Here is my 2 year old nursing take on all of this.
1) read the BON reports on disciplinary action, very educational
2) don't do what these nurses did
3) be honest with your self, stay within your scope of practice
4) document all and any patient interactions, interventions, outcomes
5) The most important one (to me) do the best you can, if you do this the odds are you will not lose your liscense. Don't take shortcuts, give it your best, we're only human, not perfect, but if you strive to be you will do the best you can
Quote from TheCommuter
I often listen as certain coworkers, usually the nurses with zero to two years of experience, chime about the dangers to their hard-earned nursing licenses. “I’m putting my license on the line by dealing with that difficult patient!” “I forgot to give a vitamin B12 shot yesterday, so is my license at risk?” “The staffing at this facility is so bad that I think I’m going to lose my license if I continue working here!”
Personally, four of my former coworkers have had their nursing licensure revoked in recent years. To give newer nurses an idea of the various offenses that frequently lead to revocation of one’s nursing license, I will share the stories of these four nurses.
NOTE: Some readers might be concerned about privacy issues. To respect the privacy of these four individuals, I used pseudonyms to obscure their real names and will be purposely vague about the details that lead to action being taken against their licenses.
However, keep in mind that their real names, license numbers, last known addresses, last known workplaces, educational backgrounds, and exact circumstances that lead to loss of licensure all appear on the board of nursing’s (BON) website of the state where I reside since all of this is public information.
Story Number One – Samantha
Samantha, a registered nurse in her mid-thirties, had approximately three years of experience as an ER nurse at a popular acute care hospital when she accepted a job at the local nursing home where I was working at the time. Her employment with the hospital had been terminated because she had been caught stealing hydrocodone, tramadol, and other medications from the Pyxis. In addition, her urine tested positive for these drugs.
The unit manager at the hospital referred her license number to the state BON, and after an investigation was completed, Samantha was placed on a peer assistance program for impaired nurses. Other local hospitals did not want to deal with the restrictions surrounding her peer assistance order, so she took a job at the nursing home where she was not allowed to handle controlled substances or hold the key to the narcotic box. Her license was revoked one year later after she repeatedly tested positive for hydrocodone and failed to satisfactorily complete the peer assistance program.
Story Number Two – Leanne
Leanne, a registered nurse, was the director of nursing (DON) at a nursing home where I once worked. After an extremely dismal state survey that resulted in multiple immediate jeopardy citations, she was escorted out of the facility by federal surveyors. Her license number was referred to the state board of nursing for falsifying documents, fabricating information, and failing to care plan serious issues. Her license was revoked by default because she failed to appear to the BON hearing where the formal charges filed against her would have been discussed if she had been present.
Story Number Three – Melissa
Melissa, a licensed vocational nurse in her late twenties, tested positive for prescription narcotics. She was employed on the busy rehab unit of a local nursing home, and management noticed that her behavior became increasingly bizarre over her three years of working there. Soon after the assistant director of nursing referred Melissa’s license number to the BON, she ended up at a local psychiatric hospital after having attempted suicide. Her license was revoked by default because she failed to appear to the BON hearing where her case would have been discussed if she had been present.
Story Number Four – Betsy
Betsy, a licensed vocational nurse in her late twenties, was caught diverting massive amounts of hydrocodone and alprazolam (Xanax) from the nursing home where she worked. The pharmacy calculated that she diverted almost $10,000 worth of prescription drugs over a 12-month period. Her license number was referred to the state BON for diversion and defrauding the facility and patients of the cost of the medications. Her license was revoked by default because she failed to appear to the BON hearing where her case was to be discussed if she had shown up.