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 seemed like the board was very biased against anyone with legal representation, and like their rulings were very arbitrary.
The first case we heard was a new RN who had recieved a DUI 2yrs prior to starting nursing school. It was a misdemeanor and she had fully completed her sentence before nursing school. The BON put her on 6mo of drug/ETOH testing when she earned her license. So she had to call daily to find out if it were her day to test. Each of the first 4mo she was in full compliance and had two drug tests each month, all negative. On the fifth month she tested twice, the last time on a Friday. It was the last week of the month. Over that weekend she moved, she was 8mo pg, and that Mon. she forgot to place her call into the testing system. As soon as she realized (with a couple minutes of it shutting down) she called those she was working with at the BON, but it was too late. She was given a "positive" drug test even though her number didn't necessarily come up. Her argument was that she was under the impression that she had to take two per month, and that she just completely forgot but thought she was fine since she'd already done two clean tests that month.
The BON suspended her license for 3mo, gave her a $1000 fine, and reinstituted 6mo of drug/ETOH testing.
The next case was an LPN who worked at a hospital and told the RN that pt x needed his demerol from the pyxis and the RN retrieved it for her. The following day the same thing happened except shortly afterward the LPN started acting intoxicated, making odd statements, and threw up. She tested pos. for demerol. Turns out there was no order for demerol at all.
The BON did not suspend her license, didn't fine her, nothing. She got put into PEER assistance. That's it.
To me it was just shocking that a nurse could lie to the RN to get the drugs, and take them ON HER SHIFT, clearly putting pts in real harms way and she just got put into PEER, and this other nurse has not had a single instance r/t drug/ETOH use/abuse as a nurse, or even in the couple years leading up to her licensure and she actually got a suspension with a big fine.
Do you think it was because she was an RN and the second was an LPN? 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?
May 24, '09
I do find that a bit unfair. For cryin't out loud, the DUI happened two years ago.
Last edit by RN1982 on May 24, '09