HELP! They are investigating my license :(

  1. Hey guys- I need advice and prayers!
    I got a call from my boss telling me I've been "red flagged" as taking out more narcotics than average for the past 2 months. He told me I cannot come back to work until they have done an "investigation"- He said they will be investigating my documentation. He will get back to me next week to let me know whether I will be "terminated" and if terminated, they will also notify the AZ board of nursing. I offered to come in for a drug test and he said that isn't necessary, they will proceed with the investigation regardless.
    I feel like I'm drowning and my world is coming to an end. This is horrible- I've been a nurse for 8 years- this job is one thing but I can't imagine losing my entire career.
    Can they turn me in to the board of nursing for "suspicion" without any proof? They dont have evidence of drug use on the job or testing positive or anything like that- it will be based on documentation problems if anything. Having my charting scrutinized is a terrible feeling, I have no idea what they might dig up and I'm so upset about this.
    Should I get a lawyer?
    Should I wait to hear from my boss first?
    How much will a lawyer cost? Will it make a difference?
    Is it important to get a "good" lawyer or a well known lawyer?
    What in the world should I say when I see my boss next? How do I prevent having a heart attack right then and there???
    I look forward to hearing from anybody with experience here!!!
  2. Visit abigl profile page

    About abigl

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 2; Likes: 3


  3. by   gettingbsn2msn
    Yes, this is going on. I do not take narcotics at all. My documentation was scrutinized and I was fired. I filed for unemployment benefits and was denied. I have appealed and this has really ticked them off. I just got the papers delivered to my house stating that I was an unsafe nurse and a poor employee (absolutely NOT TRUE!). Now due to the fact I filed unemployment they will state "do not rehire". I always believed workers had rights. NOT TRUE! Anyway, you may get let go and it will not be about narcotics. They will say it is about charting or something else. They also stated I had a "customer" that was not satisfied with my services. Excuse me, but really, unemployment can be denied over this! If I were you I would go get a drug test RIGHT NOW. Yes, they may let you go but they will not be able to attack your license as well (hopefully).
  4. by   gettingbsn2msn
    I just reread your post. Did you pull too many narcotics and forget to credit them back to the patient? We had a nurse who did this (and she was not let go but good friends with charge nurse!). I am starting to believe that nursing is not a good field to be in. And I am now unemployed!!!
  5. by   caliotter3
    I would look for an attorney now. You do not know how far this will go and you do not want to be without professional assistance if adverse action is started against your license. Best wishes.
  6. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    If you have malpractice insurance with a "license defense" clause, that should either provide a lawyer or pay for one.
  7. by   caliotter3 is the website for The American Association of Nurse Attorneys, a good referral service for attorneys with experience appearing before nursing boards.
  8. by   jackstem
    Good advice about getting an attorney. Do not speak with anyone about the case until you have legal representation. We, as nurses, seem to have this disorder that appears when we are being investigated or "in trouble"...VERBAL DIARRHEA! Retain an attorney and follow their advice. Let them do the talking. We can get ourselves into even deeper fecal material when we try to explain everything. And, "I didn't do anything wrong" isn't a viable legal defense.

    Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

  9. by   abigl
    Thanks everyone...I'm still in limbo waiting to hear my fate from this "investigation"
    Are you suggesting I speak to an attorney now, before I even know what the internal investigation shows?
    I guess I can continue my research while they do theirs. This is so frustrating. Thinking I should sue my boss for falsely accusing me. Anyone here have experience with fighting back?
    Do I stand a chance?
  10. by   TheCommuter
    Most facilities want you to document PRN narcotic administration in two or three places: the MAR, the nurses notes, and the flow sheets (if your facility uses them). Per facility policy, you are supposed to document that you gave it, then document the response 30 to 60 minutes later. If any part of the documentation is missing or not up to snuff, this might be a negative finding against you. The facility needs nurses to properly chart narcotics to remain in compliance with DEA regulations.
  11. by   jackstem
    Quote from abigl
    Thanks everyone...I'm still in limbo waiting to hear my fate from this "investigation"
    Are you suggesting I speak to an attorney now, before I even know what the internal investigation shows?
    I guess I can continue my research while they do theirs. This is so frustrating. Thinking I should sue my boss for falsely accusing me. Anyone here have experience with fighting back?
    Do I stand a chance?
    It never hurts to have a consultation with a license defense attorney so you know your rights and options. As I said in my previous post, our verbal diarrhea can put us in a very tough situation. We have a tendency to want to "make everything alright" by explaining everything to everybody. Remember, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can (AND WILL) be used against you (by the board of nursing)." You also have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning, and to stop answering questions and ask for an attorney at any time. Employers and BONs and their investigators like to pull the, "If you're innocent you shouldn't need an attorney" garbage. Having your own attorney makes sure everyone plays by the rules.

    Administrative law is different than criminal law. All I'm recommending is you be careful and be sure YOUR rights are protected. Sadly, your employer isn't going to worry about your rights. If throwing you to the wolves will protect their glutei maximi, that's exactly what they'll do. Your employer (and the BON) have attorneys advising them...shouldn't you? Every nurse has the right to represent themselves in these situations. Do you have a solid understanding of the law? Yeah, attorneys aren't cheap, but is having your ability to practice your profession protected worth the price? After watching many nurses have all sorts of problems with their career because they thought being innocent was a sufficient defense, my opinion is yes, the money is well spent.

    If you decide to consult or retain an attorney, do your homework first. Interview them and clients they've represented in the past. Contact your state nurses association for referrals and ask any nurses you (or friends) may know who have had a need for representation in the past.

    Good luck!

  12. by   nola1202
    we are in a career that has a very high level of responsibility. I am so glad electronic charting and e-mars have come along. I feel safer knowing when I scan the med, scan the bracelet, it's recorded. I will be likely be working in a facility that doesn't have e-charting or a pxyis and it scares me. I'll be extra super aware and careful. My ablility to work as a nurse rests on my documentation of my actions. This all seems so easy when I don't have 3 meds due, a pt who just fell down, family who need to talk to me, an admission and someone in pain now!!!!!
  13. by   lovingbnaRN
    I just shared my experience that is really similar to yours. It just doesn't seem right! I just hate not knowing!
  14. by   Devildog
    Start a written diary now. You need to know the exact method of dispensing. Is it thru a code word,number or biometric with a finger. Know the exact procedure for crediting back drugs which are not dispensed. Is it credited back on the floor or in the PHARMACY? If this goes any further you will need specifics for an attorney to help you.