really disappointed after my trip to the BON - page 2

We had our nursing school's "field trip" to the BON this week. I have to say it was so disappointing. I went in with the idea in my head that it would be fair and professional, but in fact it just... Read More

  1. by   elkpark
    Quote from libnat
    don't think it should be any of the bons business if you got a dui or any other crimes that is not related or affects your work as a nurse.
    there was a lengthy thread about this recently elsewhere on the site. this is the difference between entering a licensed profession and working at a "regular" job -- you have a larger responsibility to the public, and, if you display poor judgment and potentially dangerous behavior in settings outside of work, that is considered "fair game" by your licensing board.

    there was a situation in my area where one of the local physicians entered into an affair with one of his office employees -- she eventually broke up with him and took up with someone else in the next county, and there were a few incidents where the doc showed up at the new boyfriend's house (where she was), banging on the door, pleading for her to come back to him, etc., and firing a gun into the air. nobody suggested anything about his medical practice being impaired or deficient, but he wound up in serious trouble with the state medical board (in addition to the police!) -- because he was showing such alarmingly poor judgment entirely outside of "work". (i never did hear how the situation finally turned out.)

    if somebody doesn't like being held to this level of accountability, there are lots of other occupations one can pursue. these are "the rules of the game" for licensed professions.
  2. by   Vito Andolini
    Quote from sunray12
    the ruling on case 1 seems a little harsh. but in reality life is harsh like that and you can miss the mark by just one small thing. e.g., you can fail an exam by one point (or less). it is possible to go into default on a loan by paying ten minutes too late. so that's life and the rn has to accept that and be more diligent going forward if she wants to keep her license. how harsh life is often depends on who is involved. we can all probably cite cases of people who get the book thrown at them while others, for greater offenses, get apologies for causing them to have to come to court. it all depends on who you know and who's is favor and who's not. that's what i see happening, anyway. who knows, maybe gender or race or perceived attitude or perceived religion entered into it. or maybe who knows what? but do keep in mind that we do not know all of the reasoning, do not have all of the information the bon had. maybe they were actually merciful to the rn.

    imo case 2 sounds like a slap on the wrist. stealing drugs and using on the job is a big deal from the patients' point of view. i'm surprised at how many nurses don't seem to get this. there's a small chance that peer assistance might ensure that she doesn't do it again but we all know this is not likely (how many people are able to give up addictions because of a little on the job peer counseling??). it sounds to me like the system may actually be encouraging the behavior since it has little interest in nipping it in the bud.
    it's all very interesting. very scary.
  3. by   Vito Andolini
    Quote from talaxandra
    I have really mixed feelings about the first case. I can certainly see the side that addicts tend to be manipulative etc, but it still seems really harsh.

    I have no doubt about the second case - abusing drugs while on duty, regardless of the source, is not okay. Stealing drugs from work, even if they weren't actually diverted from a patient, is also significant.

    I'm also surprised that the RN who gave the LPN the narcotic did so without seeing the order. Man, that's just asking for trouble,
    Yes, I was thinking that the RN must always see the order, to protect herself from stuff like this. Then, of course, she'll be seen as unpopular, suspicious, no fun, too uptight. But too bad. One's own license comes first.
  4. by   TessaMae
    I wonder if nurse #1 had apologized and admitted she made a mistake by forgetting to call - since she was aware that these were the terms - would the BON had ruled differently?
  5. by   BigBee48
    I have seen cases where, like in any other profession, there have been examples made of nurses, when the new company took over the SNAP(State Nurses Assistance Program). I personally watched a nurse (RN) who had no previous history of any kind, get ran through the mill for something that she was acused of but proved to just be an acusation. I was terrified to what extent the rep from the AG's office was ready to go. This nurse even had her Boss with her to testify on her behalf. And this nurse is still trying to prove to them they went to far. Like April&em, I was very disappointed in their approach, I currently work in law enforcement and my husband has for over 20yrs, he said it sounded like a "goat rodeo" in that there were all kinds of acusations being made by the BON and the AG's office rep.
  6. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from april&em
    It just seemed like the rulings were completely arbitrary and so unequal I was honestly really disappointed because I expected the board to be tough, and after the first case I thought "wow, they really are tough" but I expected them to be tough on everybody. It seemed like if you tried to make a case, your penalty was very harsh, but if you just worked out a deal, you got off easier. Some people seemed to get off with a slap on the wrist, and others more harsh, but they were all lighter than the cases that were fought by the nurses. But what if you actually feel the charges by the BON are unfounded? You just take a deal anyway?
    Welcome to the "dark side." You are LUCKY to have seen the workings of your BON as a non-involved party. Many folks go through nursing school, get their license, and luckily have no unpleasant interactions with their BON. Some unfortunates end up doing something (knowingly or unknowingly), and are practically executed by the BON. Common sense is not the law.

    Pretty much like law enforcement. Mr. Policeman & Mr. Prostituting Attorney are not your friend. They are a threat to your personal freedom & livelihood, and should be managed accordingly.

    If you try to "work a deal" on an individual basis with your BON, you may be setting yourself up for a world of hurt. The average citizen or licensed professional has NO idea of the ramifications of any Consent Agreement they may sign, or legal processes they're forced into. I would recommend that anybody threatened by "the system" (be it our country's cryptic, capriciously enforced legal system or your state's BON) consult an attorney at a bare minimum, and strongly considering retaining an attorney experienced in the legal area involved. By this, I mean don't hire your usual "family" lawyer (skilled in drawing up wills or contracts) to handle your defense before the BON or the local court system. To do otherwise leaves you wide open. The playing field is NOT level.
  7. by   JDCitizen
    Here in Georgia you pay your taxes as a citizen and pay your license fees as a professional. The BON here is to protect the public not support the nurses. That was taught to us day one in school.
    -
    "...they are first and foremost bureaucracies.."
  8. by   2BSure
    Quote from Vito Andolini
    Yes, I was thinking that the RN must always see the order, to protect herself from stuff like this. Then, of course, she'll be seen as unpopular, suspicious, no fun, too uptight. But too bad. One's own license comes first.
    No kidding about the license. She doesn't have to be seen as suspicious. All you have to do is say "Sure! Meet me at the <insert location of secured narcotics> with the order."

    This morning, for the first time ever, I read a full set of minutes from our BON. OMG! I couldn't believe the numbers of people they are monitoring. Not only that but I know two of them! It is not funny.

    About the whole DUI thing...I happen to think that a DUI is a big warning sign of an alcohol problem. I AM NOT saying that DUI=alcoholic but it can be one of the first outward signs.

    The woman who messed up her testing? Sucks to be her, but the dog ate her homework. As for the drugs on duty? I would have been so much more harsh with her. Plus quite honestly what about the RN who did not see the order?
  9. by   picurn10
    Quote from tero80
    I wonder if nurse #1 had apologized and admitted she made a mistake by forgetting to call - since she was aware that these were the terms - would the BON had ruled differently?
    She did actually. Both she and her lawyer made the point that she messed up.

    My problem was that the DUI was in June of '04, so we're talking almost 5yr ago. It was also more than 2yrs before she started nursing school. I would expect that had she gotten the DUI as a nurse, she should be held to a higher standard because we just do, but IMO it was very likely that she messed up and got her life together in these past 5yrs.
    I don't think it's right of the BON to assume she has an alcohol problem if it was a one time offence, five years prior, and 2yrs before nursing school. I feel like she paid her debt to society, and people should be allowed to prove themselves to have changed. I know friends who've had two glasses of wine and gotten a DUI. It's not excusing it, but it doesn't necessarily mean she has a drug/ETOH problem.

    Again, I just felt like if they were going to "tow the line" and be very strict, then the nurse who put pts lives in very real danger by using on the job should have had a much harsher penalty.
  10. by   azhiker96
    It might help to look up the details of the PEER program. I suspect that is your state's program for drug/etoh abusing nurses. It probably includes treatment and monitoring. The nurse who took the demerol will end up calling in for random testing just like the DUI RN.
  11. by   Sunflowerinsc
    Quote from libnat
    don't think it should be any of the bons business if you got a dui or any other crimes that is not related or affects your work as a nurse.
    don't you think "any other crimes" would affect not only a nurse but any other career ?
    oh, i see that you are 19 so never mind.
    but good luck in whatever you do.
  12. by   azhiker96
    Quote from libnat
    don't think it should be any of the bons business if you got a dui or any other crimes that is not related or affects your work as a nurse.
    unfortunately addiction does affect work as a nurse and bons do not differentiate between the substances abused (although caffeine and nicotine get passes). dui is seen as an indicator or addiction. it may seem draconian but drug and alcohol addiction are treated alike. i'm glad that most if not all states have programs for nurses so that they can get treatment, keep their license, and continue to work if they are able to stay clean.


    sunflowerinsc, i don't think it's fair to dismiss someone's ideas based on their age. that shuts down discussion. all of us have things we can learn.
  13. by   Multicollinearity
    What I find interesting is how some other boards for other professional licenses outside of health care tend to be more strict. For example, I have an insurance license. In my state, you cannot get an insurance license if you've ever had a felony in you entire life, no matter how old. However, in this same state, our BON will issue nursing licenses, in most intances, as long as the applicants' felony conviction(s) are over five years old.

    Also, in my state, you cannot get a realtor's license if you have had a DUI. The conflict is obvious - realtors drive clients around. There's no provision for testing or second chances. Just license declined or revoked.

    Some might want to consider that our BONs may be more leniant than we realize.

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