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License Revoked for Ethical Reason

Nurse Beth   (1,218 Views 10 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I have a question. 7 years ago my nursing license was revoked because of an ethical issue. I took over house payments from a longtime family friend whom happened to be my patient.

Even though I technically didn't break any laws they said that I used my nursing privilege to gain access to the house even though my patient signed all the legitimate paperwork they claimed he wasn't in his right mind when he did this.

At the time I didn't have the money to hire an attorney because I was a single mom of 4 kids. so they revoked my license for 5 years. I was licensed as an LPN  in Oklahoma. My question is I am wanting to reinstate my license but I no longer live in Oklahoma I live in Texas. I have no idea where to begin. I know I will have to do a nurse refresher course and I am willing to do this but which BON agency do I need to go through? And what are the chances of me getting them reinstated? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Revoked,

You will be asked about your past as part of the application to reinstate your nursing license. You will be asked to show proof of your rehabilitation. It will be important to show the BON you are a different person now, you understand your mistake, and you would not take advantage of a patient again.

Honestly...and I mean this for your own good, the tone of your letter does not suggest that you have taken full responsibility.

Oklahoma and Texas are compact states but you will need a single state license before you are granted a multi-state license.

Your home state, or primary state of residence (PSOR)  is now Texas. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), if you have an encumbered license and change your PSOR, you may apply to your new PSOR  but initially are only eligible for a single-state (Texas) license. 

If you apply to Texas, and all goes well, you could be granted a single-state license in Texas. All states participating in compact licensure share disciplinary information in NURYSYS, a coordinated licensure system, and the action against your license is public information.

You really need an attorney. There's one on site, Lorie Brown, and she has a column,

Ask A Nurse Attorney. I hope you will contact her for her recommendations.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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You are going to have to find a way to show you have better judgment now than you did then. Your letter, though, doesn't sound like that is the case.

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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You have to keep in mind..there are lines that just can't be crossed. 

They made a movie of a famous case where a physician (true story) took care of a wealthy cancer patient.  The man was virtually abandoned by his adult children.  This physician showed him compassion in his final days.  He had a horrible event where he was having repeated spasms of pain that were extreme and unbearable.  They were coming every few minutes.  She had "managed his pain" not long after, he died.  He was well-known to be terminal and in his final days.

To her shock....she was left the bulk of his estate....he changed his will not long before he died.  She had no idea because the patient never told her.  His attorney did.

The state not only tried to charge her with killing the patient, but tried to take her license because they said she manipulated him.

She was completely exonerated.....but it just goes to show....even when the lines are legitimate...professional boards may see it differently.  

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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I had a terminal patient absolutely insistent that he wanted to leave me his coin collection. I refused it and encouraged him to leave it to his grandchildren. He was adamant. I was sad when he died, but grateful that he did not have opportunity to change his will before he passed away. It made me uncomfortable to say the least. I think you need to be asking yourself why this didn't make YOU uncomfortable. It really should have.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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6 hours ago, not.done.yet said:

 I think you need to be asking yourself why this didn't make YOU uncomfortable. It really should have.

THIS. Very well worded. 

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

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I won't comment on the particulars of your situation as that's a done deal at this point. The first step for you to be reinstated should pretty obviously be reaching out to your BON and asking them how best to proceed with the application. Every state has their own BON with their own requirements for licensing and their own set of rules and regulations. I am assuming your are looking at Texas, hopefully somebody more familiar with that state than I am can give you more advice on how to best start the process.

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On 7/29/2019 at 6:26 PM, Jory said:

You have to keep in mind..there are lines that just can't be crossed. 

They made a movie of a famous case where a physician (true story) took care of a wealthy cancer patient.  The man was virtually abandoned by his adult children.  This physician showed him compassion in his final days.  He had a horrible event where he was having repeated spasms of pain that were extreme and unbearable.  They were coming every few minutes.  She had "managed his pain" not long after, he died.  He was well-known to be terminal and in his final days.

To her shock....she was left the bulk of his estate....he changed his will not long before he died.  She had no idea because the patient never told her.  His attorney did.

The state not only tried to charge her with killing the patient, but tried to take her license because they said she manipulated him.

She was completely exonerated.....but it just goes to show....even when the lines are legitimate...professional boards may see it differently.  

I worked in home care for several years.  Patients become very attached to their nurses and aides, some of those patients we saw for years, to the point where they ask you to stay and eat, give you vegetables out of the garden or pick you some flowers.  It is a line that must be minded very carefully, we actually had a problem where an aide accepted a framed picture and when the patients family found out about it threw a fit and wanted it back.  Families can cause a lot of problems.  I think two adults should be able to give each other what they want but on the other hand you must take care that your position doesn't unduly influence the matter.  The director would not mind too much if you received something of very little value, like a few tomatoes if the patient pushed them on you.  Minor tokens of appreciation, like a basket of fruit delivered to the office to share with everyone was acceptable.  The teeter totter of customer satisfaction and not taking advantage is tricky to navigate.

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On 7/30/2019 at 6:59 AM, not.done.yet said:

I had a terminal patient absolutely insistent that he wanted to leave me his coin collection. I refused it and encouraged him to leave it to his grandchildren. He was adamant. I was sad when he died, but grateful that he did not have opportunity to change his will before he passed away. It made me uncomfortable to say the least. I think you need to be asking yourself why this didn't make YOU uncomfortable. It really should have.

Yes, I would have accepted gifts if they were not my patient.  Then on the other hand if they were not my patient then I may never have met them.  It's best when they are under your care and they want to give something of value just say no.  I don't need to be given something by a patient to feel their gratitude but it is nice when they want to.  I feel good about it either way, a hug and a sincere thank you gets me through the day.  I wouldn't feel right about accepting expensive gifts or doing something that may have the appearance of taking advantage.  Maybe she thought she was helping them, I don't know, but it is harder still when you know the person outside of your job and they are practically part of your family.  This is more prominent in small communities where families are more closely related..

 

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Contact the BON where you had your license and see what you need to do to get it reinstated.  I assume that they don't just hold it for 5 years and give it back without some kind of documentation.  What did they tell you at the time?  

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On 8/1/2019 at 9:20 AM, Forest2 said:

I worked in home care for several years.  Patients become very attached to their nurses and aides, some of those patients we saw for years, to the point where they ask you to stay and eat, give you vegetables out of the garden or pick you some flowers.  It is a line that must be minded very carefully, we actually had a problem where an aide accepted a framed picture and when the patients family found out about it threw a fit and wanted it back.  Families can cause a lot of problems.  I think two adults should be able to give each other what they want but on the other hand you must take care that your position doesn't unduly influence the matter.  The director would not mind too much if you received something of very little value, like a few tomatoes if the patient pushed them on you.  Minor tokens of appreciation, like a basket of fruit delivered to the office to share with everyone was acceptable.  The teeter totter of customer satisfaction and not taking advantage is tricky to navigate.

I think sometimes it is ok to accept a SMALL gift, like vegetables from the garden, a meal at the pt's home, or flowers.  I don't know, though.  Maybe it is best to just about never do that, or do it only with permission from the patient's next of kin.

Never take money or possessions, like the picture.

I had a terminally ill pt whose dog survived him.  Several of the pt's nurses offered the pt's sister a home for the dog.   She picked one nurse.  I don't know if money changed hands or what.

It's a tricky thing.  I think you should ALWAYS have permission from both the next of kin and your boss.  And don't accept too many small gifts, like flowers and vegetables.   Of course, how many is too many might be open to question.

There was an article a while ago, I don't remember where.  In the article, the wife of a home care patient expressed her gratitude for "Joe", the husband's home care nurse.  Joe was not only giving meds and doing bathing and the like, he was fixing the patient's car, taking him wherever he & the wife needed to go, repairing windows, plumbing, etc. around the house, gardening, turning mattresses for the wife, and many other things. 

I guess you can build only so many puzzles or model planes, talk only so much for so long in a home care setting with a very stable patient.  But it seemed excessive and inappropriate for the nurse to be doing all of that.   It probably made the time go quicker for all concerned and the nurse was a huge help to the patient and wife, probably to their adult kids, too, who likely were busy with jobs and their own kids.  Is that wrong?  

I guess those who have Secret Service or other publicly-funded protectors  get help carrying packages while shopping and so on.  Is it right for taxpayers to pay for all of that?   Ah, the deep questions of Life.

 

Edited by Kooky Korky

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