Oh, and, a footnote, in case anyone is tempted to say, "just a reprimand?"
That nurse spent money for legal representation at the BON hearing, but could not have afforded an appeal. Her attorney told her afterward, too, that, "If your case is held before a class of nursing students..."--and hers was--"...they throw the book at you, to make a lasting memory for the students about cutting corners...and you're lucky they didn't do worse, for that reason", after initially telling her the charges were so ridiculous and lacking in evidence, and her actual real offense of pre-pouring medications so common and relatively minor she'd likely be "in and out of there in 10 minutes!"
She lost her job (making legal funds further out of reach, no doubt), and was turned down by others. She would have had trouble joining the military, adopting a child, working for the actual government, for a VA hospital or clinic, or an agency such as the BON, and (ironically) any inspection organization for facilities.
The higher-up the position, or the more important the need for "relationships" with other agencies in a job role, the more weight any disciplinary history would have, too, of course...so there might be no problem working as a staff nurse, but as a manager or representative? Well. She might be denied entrance to a higher school of nursing, too.
She would always be of limited value as a "whistle-blower" witness, because it could seem she had a vendetta against employers or providers, if she complained or provided evidence in another case.
Regardless, forever after she is required to let every employer know who cares to ask. If she were to apply for licensure by an endorsement to another state, it would take time, money, and embarrassment to gather the necessary extra information. Sometimes this would including multiple letters of reference from supervisors and other professionals who "know her history" attesting to her "rehabilitation".
There could always be a question in employers' minds, too, of whether the Board suspected (but lacked proof of) more than what was she was finally reprimanded for. Why? The Board has the discretion to decide the correct action based on circumstances surrounding the basic facts, and yet apparently decided to set a firm example with her case.
(I say this because others "only" reprimanded, per the disciplinary records on state BON sites, have done some pretty shocking things to "only" be reprimanded!) For that reason, some will wonder, understandably, what else she REALLY did to be judged harshly, and presume there just must not have been quite enough evidence.
In responding to probing questions, if there are any, there's another a lose/lose risk: If she went into too much detail about the retaliation aspect of what happened, instead of focusing on the lesson she learned, or if she mentioned that the nursing home was substandard, etc.,and she had foolishly tried to effect changes, she might leave a worse impression. Not only will she be seen as lacking in adequate remorse for what she did undeniably do--pre-pour medications--and lacking in improved judgement, but some employers would be scared to hire a potential whistle-blower.
So even a seemingly small "tarnish" on a nurse's license is no small thing, and it is all too easy to set someone up for one. That's pretty ironic when you know that some employers will let a criminal or addict go quietly (and unreported) to protect themselves.
It is easy to say "Do everything right, and you'll have nothing to worry about." True, except that not only are people human enough to make relatively minor procedural slips (especially smaller than pre-pouring medications) even when usually quite conscientious, but when errors are made, it's often the "why?" that determines whether a nurse was negligent or careless, vs. simply making a mistake. Isn't it?
I'm not sure of the solution, but maybe a healthy skepticism about complaints to the BON in some situations is called for. Spending much time setting examples for students of what happens when you violate procedure might be important. But for other, much more serious types of cases (mentioned in the media), oversight and control is inadequate due to lack of time, resources, personnel, and probably due to legal limits to investigation and tracking. Perhaps more of these scarce resources might be used for tracking those nurses, and investigating those major offenses.