Jump to content

Protecting Your License: Notes from a Nurse-Attorney

Nurses Article   (37,230 Views | 21 Replies | 1,561 Words)

SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

12 Followers; 56 Articles; 19,071 Profile Views; 357 Posts

This article is about how to protect your nursing license. It describes situations in which nurses have been reported to the board, or been brought up on criminal charges. Strategies, resources and tools are provided for preventing licensure problems. You are reading page 2 of Protecting Your License: Notes from a Nurse-Attorney. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Have you ever been reported to a Board of Nursing?

  1. 1. Have you ever been reported to a Board of Nursing?

    • 1
      Yes, and I lost my license
    • 5
      Yes, and I received disciplinary action
    • 13
      Yes, and my issue was resolved without action
    • 75
      No

93 members have participated

klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

6 Followers; 13,528 Posts; 118,438 Profile Views

Wow! I never heard that one. What was the person who told you that rationale?

Because you can't get blood from a turnip. i.e. there's no point in naming an individual nurse if she has no means to pay out. Conversely, the rationale is if she DOES have means to pay out, she will be more likely to be named individually.

Personally, I don't buy it. I don't think a plaintiff attorney would have any way of knowing if a nurse carries malpractice insurance. It's not like it's public record. Hell, when I got malpractice insurance for a part-time gig I was doing, my husband didn't even know!

Hospitals dislike nurses to get their own insurance because in court, they like to present a united front - nurse and hospital working together. Separate attorneys means separate defenses, which could potentially pit one against the other.

Even though HR discourages us from saying it, I will absolutely tell any nurse who asks me that she should get her own insurance. If there is any negligence at all on the part of the nurse, the hospital will sever ties, and then she's on her own. It's your license - you absolutely should do whatever you need to protect it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Followers; 852 Posts; 5,460 Profile Views

Because you can't get blood from a turnip. i.e. there's no point in naming an individual nurse if she has no means to pay out. Conversely, the rationale is if she DOES have means to pay out, she will be more likely to be named individually.

Personally, I don't buy it. I don't think a plaintiff attorney would have any way of knowing if a nurse carries malpractice insurance. It's not like it's public record. Hell, when I got malpractice insurance for a part-time gig I was doing, my husband didn't even know!

Hospitals dislike nurses to get their own insurance because in court, they like to present a united front - nurse and hospital working together. Separate attorneys means separate defenses, which could potentially pit one against the other.

Even though HR discourages us from saying it, I will absolutely tell any nurse who asks me that she should get her own insurance. If there is any negligence at all on the part of the nurse, the hospital will sever ties, and then she's on her own. It's your license - you absolutely should do whatever you need to protect it.

That's what I'm thinking. How would they know if you don't tell them? I wouldn't even tell the facility/management. They don't need to know, until there's a need to know. Hopefully, they'll never need to find out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,502 Profile Views

Because you can't get blood from a turnip. i.e. there's no point in naming an individual nurse if she has no means to pay out. Conversely, the rationale is if she DOES have means to pay out, she will be more likely to be named individually.

Personally, I don't buy it. I don't think a plaintiff attorney would have any way of knowing if a nurse carries malpractice insurance. It's not like it's public record. Hell, when I got malpractice insurance for a part-time gig I was doing, my husband didn't even know!

Yes.

I've always wondered if there was some part of the discovery process where "who has what" is determined. It seems like you're right, it's probably not known. But...

I think traditionally the idea can be put down to "the assets people think or assume you have..." [may make it worth it for them to think about a lawsuit right out of the gate]

I think what people believe and assume about others does have something to do with it beyond just assumed malpractice coverage and other assets. It would make sense to me that being perceived as priviledged has something to do with it - but I've neither sued anyone nor been sued, so what do I know.

Different question: Is it just as important for nurses to be careful with asset protection as it to carry malpractice insurance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 Posts; 317 Profile Views

I worked in a long term intensive care facility in Folsom Ca. Back in 2005. I had an Intensive care patient who needed dialysis and not received it for a week. She was ventilated, had been coded that day for cardiac arrest and a potassium of 9.6. She had been there 6 months, comatose, non-responsive, and vegetated. Family did not want her transferred, and she was a full code. I Walked into this diaster for night shift. None of monitoring equipment was working where she vomited on it earlier, and there was no replacement. Called Dr all night. She was on high dose levophed, and Dr would not treat hyperkalemia, had one dose kaexylate. By 0600 her t waves tented really high and vtach was starting. I placed her on the external pacemaker as I was using crash cart for the monitor. Dr Was in before I could call him and left her on pacemaker. It was in the policy that I could apply it. She was pronounced at 1pm, way after I went home. They fired me! They pulled the policy regarding pacemaker. Stated that I should have done compressions and "it would have all been over sooner." I reported them to state for not treating hyperkalemia, to coroner, to Joint commission, to head of company. This had happened to other patients, but I was not involved. They were escorted out by the police (manager and nurse director) and fired. As retaliation, I was reported to the board for "not doing compressions" and called incompetent. I had an attorney. My license was revoked, but I was allowed to work another job, put on probation for 3years. I had to be monitored quarterly like a criminal! I had been a registered nurse for 25 years at that time. I had worked intensive care for 7 years at that time and in acute care. I had malpractice insurance through nurses association. They did nothing !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Followers; 852 Posts; 5,460 Profile Views

I worked in a long term intensive care facility in Folsom Ca. Back in 2005. I had an Intensive care patient who needed dialysis and not received it for a week. She was ventilated, had been coded that day for cardiac arrest and a potassium of 9.6. She had been there 6 months, comatose, non-responsive, and vegetated. Family did not want her transferred, and she was a full code. I Walked into this diaster for night shift. None of monitoring equipment was working where she vomited on it earlier, and there was no replacement. Called Dr all night. She was on high dose levophed, and Dr would not treat hyperkalemia, had one dose kaexylate. By 0600 her t waves tented really high and vtach was starting. I placed her on the external pacemaker as I was using crash cart for the monitor. Dr Was in before I could call him and left her on pacemaker. It was in the policy that I could apply it. She was pronounced at 1pm, way after I went home. They fired me! They pulled the policy regarding pacemaker. Stated that I should have done compressions and "it would have all been over sooner." I reported them to state for not treating hyperkalemia, to coroner, to Joint commission, to head of company. This had happened to other patients, but I was not involved. They were escorted out by the police (manager and nurse director) and fired. As retaliation, I was reported to the board for "not doing compressions" and called incompetent. I had an attorney. My license was revoked, but I was allowed to work another job, put on probation for 3years. I had to be monitored quarterly like a criminal! I had been a registered nurse for 25 years at that time. I had worked intensive care for 7 years at that time and in acute care. I had malpractice insurance through nurses association. They did nothing !

Despite what the family wanted I would have called 911 and had her transferred ASAP! She was a full code so it wasn't up to the family at that point. I would have rather lost my job than my license.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

425 Posts; 5,560 Profile Views

I worked in a long term intensive care facility in Folsom Ca. Back in 2005. I had an Intensive care patient who needed dialysis and not received it for a week. She was ventilated, had been coded that day for cardiac arrest and a potassium of 9.6. She had been there 6 months, comatose, non-responsive, and vegetated. Family did not want her transferred, and she was a full code. I Walked into this diaster for night shift. None of monitoring equipment was working where she vomited on it earlier, and there was no replacement. Called Dr all night. She was on high dose levophed, and Dr would not treat hyperkalemia, had one dose kaexylate. By 0600 her t waves tented really high and vtach was starting. I placed her on the external pacemaker as I was using crash cart for the monitor. Dr Was in before I could call him and left her on pacemaker. It was in the policy that I could apply it. She was pronounced at 1pm, way after I went home. They fired me! They pulled the policy regarding pacemaker. Stated that I should have done compressions and "it would have all been over sooner." I reported them to state for not treating hyperkalemia, to coroner, to Joint commission, to head of company. This had happened to other patients, but I was not involved. They were escorted out by the police (manager and nurse director) and fired. As retaliation, I was reported to the board for "not doing compressions" and called incompetent. I had an attorney. My license was revoked, but I was allowed to work another job, put on probation for 3years. I had to be monitored quarterly like a criminal! I had been a registered nurse for 25 years at that time. I had worked intensive care for 7 years at that time and in acute care. I had malpractice insurance through nurses association. They did nothing !

I don't understand. Was it documented somewhere that the patient was pulseless and no compressions were initiated at the time? Or is your board of nursing so clueless that they don't even realize a patient can be in V-teach and still have a pulse?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Post; 44 Profile Views

Perjury under oath is a offense in which a person can be prosecuted but generally it doesn't happen. Due to the fact that its hard to prove that someone knowingly and deliberately lied on their application.

There are TONS of cases of slander against former employers, this is why many are choosing to refuse to give letters of recommendation and will only provide proof of employment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD has 31 years experience and specializes in Medical Legal Consultant.

11 Followers; 8 Articles; 116 Posts; 6,751 Profile Views

Kristi thanks for mentioning me in the article. Great comments and questions from everyone.

With regard to malpractice insurance, typically everyone gets named who they feel is at fault. They tend not to name nurses but if they do and your position is different from your employer, malpractice insurance gives you the right to have your own attorney. If a claim is settled on your behalf per the hospital, you will get reported to the National Practitioner Database. Also, if you have NSO insurance, they have reimbursement coverage if you are called before the Board of Nursing.

Lastly, the Model Nurse Practice Act d. Fraud and/or deceit: employing fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing; in filing any reports or completing client records; in representation of self to BON or public; in authenticating any report or records in the nurse's capacity as an RN, LPN/VN or APRN; or in submitting any information or record to the BON. ***Previous models have focused on fraud in procurement of a nursing license. This broadened language reflects other situations where a nurse's misrepresentation or use of fraud could impact nursing practice. This ground reflects situations observed in other professions and modern society. This means job applications so check your State's Nurse Practice Act. Also when you submit a job application, it usually has you swear or affirm that you have disclosed all previous positions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Followers; 5,663 Posts; 27,729 Profile Views

Lastly, the Model Nurse Practice Act d. Fraud and/or deceit: employing fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing; in filing any reports or completing client records; in representation of self to BON or public; in authenticating any report or records in the nurse's capacity as an RN, LPN/VN or APRN; or in submitting any information or record to the BON. ***Previous models have focused on fraud in procurement of a nursing license. This broadened language reflects other situations where a nurse's misrepresentation or use of fraud could impact nursing practice. This ground reflects situations observed in other professions and modern society. This means job applications so check your State's Nurse Practice Act. Also when you submit a job application, it usually has you swear or affirm that you have disclosed all previous positions.

That's interesting, considering that nurses are frequently encouraged on AN to omit former employment that makes them look less than stellar when applying for jobs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,169 Profile Views

I worked in a long term intensive care facility in Folsom Ca. Back in 2005. I had an Intensive care patient who needed dialysis and not received it for a week. She was ventilated, had been coded that day for cardiac arrest and a potassium of 9.6. She had been there 6 months, comatose, non-responsive, and vegetated. Family did not want her transferred, and she was a full code. I Walked into this diaster for night shift. None of monitoring equipment was working where she vomited on it earlier, and there was no replacement. Called Dr all night. She was on high dose levophed, and Dr would not treat hyperkalemia, had one dose kaexylate. By 0600 her t waves tented really high and vtach was starting. I placed her on the external pacemaker as I was using crash cart for the monitor. Dr Was in before I could call him and left her on pacemaker. It was in the policy that I could apply it. She was pronounced at 1pm, way after I went home. They fired me! They pulled the policy regarding pacemaker. Stated that I should have done compressions and "it would have all been over sooner." I reported them to state for not treating hyperkalemia, to coroner, to Joint commission, to head of company. This had happened to other patients, but I was not involved. They were escorted out by the police (manager and nurse director) and fired. As retaliation, I was reported to the board for "not doing compressions" and called incompetent. I had an attorney. My license was revoked, but I was allowed to work another job, put on probation for 3years. I had to be monitored quarterly like a criminal! I had been a registered nurse for 25 years at that time. I had worked intensive care for 7 years at that time and in acute care. I had malpractice insurance through nurses association. They did nothing !

This is the sort of thing that makes me so furious. I don't know the details of your whole story but this sounds like you had an impossible situation to deal with and you were disciplined??? NOT RIGHT!

Edited by BeenThere2012
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Medic_Murse has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-P.

96 Posts; 967 Profile Views

I worked in a long term intensive care facility in Folsom Ca. Back in 2005. I had an Intensive care patient who needed dialysis and not received it for a week. She was ventilated, had been coded that day for cardiac arrest and a potassium of 9.6. She had been there 6 months, comatose, non-responsive, and vegetated. Family did not want her transferred, and she was a full code. I Walked into this diaster for night shift. None of monitoring equipment was working where she vomited on it earlier, and there was no replacement. Called Dr all night. She was on high dose levophed, and Dr would not treat hyperkalemia, had one dose kaexylate. By 0600 her t waves tented really high and vtach was starting. I placed her on the external pacemaker as I was using crash cart for the monitor. Dr Was in before I could call him and left her on pacemaker. It was in the policy that I could apply it. She was pronounced at 1pm, way after I went home. They fired me! They pulled the policy regarding pacemaker. Stated that I should have done compressions and "it would have all been over sooner." I reported them to state for not treating hyperkalemia, to coroner, to Joint commission, to head of company. This had happened to other patients, but I was not involved. They were escorted out by the police (manager and nurse director) and fired. As retaliation, I was reported to the board for "not doing compressions" and called incompetent. I had an attorney. My license was revoked, but I was allowed to work another job, put on probation for 3years. I had to be monitored quarterly like a criminal! I had been a registered nurse for 25 years at that time. I had worked intensive care for 7 years at that time and in acute care. I had malpractice insurance through nurses association. They did nothing !

Just curious. I know there is only so much one can type, remember, and things get left out, but was this escalated up the chain of command? I'm asking, because if I'm going down for a no win situation and not getting any help, I'm taking everyone with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

25 Posts; 912 Profile Views

Such a sad day when the government sides with management over the employees/labor who are veritably tortured by them. Toss in a good dose of government hyper regulation, and you have the perfect recipe for a stressed out, burned out workforce. A person can only take so much before they just quit. And the government expects labor to just idly sit back and take the abuse. Even sadder, all this frivolous and redundant documentation to "cover your backs", time eating and never ending paperwork that take away precious time spent on the floor doing hands on work and other things that really make a difference inour patient's lives.. Management is out to make a profit, so short staffing, cutting wages by harassing seasoned veterans and hiring in fresh grads is becoming common place. Why doesn't the government allow us, the ones who break our backs doing the actual work, to report employers and management for dangerous staffing levels, harassing older nurses and running them out or terminating them to save labor costs by hiring in new graduates, something that amounts to age discrimination and therefore is unconstitutional? They are not above the law and need to be held accountable as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.