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Nurse Fights for License After Sex With Dying Patient

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eriksoln has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary.

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eriksoln, i was refering to former president Clinton who used power and influence ON THE JOB to seduce a vulnerable person without being removed from his office. young people see such examples all the time and it shapes their ideas of right and wrong... remember that i am not defending her; i just think she may be reformable. if she deserves the punishment she received then every nurse who has dirverted meds surely needs a twenty year break, too.

I don't see the connection between this and Clinton. As far as I know, w/e her name was is still alive. She was not actively dying while she was talked into........it.

As far as the nurses who use/divert drugs goes: Couldn't agree more. Too many second/third/fourth chances given to them too. Way too many.

Huge problem in our field and, like I said, certain things are just simply "One time and you are out." That too is one of them. They cause unnecessary stresses to everyone involved (their patients, their employer, the nursing board, their co-workers). I see no benefit to allowing them access to doing the same thing again.

Once a user............always a loser.

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If she wasn't a nurse - she would have just been his mistress - but because she is a nurse, now the DPR pulls her license....the DPR is way overstepping their bounds...can you say police state, anyone?

Hyperbole, much?:rolleyes:

Nah, no police state, merely a licensing board revoking the license of a professional who engaged in behavior which is specifically prohibited in its rules for holding said license. The BON is acting within its scope-to award or to pull licenses.

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oopsimout has 2 years experience and specializes in Chronic Disease.

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How hard is this? She was his NURSE!! She violated the Nurse practice act. As a hospice nurse your patient includes the family too. Her actions may not have been the direct cause of death but her actions did harm her patients (family included). She willfully and knowingly committed an act that in most states is still on the books as illegal. I don't care if he was dying or not. He was her patient. You DO NOT sleep with your patients!! She obviously lacks judgement and morals. She does not deserve to have her license back period.

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Consenting adults, away from the work place, he was A&O. I have heard of other nurses marrying people they originaly met as a patient. whats the problem? Obviously those people were attracted and flirting while still in a patient/provider relationship. should they lose their license for ever? Whats the big deal with this case? It doesn't say she raped him while he was drugged or anything along those lines.

You can steal a patient's narcotics, neglect them, get stupid drunk and hurt someone in a car wreck and not lose your license for 20 years. But dont dare have consenting sex because because they won't even allow you the chance to "rehabilitate" yourself. They just end your career. I used to live in that area of Oklahoma and have a pretty good idea as to the real reason they were so harsh on her. 20 years is nonsense.

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Consenting adults, away from the work place, he was A&O. I have heard of other nurses marrying people they originaly met as a patient. whats the problem? Obviously those people were attracted and flirting while still in a patient/provider relationship. should they lose their license for ever? Whats the big deal with this case? It doesn't say she raped him while he was drugged or anything along those lines.

You can steal a patient's narcotics, neglect them, get stupid drunk and hurt someone in a car wreck and not lose your license for 20 years. But dont dare have consenting sex because because they won't even allow you the chance to "rehabilitate" yourself. They just end your career. I used to live in that area of Oklahoma and have a pretty good idea as to the real reason they were so harsh on her. 20 years is nonsense.

nursenow,

Please explain how having sex in the patient's home (where she worked as a hospice nurse) was "away from the work place?!"

What part of the Oklahoma Practice Act which states that nurses may NOT have sex with patients under their care (and yes, hospice nursing is an ongoing assignment, not a 9-5 obligation) do you not understand?

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oopsimout has 2 years experience and specializes in Chronic Disease.

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Again, I state, he was her patient. Not her former patient. Her current patient. I don't care if they did it at the McDonalds down the street. She was still assigned as his hospice nurse and she violated the nurse practice act. Would it be different if he were her former patient? I don't know. And that isn't the arguement. That is moot. He was her patient!!!:uhoh3:

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here's an interesting wrinkle in this story:

the attorney defending ms. van brunt practiced as an rn from 1991 to 2003. she still holds a valid rn license in oklahoma.

she is required to mount a vigorous defense on behalf of her client, but i'm sure she knows deep down that there is no excuse for ms. van brunt's behavior.

consenting adults, away from the work place, he was a&o. i have heard of other nurses marrying people they originaly met as a patient. whats the problem? obviously those people were attracted and flirting while still in a patient/provider relationship. should they lose their license for ever? whats the big deal with this case? it doesn't say she raped him while he was drugged or anything along those lines.

consent is a debatable issue when you have someone who is medically and emotionally fragile. it is also moot when the nurse practice act for the state prohibits this kind of fraternization.

the abuse took place in the patient's home, and the board says it has sufficient evidence to show that it happened during working hours as well as afterward. again, this is moot because it shouldn't have happened at all. see the following quote.

"the nurse is the professional in this situation. it is the responsibility of the professional to say no to the vulnerable patient," the board's attorney told the judge. "the rules ... do not mean simply while you are on shift; they mean during the entire time ... you are assigned to the care of that patient, whether that is six days in the hospital or six months in hospice care or six years in a nursing home."

you say he was a x o, but he was very likely depressed and a little desperate, considering his terminal diagnosis. not a level playing field by a long shot.

as for other people who have had a practitioner/patient relationship that developed into something personal, they took a chance that could have turned around to bite them badly. if it didn't, they were fortunate. but the fact that it works out for some doesn't make it the wise thing to do. and if things turn ugly, the nurse had better be prepared to deal with the consequences. that's what's happening here.

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

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Wow, not only sex with a patient, but a married one at that!!! Personally I don't think 20 years revocation of her license is appropriate at all...how about permanent revocation? I don't know if there is any criminal precedent but I would also think charges of taking advantage of a vulnerable adult might apply as well.

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

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up front: i don't condone this nurse's behavior at all. it was unprofessional and boundaries were violated.

however, some things in the article raise some questions in my mind. the patient's wife says she suspected her husband was having an affair with the nurse, and he denied it in february. (but, we don't know when the wife suspected the affair.) yet, the wife asked the nurse to stay overnight - twice -with the patient while she was having a sleep studies in january. (is that even an appropriate request?) the nurse tells him she is pregnant by another man on march 2nd. he attempts suicide in her presence on march 4th. the patient tells the social worker on march 5th that he has "messed up everything". the wife finds "graphic exchanges" on the patient's computer after his suicide attempt, therefore, between march 4th and march 9th. on march 9th, the patient signs a typed statement stating that the nurse and he had inappropriate contact several times while she was on duty. do we know his state of mind when he signed this? he said he was seduced - but where did this statement come from? the patient is dead, so how do we know he said this, or did his wife say that he said this? (we can't tell from the article). do we know anything about this man's past? did he seduce the nurse? (he was a salesman, so probably was pretty good at schmoozing. did it boost his ego and his self esteem as a man to be able to find he was still attractive to a younger woman? how do we know he didn't cheat on his wife before he was diagnosed as terminally ill, and maybe she was finally, finally getting revenge and she wasn't going to let him get away with it "one last time"? ("she told the board she felt "horrible, betrayed." she testified, "after all of the things that i had been doing to take care of him and that this is what happened." ")perhaps the patient was feeling guilty about having the affair "found out" and told the social worker "what a fool i have been. i have messed up everything". we only see one side of the story, and the man, who could have been the biggest scum bag on earth, comes off as the poor dying, unsuspecting, abused, used patient.

my point here is that the article is written so as to present this in the worst possible light (granted, there is no "good side" to this situation). but i do feel we as nurses, do need to be a bit more empathetic on some level. i think we can see that she was trying to end the affair by telling his she was pregnant by someone else. so, somewhere in her brain, she knew this was wrong, but let things go way too far, but did a really stink job of it.

she didn't deny the affair happened; i believe she feels remorse over the situation but i think not allowing someone to practice for 20 years is a bit much. i think she may have been very naive, and maybe too trusting, loving and caring for her own good - and was seduced. she has probably learned a lesson. was there anyone around this nurse could talk to? did she have friends or co-workers that she could have talked to? an employee assistance program she could have turned to? how much experience (and what kind) did she have when she got into hospice nursing? did any of her co-workers or supervisors have an inkling something was amiss with this relationship? (surely someone else made a visit or two between november and march when it all turned to custard.) if the wife had concerns about an inappropriate relationship in february - why didn't she contact the hospice company then and ask for a different nurse? this whole situation took place in oklahoma, but the article states the patient died in may in illinois, (where was the dedicated, caring wife? the article doesn't say) and the wife moved to nebraska after his death. the wife "indicated" he starved himself to death, and this article is written to suggest this was somehow the nurse's fault, as well. would starving to death in the face of a terminal illness such as this patient faced, be terribly uncommon? he had been told months earlier, before this nurse began caring for him (in november of 2009) that he had six months or less to live, and he died in may (about 6 months after she started caring for him) so he lived a bit beyond his estimated time frame, so she didn't lessen his life in any way. (and perhaps the affair offered some excitement that kept him alive longer). and, just weeks before his death, he and his wife filed a negligence lawsuit against the hospice company (which was dropped - why?)

there is so much that isn't in this article, so many things we really don't know about the whole case and the background. there is a lot of sensationalism going on. i guess i've been around awhile and just want to hear the whole story rather than just one view of it before deciding the degree of guilt. obviously, the nurse overstepped professional bounds, which can't be excused. (then again, maybe that's what the board decided when they suspended her license for 20 years and fined her. and what is the difference between having a license revoked and having it suspended for 20 years? wouldn't someone move on and go into another profession or line of work in the mean time?) i think it would have been interesting to hear some of the nurse's defense, and hear what her side of things may have been.

she may have been seduced by her horrible excuse for a person patient? really??? and the money-grubbing widow has the nerve to place blame on the nurse and the agency? really???? forget being a lawyer as another responder to your post mentioned, you should be a screen writer! sounds like a plot for a lifetime movie or grey's anatomy to me.

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I believe that the commission of a sexual act (consentual or not) upon a current patient is unethical, classless, and a demonstration of poor judgment on the nurse's part. This behavior reflects negatively on our trusted discipline. Poor judgement and low morals are also apparent in her having an affair with 1)a patient who is married, and 2) at least one other person (the alledged impregnator) at the same time. I strongly beleive that measures should be taken to prevent copy cat actions and maintain our good name. On the other hand, I do not think that the NPA, or any other entity or person has the right to forbid nurses to date patients whom they cared for in the past.

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It deeply disturbs me to read some of the defenses of this woman. And from people within our own profession!

This is clearly a gross violation of our professional ethics. There is no excusing or defending it. I'm not sure if some people are missing the point here because they truly don't understand nursing ethics or ethics in general or that they don't WANT to. Either way, it's disappointing and shaming.

There are professions where you can sleep with your clients. This isn't one of them.

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Has anybody read comments about this on nonnursing sites? Bunch of perverts who think that nurses should contract with patients for sex. That's what they think of us, folks, that we are glorified prostitutes!

Because some ignorant fools may see nurses as prostitutes is all the more reason for us to more strictly adhere to our ethics and morals, not abandon them altogether.

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