scared and alone...need advice...please

  1. I have been reading the discussion board for sometime now and find it very imformative, with kindness, wisdom and knowledge...At this point in my career and life, I find the only place I can turn for these characteristics to help me with my problem is here. I have been a nurse for over 10 years now, I love nursing, I, as you all have worked hard to get my license, and work hard on a daily basis to maintain it. Take care of my patient and yet deal with the nursing politics and nursing shortage. I have been in many committees, the ethics commitee and even awarded nurse of the year. Not because I was this "great nurse" we all are "great nurses...but because I went the extra mile in patient care...and I truely love nursing...it's all I know..In 1999, I went through a terrible heartbreaking divorce, I was depressed and yet continued to work under the same circumstances we all have to deal with on a day to day basis...short staffing and the politics...I am a single parent with nursing my only career for a long time..I depend on it to support my son and I. In 1999, I was as many other times working short staffed and found myself staying after,like so many other times to finish up charting...patient care comes first right? Well, this time I forgot to chart something...and we all know that if it isn't charted it wasn't done. It was turned over to the board of nursing and placed under investigation...now in a few days I will have to face the board for an informal hearing to face my punishment. I know the outcome of this...no matter what my punishment may be...I will be looked down upon and ridiculed by my peers, the hospital I work at now and in the future...nothing will ever be the same...I probably will never be hired again...and this is all I know...(please excuse me for babbling, there are so many fears and anxiety within me). I'm so scared..nothing like this has ever happened to me...I don't know what to expect or what to do...I have not gone a day without a tear and a prayer for strength...I know that it will become public notice and I will never be able to hold my head up again..I have even thought about moving to another state...but I also know that it will follow me...does anyone know how you even apply for a license in another state..I am so scared and depressed right now, I feel as though I can't even breath..please, I know this is long...but your time and knowledge..your wisdom and advice would be so greatly appreciated...I have to face the boards in a few days...I would rather...I don't know...I just feel like my whole life is ruined...I know I need to be strong...but it is hard...please I ask for your help...and your prayers....Thank you for your time...I know this is long...may God bless you all...from one nurse to another...
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   rncountry
    Please contact Steve Lee at nurseprotect@aol.com I believe he may have resources to help you. BTW, do you have an attorney? It is important to have one if at all possible. If you email me I will provide Steves phone number for you.
  4. by   moonchild20002000
    Sammy,
    It sounds like you have really been through a rough time. My heart goes out to you. I know you are anxious,try not to be so hard on yourself.Do you have someone close to you that you can talk to? I think the idea of an attorney is a good thing for you to do if possible.I know the next few days will be hard for you,I'll keep you in my prayers.
  5. by   sammy26
    Thank you so much for your advice and your prayers...I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me...
  6. by   bedhead
    I am so sorry that you are going through a hard time. I don't know the ramifications of your situation, and since it is a legal issue I would certainly get an attorney. Was the patient seriously harmed in any way? and is it possible you can document a late entry with your supervisors approval. , even though it wasn't documented, and if you did do what you were suppose to do, and no injury occured then a late entry might be acceptable. Here in my hospital we have computer charting so late entries can be added without any problems. I once had an occurence and I was able to document and add to the chart,with my supervisors support. Good luck. I'll keep my eyes open for your reply.bedhead.
  7. by   Tim-GNP
    Be comforted... I don't know the circumstances surrounding the 'hearing', but I do know that board of nursing hearings tend to be simple 'inquiries.' Keep your head, present your side in a 'matter-of-factish' sort of way. The way in which you conduct yourself is EVERYTHING. If it is not resolved at that point, get an attorney. IF it goes that far.

    Here in the Commonwealth of PA, we have a newsletter that comes out every now and again [its supposed to be quarterly] that reports the disciplinary actions taken by the board against nurses. It lists their infractions and their sentence. I will be honest with you--- I don't remember any of their names.

    The most important thing is not to beat yourself. I am sure I have forgotten things in the past as well. It does not mean that you are not a good nurse. It means your human [at least you know that the aliens didn't kidnap the real you and leave an android look-alike]. All joking aside, the purpose of any state board of nursing is to assure that people are 'safe' for practice. They are quite hard pressed to prove that you are 'an immediate threat to society.' Check your state board of nursing rules/regulations for exact words. You also have an appeals process should you need it.

    I don't know how tight I am with the guy upstairs, but I am sure that he at least looks out for his nurses.
  8. by   Sunshine55
    Sammy - What a difficult and stressful situation you have described. DO NOT give up hope. You keep your head held high! I recall many times driving home from work trying to remember if I'd forgotten anything. I have made an occasional late entry and signed it with a late entry notation as have many other nurses I've worked with. With so much to do and such limited time, this could happen to any of us. Hopefully, other staff have been supportive. Please follow the excellent advice of rncountry. Think positively and present yourself in a confident and truthful manner before the Board. Wish I could give you a hug!
  9. by   CC NRSE
    Sammy,

    I know your scared, but try to be strong. Your son needs you. If it is any comfort to you, (I know this is different) I know someone who was caught taking the MSO4 left over (instead of wasting) after he had given his pts meds. All his has to do is go to some classes. He did not lose his license. I actually know several people eho have been in trouble for one thing or another and don't know anyone who has had their license suspended.

    As for your co-workers, they know what kind of nurse you are and shouldn't judge you based on one incident. We are all human. I'm sure it could have happen to anyone especially in this day of short staffing.

    Good luck to ya! Our thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    Let us know how it gos.
  10. by   lita1857
    a true nurse my friend, guilty of the most henious crime...you were human. I have no idea what has gone on in this situation but I agree with Tim now is the time to care for yourself - YOU are the patient right now. Everything you would do as a nurse do for yourself!!!Most of us worry everyday, a few of us have walked in similar shoes as you...you are not alone you are part of a collective. Hang in there, you can do it for your child and yourself. Best of luck
  11. by   cpkranky
    This is a perfect example of how nurses can come together and support each other..I commend all of you who have spoken out in support of a nurse in need. I am proud to be a nurse and this comdradary makes me even prouder!!! I hope that you keep your head up and remember..God knows your troubles,Give them to Him,do your best and let go of the rest..Good luck
  12. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Sammy, I feel so bad for you. I wish I could make it all go away for you and I would if I could. How are you with imagery? Close your eyes and try to think of all of us standing right beside you, arm in arm. Because you know we are really all right there. We all really care and come back and write to us..as someone before me said..you are only human...we all are. No one should hold themselves to a higher standard. There was only one perfect person who walked on this earth...and his occupation wasn't nurse. I can't imagine how you are feeling. Hope the other nurses that you work with are being supportive. I really don't know what happened, but I know I can look up the page on the internet that lists the nurses who are being disciplined in my state...I don't remember anyones name...and the only ones who lost their licence where the ones who had committed a crime...stole things, wrote bad checks, or abandoned their patients doing homecare. Just remember when you go...we are all there with you. Good Luck and God Bless you and your son.

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  13. by   shockx3RN
    Originally posted by rncountry:
    Please contact Steve Lee at nurseprotect@aol.com I believe he may have resources to help you. BTW, do you have an attorney? It is important to have one if at all possible. If you email me I will provide Steves phone number for you.
    I don't know how to tangibly help you. I too have been a nurse for 11 years, went through a terrible divorce, and was a single parent to my little boy. I know what it's like to have your world crumble. I'll pray for you. God is the only one that brought me through my trials!

  14. by   Jenny P
    Sammy, you have to remember that the Board of Nursing is made up of people, most of them are nurses, and that those people and nurses on the Board are just as much human as the rest of us are. I've attended Board of Nursing meetings in my state and have talked with Board members about being and working short staffed. You need a lawyer to help you through this; not because you have done something so terribly wrong, but because you are a basket case (sorry for the terminology) and need someone to help hold you together. Do you have co-workers who can help and support you? Have you talked to any friends and asked for their support? Just because you didn't chart something does not necessarily mean it wasn't done. It means you are as human as the rest of us. It is important to remember to chart what you've done, but I'm willing to bet that every nurse doesn't remember to chart everything all of the time.
    An informal hearing does not mean you are being handed a death sentence- it means that the Board of Nursing is gathering information to hear your side of the story and they will consult with each other. A lawyer would help you get the correct documents (such as time cards from that time, your Nurse of the Year award, the actual chart documents, and maybe even your charting for that day for several other patients, etc.) if you would have notified one in time. Now that you are down to the last few days, this may be harder for a lawyer to do, but don't give up hope.
    I have been surprised at the number of nurses who had problems that brought their cases up to the Board of Nursing and that had written testimony but did not go personally in front of the Board. I have seen our State Board respond more favorably to nurses that actually were there in person than to those who were "available by phone" for further questions. I don't remember the Board ever calling any of those nurses on the phone; and I wonder why those nurses did not attend the meeting that would decide what would happen to their careers.
    Remember, you are in charge of your own life. You may not be in control of it, but you have the power to change it for the better and be responsible for what happens. Take charge of what does happen here with the help of your friends, family, and God. Good luck and God bless.

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