There have been a number of cases over the years of nurses being held criminally accountable for errors. Here is the latest one from Texas below this message.
Indeed, as noted above by our colleagues, nurses are individually accountable for their mistakes as professionals. If the error results from another base root problem [AKA short staffing = inability to assess, intervene, monitor, document, etc.= patient harm] then that situation must be recognized by the "reasonable and prudent" RN and the chain of command involved [notifiyng the supervisor, etc] and documented as such,BEFORE the harm occurs in order for there to be any protection.
If the RN accepts an assignment they know is unsafe, and goes on to take it without protest, that mere action of accepting it can be construed as negligent.
Some professional nursing unions have special forms to document protests to insulate a nurses license under such conditions.
A generic assignment despite objection form can be found at The Florence Project, Inc. main web page at www.florenceproject.org.
Please review the disclaimer, as filling out such written documentation without the protection of a professional union may result in retaliation.
My stance is- a license is a terrible thing to waste, and while you can always get another job, you cannot get another license.
TEXAS AP WIRE FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2001
>Nurse indicted in boot camp death
>FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A Tarrant County grand jury has indicted a
>nurse who provided medical treatment for a Mansfield boot camp
>probationer until two days before he died of pneumonia.
>Knyvett Jane Reyes was accused Thursday of manslaughter and
>negligent homicide in connection with the death earlier this year of
>An inquest into the death of Alexander, 19, concluded that the
>Arlington man died Jan. 9 of bacterial pneumonia caused by a staph
>The Texas Rangers have been investigating treatment of inmates at
>the privately operated prison, including the death of Alexander. He
>was serving a sentence at the camp for a drunken driving conviction.
>Rick Alexander has claimed that his son, who complained of a sore
>throat, received inadequate medical care. The younger Alexander died
>later at John Peter Smith Hospital.
>Dr. Nizam Peerwani, Tarrant County's chief medical examiner, said
>medical staff at the boot camp did not perform a common bacterial
>test used to determine the nature of a sore throat. He said doctors
>and hospitals routinely swab a sore throat and grow a culture to
>identify the bacteria present.
>The legal definition of manslaughter includes recklessly causing the
>death of another person.
>Jack Strickland, Reyes' attorney, criticized the indictment against
>``If there's any act of recklessness in this case, it's by the
>Tarrant County grand jury,'' he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in
>Friday's editions. ``She's devastated by this and has been
>heartbroken by the death of this young man.''
>The boot camp and workers at the facility have had other legal
>problems. In March, a judge awarded damages of $2.8 million in a
>sexual harassment lawsuit against the boot camp's private managers.
>In another incident at the boot camp, a Fort Worth area probationer
>serving four months in a drug rehabilitation program reported that
>he received inadequate treatment. The 19-year-old Mansfield man's
>pulse had stopped and he had to be resuscitated.