 14 years. In 1994 I was a supervisor for a small clinic - during the phen-phen craze. I reported a couple of bad docs for prescribing the med to very small gals. In turn I also found out several of my nurses were working on probation and supervison. Long story short I was fired-I would have quit anyway but the nurses reported me to the DPR for stealing script pads. I hired a lawyer and fought it for 7 years! I ended up taking the least discipline which was a displinary action on my license. It appears on the internet as I stole script pads for my own personal use! It is embarrassing and I feel has kept me from getting good jobs! Does anyone know of anything I can do? Any advice would help!
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   geekgolightly
    I don't know what you can do, but that is disgusting and I am so sorry that you have to suffer through that. It's scary stuff to be a whistle blower. If it helps at all, I commend you for being strong and doing the right thing. Probably doesn't help.

    I don't understand how they could have reported you and this stay on your record without proof.
  4. by   Gardengal
    Have you worked at all during that time? I think if you have been working, a recommendation letter up front from current supervision regarding your work ethics would be helpful.

    I would probably bring up this incident in interview, and explain. Try not to be defensive and be very factual, and explain that in order to bring closure to the original incident you chose to accept a punishment not warranted, in order to get on with your life. I believe that most reasonable supervisors would accept this.
  5. by   ptnurse
    Maybe you should talk to the lawyer again.
  6. by   sjoe
    "but the nurses reported me to the DPR for stealing script pads."

    Well, DID you? If so, what are you complaining about? If not, why take the disciplinary action? Makes no sense to me.

    I agree with ptnurse, however. Have a chat with your lawyer.
  7. by   Madilyn Juliet
    TO sjoe - I DID NOT STEAL THE SCRIPTS!!!!
  8. by   Madilyn Juliet
    Originally posted by sjoe
    "but the nurses reported me to the DPR for stealing script pads."

    Well, DID you? If so, what are you complaining about? If not, why take the disciplinary action? Makes no sense to me.

    I agree with ptnurse, however. Have a chat with your lawyer.
    I DID NOT STEAL THE SCRIPTS! I AM INSULTED YOU THINK I WOULD ASK ADVICE IF I DID THIS CRIME! They were mad because they lost there jobs....and felt they could get me back this way! The board stated they had to investigate every accusation reported.....they also said it was not uncommon....sorry you feel this way
  9. by   ainz
    I have to ask the same as sjoe--did you steal them? If not, what evidence did the board take their action on? Boards usually really investigate things like this before taking action. If there was no merit then no action. How did this come about? Have you petitioned for a reinstatement hearing to get your license back. Even if pads were stolen, usually there is some kind of probation, counseling, rehab, or something you can go through to demonstrate that you are not a criminal or drug user and get your license back.

    I would talk to an attorney and the board of nursing and see what I could do to get my license reinstated. Were you charged with a felony? If not you should be eligible for reinstatement.
  10. by   Madilyn Juliet
    I will try to explain this matter once again. First of all I did not lose my license - they were only reprimanded. I was not arrested because no evidenceof a crime was committed. It was five angry nurses and one doctor whose license were suspended for lotsof other reasons that called the DPR. They investigated the complaint-because that is their normal practice. They were very nice. After several years of the papers being lost, new directors and other "miss-ups" I hired a lawyer. I did not hear back from the board for almost three years after it happened...and then another two years ofter that! I agreed to undergo substance abuse testing at my attorneys request - of course it was a waste of time-I certainly am not a substance abuser! I have worked in Hospice with strong medications since then, case management, legal nurse consulting and the operating room and recovery. I did not take the scripts - it was the only way the low class nurses felt they could hurt me!...maybe it worked! I agreed to the least form of punishment for closure...maybe my attorney was not as good! But the long story short of it is I have this on my record and was just asking if anyone knew if there were anything I could do or how bad it effects future employment..I am working!
    As a nurse! But this is haunting me and making me want to leave the nursing profession espiecially since I have had the negative feedback from some of the prior e-mails-I guess I could not get a job with you! I needed support not more reprimand!
  11. by   bagladyrn
    Madylyn - I'm not sure if this is feasible, but if you could afford another lawyer, is there any provision within the board for having your record expunged? If not, is there any way to have a rebuttal inserted in your record to be sent along with the record any time an inquiry is made? I don't know much about it, but would think it would be worth the cost of an initial visit with a lawyer specializing in this to see if it can be rectified.
  12. by   Monica RN,BSN
    I might get myself in alot of hot water for voicing my opinion here, but I am a bit skeptical as the details of this story do not seem to add up. It does not seem likely that the board of nursing would carry this out for 5 years, and it doesnt seem likely they would reprimand a license just for suspision without solid evidence to sustantiate a claim. I think there is more to the story.
  13. by   llg
    I don't understand how/why this all got so out-of-hand if it was only some unsubstantiated allegations by some people who had reason to hold a grudge. If that is, in fact, the case, then it is clearly a case for a lawyer -- not a bunch of nurses.

    An additional resource might be a good career counselor. Also, Sigma Theta Tau has just published a book called, "Building and Managing a Career in Nursing, " edited by Terry W. Miller. It includes sections/chapters on reclaiming a nursing career, rebuilding an impaird career, etc. Such a book might offer some useful advice.

    llg
  14. by   ainz
    Madilyn Juliet--no intention of reprimanding, just trying to clarify some things. OK, to answer your original question. It has been my experience that you can overcome this kind of thing with a proven track record. As time goes by and you have continued to successfully work as a nurse without any issues and especially if you have advanced, say into management or having recognized clinical expertise, or advanced your degree, etc., this can be overcome. You need enough good stuff to overcome the bad stuff. How much time is adequate?--I don't know, a few years a least.

    Anyone, I know this is frustrating but continuing to do the right thing will help tremendously. You can also try an attorney but I doubt the Board of Nursing will allow your record to be cleaned since the board does not handle criminal cases.

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