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Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

Medical Legal Consultant

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Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD has 30 years experience and specializes in Medical Legal Consultant.

Show Me The MoneyLorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JD has a big heart for nurses. Lorie's life journey has led her from Nursing to Law and now has almost 30 years of experience empowering nurses just like you and representing over 500 nurses before the licensing Boards. Check out her website empowerednurses.org and take the Empowered Nurses Simple Challenge. You may be asking yourself. Should I be worried about losing my license? How do I make sure my rights are protected? What happens if I got called before the Board? If you've had questions like these as nurse, you've come to the right place. Your concerns are valid and should be heard and addressed. 

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Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD's Latest Activity

  1. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Stayed suspension

    The best defense is a strong offense. I would recommend hiring an attorney. You can find a nurse attorney at TAANA.org. The attorney needs to see the evidence against you to make sure the state can prove their case. Just agreeing to something without seeing the evidence is like pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit.
  2. Hello there Lorie and thanks for reading this, I was drug tested at work, the only thing that I was positive for was my prescribed Clonazepam. However, I know benzos are abused (I truly didn’t abuse mine), so I kind of expected the BON to look into this. They did and now I have to do an eval. I’m worried about disclosing my psych history even though I’ve been going to therapy since before this “incident.” I have a history of a voluntary hospitalization from bad PTSD from an abusive relationship and anxiety since my last license renewal. I now have to sign over my mental health records. My work has never been affected by my PTSD or anxiety. If anything, it takes my mind off of it. I have plenty of evidence to show the board that I am a great nurse. Also, I have other healthy coping skills too; exercise, yoga, etc. I am afraid that reaching out for help is what will screw me in the end. My attorney was very optimistic until I disclosed my mental health information to him. I’m in grad school too and I’m afraid that this will ruin school for me if they decide to do something to my license. Is disclosing a mental health record that awful of a thing to do? In this case, I’m being forced to. However, was me reaching out the thing that will mark my license forever? Dear Mental Health Disclosure, I am so sorry this is happening. I suggest you contact an attorney who works in the area of professional licensing defense to assist you. You can find one at TAANA.org. They can help you with the ramifications of disclosing this information. I wish you the best. Lorie
  3. Hello Lorie, Without going into too much detail, my patient declined the AM shift prior leading up to PM shift. So I was handed off a patient in decline and it was discovered on my shift. I was not able to conduct a full neuro assessment during AM meds. They put the PM shift and me on admin leave pending an investigation. I was told there would be a non-punitive meeting to discuss improvements, but nobody has mentioned a day for this. The final decision could be counseling, write up, PIP, termination. I guess what I’m asking is, are they basically choosing who to terminate? Is it still possible at this point they are going to give us each a plan to follow, and return us to the floor? And since I wasn’t even there when incident occurred, yet I was there during discovery, would I usually be the person to blame? Is admin leave a way to basically terminate you slowly? I’ve worked for this corporation 2.5 years, no write-ups. Thank you Dear Placed on Administrative Leave, Thanks so much for reaching out to me. I suggest you contact an employment law attorney in your state to assist you with this matter. Wishing you the best, Lorie
  4. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Board of Nursing Complaint

    Definitely get a lawyer. Do not respond yourself. Nurses tend to overshare which could get them in more trouble. Attorneys are trained on how best to respond and protect you. I suggest finding a nurse attorney at TAANA.org. You can also check out my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=847brKaTcw8
  5. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Fired for False Workplace Violence Accusation - Feeling Humiliated and Shamed

    I am sorry this is happening. As nurses, our identity is tied to our jobs. When things change, it affects who we believe we are. The truth is you are a good nurse who got trapped in a bad situation. Whenever there is a he said, she said, the hospital will err on safety. There is such a huge nursing shortage right now, healthcare really needs good nurses so keep looking. You will find the right place for you that will be even better. So here is the legal side. Battery is considered an unwanted touching. So be careful and ask permission anytime you want to touch somebody. Patients sign a consent but coworkers do not.
  6. I was surprised when the Nursing Board initially took no action. This is a serious med error and a violation of the nurse practice act. I don't think it is right to tell someone they are not filing charges and then to do it later. The criminal charges are not appropriate. However, the proper disposition of this matter is with the nursing board and a medical malpractice case if the family chooses to proceed with one.
  7. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    When Police and Nurses Disagree Over Blood Draw Consent - Know What to Do

    When a patient comes in unconscious, then there is an emergency consent doctrine which means patients can be treated in an emergency situation. That does not mean they can do things which are not medically necessary. When a subpoena is issued, the patient can move to quash the subpoena in court but that means they will need to hire an attorney quickly and ask for a temporary restraining order but you have to show the harm of having the blood drawn is great so I think it would be tough to pass that hurdle. When a patient comes in unconscious, then there is an emergency consent doctrine which means patients can be treated in an emergency situation. That does not mean they can do things which are not medically necessary. When a subpoena is issued, the patient can move to quash the subpoena in court but that means they will need to hire an attorney quickly and ask for a temporary restraining order but you have to show the harm of having the blood drawn is great so I think it would be tough to pass that hurdle.
  8. You may recall the July 2017 case of Alex Wubbels, a Salt Lake City nurse who was arrested for refusing a police officer’s command to draw blood from a comatose auto accident victim without a physician’s order or warrant. The uproar from the incident not only led to a change in the Salt Lake Police policies regarding blood draws but in a Utah law specifically requiring warrants be obtained before getting such draws in the future. Recently in Texas, Jonathan Moore, with 5 prior DWI convictions and off probation for only 5 days, was involved in an accident resulting in the deaths of a former Dallas Councilwoman and her daughter. At the scene, police who stopped Mr. Moore were concerned that he had been drinking. However, despite the breathalyzer test showing an alcohol level of 0.00, Moore proceeded to fail all 6 field sobriety tests administered to him. Moore was taken to the hospital where police officers asked the nurse to draw his blood for a drug screen. She refused stating she could not withdraw blood without patient consent and, because Moore supposedly was intoxicated, he could not give consent. The nurse suggested that the officer get a warrant. The hospital’s policy states that it’s the officer’s job to obtain a warrant and cite the reason for the requested blood draw. It is not the responsibility of the nurse. Nevertheless, the Texas Nurses Association (“TNA”) believes that “if a person is in custody and has been arrested, law enforcement can request taking a blood draw without an individual’s consent. It is law enforcement’s responsibility to know that the person has been arrested for an offense that does not require … consent.” Clearly, we have a conflict in the rules between hospital policy and the TNA. Always follow your hospital’s policies which is what the nurse in this case did, she insisted on a warrant to draw the blood. This case is a bit different from that of Nurse Wubbels because here the person was not comatose and was the actual perpetrator of the crime. Whereas in the Wubbels matter, the patient was a victim injured by the perpetrator. I recommend that you make sure that your emergency room has clear policies and procedures in place to ensure you know what to do and under what circumstances you can draw blood so that you never to find yourself in one of these situations.
  9. Hi Lorie I live in South Florida and I am on Team B for hurricane coverage which means I go in post-storm. I am expected to work Tonight 7pm to 7:30 am and Thursday 7pm-7:30 am for "Post Storm". My dilemma is I'm already scheduled for Fri & Sat nights. That means 4 nights in a row. I already worked Sunday night Sept 1st. Do I have any legal way to not work all those shifts? Dear Hurricane Dilemma Thanks for the great and timely question. Employment law comes from the ancient master-servant relationship. Therefore, your employer can ask you to do anything they want. If they need you for post-disaster relief and then the weekend, it is your responsibility to comply. If you think that is too much, ask your employer to change your schedule or find someone to trade. If you are scheduled to work, you must show up or face discipline up to and including termination. Some states have laws preventing mandatory overtime but I do not think Florida is one of them especially in an emergency situation. The only way to get this changed is by changing the law or sometimes through union or an employment contract. I know this is not what you want to hear but I hope this helps. Good luck Lorie
  10. Hello Lorie I was falsely accused of falsifying documentation at work. My employer conducted an internal investigation and concluded I falsified documents. In the investigation report it states things I supposedly admitted to. They wrote things I never said. They have terminated me, and they were also reporting me to the BON. I have been a nurse for 10 years. I have no previous disciplinary actions. Also no civil or criminal record. Nothing more than a speeding ticket or 2. What should I do to refute this, and keep from losing my license? Dear Falsely Accused, I am sorry this is happening and I hear it all too frequently. The best advice is to hire an attorney. One that is experienced representing nurses before the Board. You can find one at TAANA.org. Your license is too important. Hope this helps. Lorie
  11. Hi Atty. Lori, I am a 30 yo Filipino nurse working in Dubai for 7 years as a senior nurse. There was an accusation against me and unfortunately, I was terminated by my employer because of that. A police investigation was made and after a lengthy investigative period, I was cleared of the case and I still have no criminal record (I was just given a warning by the police department but still no criminal record). But unfortunately, the damage is already done and I was already terminated and my Dubai nursing license was already suspended, but my Philippine nursing license is still active. Now I am planning to apply for the NCLEX exam (Northern Mariana Islands Board of Nursing), and I want to know if my application for the exam will be rejected because of my suspended Dubai license? What other options do I have? Would it be a smart idea to just say no (to the question: Any history of revocation, suspension of license from another country?) just so I can take the NCLEX exam? Your response is really appreciated as I am in a desperate situation. Thank you, Atty Lorie Dear Suspended in Dubai, Thanks for reaching out to me. I am not familiar with obtaining a license based on a foreign license so I cannot respond but I would be truthful. If the National Council of State Boards of Nursing which runs NCLEX finds out you were not truthful, it will be a problem. I spoke to nurses in Dubai at a Hospital and I understand their laws are tough. If there is any way to get it reinstated, that is the best course. I wish you the best Lorie
  12. Hi Lorie I work in a small hospital in central Texas and they have recently hired an RN that is on stipulations. We are at a rural facility and the ER is staffed with 2 RN's and one doctor. She is on stipulations for administering a paralytic to a patient while working in the ICU without a doctor’s order. She forfeited her license but it has now been reinstated with restrictions. She is required to only work with another RN as a supervising RN. My question is, What is my responsibility when working with her? Am I responsible for any mistakes that are made? Thank you for any clarification. Dear Am I Responsible, Thanks for reaching out to me. The purpose of stipulations on a license or probation on a license is to make sure the nurse is safe. It is considered an encumbered license. Many times they want another nurse there to be a resource if she has any questions. The Board does not define the role of a supervising RN. Does your facility have a policy that would cover this? If not, have you asked your manager about expectations? The facility is responsible for any malpractice even if you are supervising her. With that said, that does not mean you will not be named in a lawsuit but in my experience, nurses are usually not named individually. Sometimes facilities think a nurse with stipulations is a liability. I choose to think of them as wanting to do really well because they are under a microscope and they want to get off probation and have the stipulations removed. I wish you the best, Lorie
  13. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Is my license suspended immediately after I self-report an arrest?

    Each state has different laws regarding self reporting. Some require to report an arrest and others require it after a conviction.
  14. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    It Can Happen to You

    Here are a few ways in which nurses can be called before the Board and how you can protect yourself. Download allnurses Magazine 1. The first and obvious the Board feels that you are a nurse 24/7 and anything that you do that could look bad on our profession or be a concern for your judgment, they will take action. This means any criminal matter where you are arrested, charged or convicted such as a DUI. 2. Do not use controlled substances, illegal substances, marijuana or alcohol. If you take a controlled substance and do not have a valid prescription and you have to take a drug test that shows positive, it does not look good for you. And don’t take medications without a valid, current prescription or borrow medications from someone else as this would be considered practicing medicine without a license by self-prescribing and it is also called diversion. In addition, do not give a medication to someone else even if they’ve had a valid prescription for that medication in the past. This also is considered practicing medicine without a license and diversion. 3. Do not cross professional boundaries. Nurses are required to care of patients during the time that they are assigned to the patient’s care. Do not come to visit patients after hours and do not continue a relationship with patients after the nurse/patient relationship is concluded. I’ve seen nurses who subsequently marry patients and then, if they divorce, the ex-spouse then files a complaint against the nurse’s license. I have seen nurses who, trying to be nice, will conduct banking chores for the patient. Taking the patient’s debit card and PIN, they do the transaction only to find that the patient then alleges the nurse stole money. Don’t become involved with patients after the nurse/patient relationship has ended and only provide activities within the scope of your practice. 4. Be mindful of HIPAA. Talking about a patient outside of their room, even without using names, can be a HIPAA violation. You never know who might be listening. And don’t access patients’ records if you are not providing care for that patient and have no reason to access the patient’s records. One nurse’s adult son was in the emergency room. She could not leave her position but looked at his chart to get his information. She had no business checking the chart which was a violation of HIPAA. Don’t talk about patients except for treatment purposes and only in a secure area and do not access any other patients’ charts unless you are providing care or have a legitimate reason to do so. 5. Make sure you use due care in administering and signing out narcotics. With the opiate crisis these days, there is software in the Pyxis machine to see who is giving more medications than the others who are on the unit. Don’t be an outlier. Discuss the medication strategy with your coworkers and make sure that everyone is on the same page. When I went to nursing school, pain was considered the 5th vital signs and we always wanted to stay on top of pain. However, things are changing. In fact, sometimes they don’t even give narcotic pain medication, even after surgery. If you do give pain medications, make sure you administer them as soon as they are removed from the Pyxis. Do not carry it in your pocket except to go directly to the patient’s room. I have seen it argued before the Board that by waiting too long to administer injectable narcotic medication, the nurse had an opportunity to take some or all of the medication and replace it with saline. Also, make sure you waste medications right away for the same reason and make sure the witness actually sees the waste and cosigns it. Going to a coworker after you wasted the medication and asking a coworker to cosign the waste without witnessing is in violation of your facility’s policies and procedures. So, make sure you follow all the facility’s policies and procedures. If you do get reported to the Board, my experience has been that if there are discrepancies with narcotics given, the Board will think that you are using them and if you aren’t using them for your own use then you are selling them. They can be very unforgiving. Protect yourself by following your policies and procedures to the letter. The above-mentioned tips may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many nurses are called before the Board for these types of issues. The best protection against a Board Complaint is to be proactive and follow the rules.
  15. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Help Needed......

    You don't have to go into treatment. Just complete the evaluation to show you do not have a substance abuse problem.
  16. Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Help Needed......

    There is a Model Nurse Practice Act but each state has their own Nurse Practice Act and they are all different and may not be based on the Model. The statutes are different in each state too. Unfortunately, it is guilty until proven innocent before the Board and MA does not have to follow what NH did.