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Does our BON System Need to be Reformed?

Nurses Article   (5,284 Views | 22 Replies | 644 Words)

Emergent has 25 years experience .

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Sometimes careers are ended with false allegations of vengeful coworkers or irrational families or patients, with no fair trial or court of appeals. You are reading page 2 of Does our BON System Need to be Reformed?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Asystole RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

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But the BON doesn't exist to prosecute crime. It exists to regulate and enforce standards of nursing practice and to ensure that nurses are competent while on the job. Just because you may make questionable decisions off the job does not make you an incompetent nurse. This is tacitly acknowledged by BONs who do not sanction or monitor nurses who get speeding tickets although speeding is just as illegal as smoking pot.

And while illegal is illegal, the judicial system does acknowledge that there are magnitudes of illegal behavior (misdemeanors, felonies) and that not all illegal actions warrant the same punishment. This is not done very well by BONs.

What? Kidding right?

A fundamental core aspect of most BONs is that they have their own violation classification system different than the criminal justice system.

For example, violations which are sexual in nature or involve theft are scrutinized much more severely than substance abuse.

The BON is not the criminal justice system and has different rules and a different emphasis.

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Asystole RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

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Everyone likes to complain about the system but very few offer solutions.

Furthermore, cite the state which you have had an issue with because California's Board of Registered Nursing acts under very different rules from the Arizona Board of Nursing.

Not all BONs are the same, in fact they are all VERY different.

You want faster investigations? BON wants faster investigations. So which fund would you like money pulled from to increase the size of the BON? Police, fire, transportation?

The rules by which the BON operates are public information, many written in law. What rules do you not like?

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dirtyhippiegirl has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage.

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The BON is not the criminal justice system and has different rules and a different emphasis.

Well, that is ultimately the point I was trying to make.

Like you said in another post, every BON is autonomous so I don't know if there is necessarily one "core principle" -- but I'm not certain if how heavily one is scrutinized has any bearing on the matter, except in cases where you are looking at a permanently revoked license, when you're in a state where everything becomes a matter of public record and all action taken to your license becomes permanently publically attached to your license.

How a BON handles substance abuse or questions of substance abuse being another issue. I obsessively read online transcripts of numerous state BON dealings with these issues while I couldn't work because I was getting treatment for alcoholism -- so I feel comfortable saying that in many states, SA is often "treated" through a significantly flatter punishment system that assumes a DUI is the same as diverting fentanyl is the same as taking an expired opiate rx for back pain.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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Each state has their own BON with their own sets of of rules and regulations and policies and procedures for enforcing those rules and regulations. I don't see that changing. What I would like to see implemented is a national database of licensing discipline issues that would show up on a caregiver background check.

I live in a border town, a nurse I used to work with had his license revoked in the state just across the border and was hired without incident. I know my employer conducts reasonably thorough background checks, we even have our background checks performed every three years while employed and not just pre-employment. This nurse despite having a nursing license revoked only 10 miles away did not have any criminal charges that precluded employment. Eventually a somebody who knew somebody and said something chain got started got some nurse checking his license looking into his history on the bordering state's BON website.

I don't have any inside knowledge of hiring or firing decisions where I work, but it wasn't long after word got out that he was let go, on supposedly unrelated terms. I am thinking though that if his license revocation in another state would have shown up on a caregiver background check he wouldn't have been hired in the first place.

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The RN, who was drunk, and driving her car, while drinking wine, that smashed into my aunt and killed her, still has her license. She has suffered no consequences for her actions regarding her RN license. I looked her up just the other day, her license is still valid and nothing about suspension. My aunt was killed by this nurse, one year ago!

Perhaps they haven't been given that information. Have you reported her to the board? You can do that, you know. Maybe that will speed things up a bit.

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If you ask how this is pertinent to the the issue at hand concerning the reformation of BONs throughout the country, one has only to look at how the BONs instead of being independent entities are merely subservient pawns to the will of their state legislatures whether they act in Nursing's best interests or not.

The BONs' reason for being is not to act in "Nursing's best interest." They exist for the benefit, safety, and best interests of the general public.

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realnursealso/LPN has 34 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Peds Homecare.

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I am retired, and my license is inactive, so I had no qualms about writing my BON. I sent them the articles from the paper that told what she had done. I copied and pasted her name and licensing info from the webpage. I told them that for 34 years I had followed the rules and did so because I valued my profession. I checked her the other day, she still has her license. My aunt has now been dead a year, still nothing. She was sentenced to the county jail, was fined and ordered to do community service, why she got off so easily, I don't know, but why does she still have her license, I just don't get it.

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CraigB-RN has 40 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics.

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Perhaps they haven't been given that information. Have you reported her to the board? You can do that, you know. Maybe that will speed things up a bit.

Actually the question is was she convicted of any crime. If she wasn't conviceted, there really isn't much the BON can do. Now if she was convicted, plead guilty or whatever she is obilgated to report in most cases. If she didn't report to the BON then they have grounds for action.

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CraigB-RN has 40 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics.

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Opps one more post I missed.

It's not the BON it's the legeslation that governs the BON. Depending on what she was actually convicted of, they might not have much leway. If she went to the county jail, she didn't get state time and there is a good chance she pleaded to a misdomeaner.

The nurse practice act, which is a document that is a legeslated document, controls what and how crimainal complaints are grounds for denyine or revoking liscense.

In many cases it's not the BON it'self, it's the law they operate under.

Look at your practice act. IF you think there needs to be changes, then contact your legeslature and recomend changes, get other nurses involved.

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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Please accept my condolences on the loss of your aunt. It is obvious that you cared very much for her.

But it seems to me that you're mixing apples and oranges here. The nurse was a civilian whose civilian poor judgment caused your aunt's death, not her nursing care skills. She exercised poor personal, civilian decision making when she opted to drink & drive. She didn't make a med dose miscalculation. Nor did she miss the early S&S of some disease process. She didn't blow an IV stick.

You seem to be holding her to a higher standard of decision making just because she's a nurse. But she was a civilian when she was driving that car. Would you be thinking the same way if she had been a minister's wife? And not knowing more about the nurse, I would consider any history of D/A issues that impaired her judgment. That's not a freebie pass for her. But professionals are not exempt from D/A dependency.

JMHO, but the nurse has a personal life and a professional one. And the penalty for her poor judgment was rendered for her personal stupidity, not her career. Yes, I don't support her drinking & driving and I hope she'll remember what she did every day of her life.

But her job doesn't influence the legal decisions made. (Now unless she was drinking ON THE JOB and decided to drive her car when she left work ... yes, that would be a different story).

She wasn't STUPID in the performance of her job, so her license wasn't jeopardized.

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Please accept my condolences on the loss of your aunt. It is obvious that you cared very much for her.

But it seems to me that you're mixing apples and oranges here. The nurse was a civilian whose civilian poor judgment caused your aunt's death, not her nursing care skills. She exercised poor personal, civilian decision making when she opted to drink & drive. She didn't make a med dose miscalculation. Nor did she miss the early S&S of some disease process. She didn't blow an IV stick.

You seem to be holding her to a higher standard of decision making just because she's a nurse. But she was a civilian when she was driving that car. Would you be thinking the same way if she had been a minister's wife? And not knowing more about the nurse, I would consider any history of D/A issues that impaired her judgment. That's not a freebie pass for her. But professionals are not exempt from D/A dependency.

JMHO, but the nurse has a personal life and a professional one. And the penalty for her poor judgment was rendered for her personal stupidity, not her career. Yes, I don't support her drinking & driving and I hope she'll remember what she did every day of her life.

But her job doesn't influence the legal decisions made. (Now unless she was drinking ON THE JOB and decided to drive her car when she left work ... yes, that would be a different story).

She wasn't STUPID in the performance of her job, so her license wasn't jeopardized.

Nurses most certainly have lost their licenses due to criminal actions that have nothing to do with nursing. The nurse in question most certainly could find herself facing discipline related to that DUI/manslaughter if she is convicted of that crime and it is reported to her BON. That is why BONs ask about past convictions and do background checks.

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