Reporting a nurse who has been arrested.

  1. Why do we bother reporting to the attorney general or the
    state board of nursing in our state (Indiana) regarding knowing of
    a nurse that has been arrested for distributing illegal drugs
    if they inform that person that you have reported it and
    that they are not going to do anything about it and will not
    be taking away her license?
    Maybe I read the fine print wrong but I thought that was part o of our rules and regulations, --to protect our residents and other co-workers.

    Just doesn't make sense to me ---almost like patting them on
    the back and saying --Oh that's ok! I'm talking about an
    adult---not a teenager here.
    •  
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Cathy Wilson, RN
    I would pursue this situation further with the BON in Indiana! It is absolutely NOT necessary to reveal your name when her arrest is a matter of public record, just brought to their attention by you. What they decide to do depends upon what your Nurse Practice Act says.
  4. by   donmurray
    In the UK the court routinely informs the nurses licensing body if a nurse is convicted of a crime. They then decide if it should be taken further.
  5. by   caliotter3
    I observed a nurse in a criminal act, reported it to the police, and to the employer. However, I did not report anything to the board because I found out that the board would inform her about my report. Furthermore, nothing happened. So I would have physically endangered myself, (a position I was in anyway), for nothing. That nurse still practices, and probably in the setting in which they committed the crime! My conscience is clear.
  6. by   netrn
    I first contacted the Indiana State Board and their reply was:

    "The Indiana nurse practice act does state that if a nurse knows of another nurse who has violated the nurse practice act, they would need to file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. "

    Of which I did and of which the form on the internet says if
    they feel there is a problem where they need to contact the
    state board of nursing then they will investigate which means
    showing what was reported and by who.

    So why have this in the nurse practice act if they are not going to
    do anything and why should we be responsible for reporting it?

    What good is a nurse practice act , Indiana Code or Administrators Code if it isn't followed out ?

    It would be very interesting to find out how many nurses have
    reported such and nothing is done about it.
  7. by   caliotter3
    netrn,

    please be careful about this matter. You can be labeled a "snitch" and suffer repercussions. Even though you are reporting a matter of public record.
  8. by   netrn
    Well, being called a snitch is better than being called a ***** which I have already been called.

    So, are you saying that if you knew of someone that was
    abusing a resident that you wouldn't be a ---snitch??, either?

    I consider it protecting the residents and the facility in which
    I work at, I do not owe anyone who is considered unsafe an
    explaination, it is in black and white --they can read the the rules. :imbar
  9. by   caliotter3
    Read my previous post. I did what I was supposed to do (except telling the board), I was called a "snitch", and I did suffer. The person who committed the crime suffered nothing. I was told by a recruiter that I would be called a "snitch" and I would not be hired. Yep, I wasn't hired.
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    There needs to be a CRIMINAL CONVICTION before the board can act. "Proven innocent until found guilty" is our law.
  11. by   netrn
    Please define "criminal conviction". She was convicted of delivering less than 5 grams of meth fined court cost and
    sentenced to 6 months in jail and 2 years probation, though
    6 months only meant less than 3 months. My issue isn't "drug
    abuse" this person tested clean--I'm talking about "selling
    illegal drugs."
  12. by   caliotter3
    NRSKarenRN,

    I realized this (about the criminal conviction) so then why do the boards have the requirement to report nonprofessional behavior? I had the same feelings as netrn after my experience. Just because there is no criminal conviction does not mean there was no crime. And, as described in other threads, there can be a pattern of questionable behavior, whether or not properly addressed by employers. All we as professionals can do is make the appropriate reports. There is a point where we are not responsible for the outcome.
  13. by   caliotter3
    I read your last post after my post. From what you describe, that nurse should have her license revoked as soon as the board verifies this info. And you, as an individual, should bear no responsibility in this process. In my state, each license renewal, we are required to answer the question about convictions. You mean to tell me that the enforcement division of the board does not have access to a data base of criminal convictions? Bull hockey.
  14. by   NRSKarenRN
    Why do we bother reporting to the attorney general or the state board of nursing in our state (Indiana) regarding knowing of a nurse that has been arrested for distributing illegal drugs if they inform that person that you have reported it and
    that they are not going to do anything about it and will not
    be taking away her license?
    Initial post didn't say they were convicted. Unless you were there when they arrested her, how do you REALLY KNOW what happened? The wheels of justice move slowly sometimes. Check the SBON newsletter beginning of next year you might be surprissed.

    Indiana SBON info
    COMPLAINTS REGARDING HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS

    ...A disciplinary action can result in the practitioner's license being revoked or suspended or in the practitioner being placed on probation or reprimanded. Among the reasons for disciplinary action are incompetence, physical or mental disability, addiction to or abuse of alcohol or drugs, and lewd or immoral conduct...
    http://www.state.in.us/hpb/consumerinfo/index.html


    Info from PA's SBON website that answers questions:

    How Complaints Are Handled

    PA Complaint form

    Effect of Criminal Convictions on Licensure

    Moved the thread for greater visability and comment.

close