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suspended license

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jmb62 jmb62 (New) New

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated here! I have been an RN for 15 years in every realm of nursing,but my license has been recently suspended indefinitely due to an honest narcotics mistake in a long term health care facility last January(2004).In the meantime,I have been unable to obtain a nursing position and know that I have done enough time in inpatient settings,so chose to take another route and pursue forensic nursing.Because my license is suspended and the state holds that the MSO4 count was off when I was in charge(the only RN in a 62 bed facility,supervising LNA's,suctioning,etc with no backup),what are my perspectives for future employment as a forensic nurse? I am currently enrolled on the Kaplan college certification course and am wondering if it's a waste of time-I'm 2/3 done! Anybody with any similar circumstances,insight,advice,orexperience,please reply. JMB62

If you don't have a license, you can't function as a nurse in any capacity, even forensics.

But you can become a death investigator for an M.E.'s office. You can sell your nursing background as an asset, but still cannot call yourself a nurse.

But the reason for your suspension will always have to be reported also.

cyberkat Thanks-that's what I thought....would i need to apply for a position in the mE's office as if it were a regular job? Find an opening and go for it or present and sell myself to them and make them realize how much they need me?(same thing,i guess) jMB62

DutchgirlRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN. Has 33 years experience.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated here! I have been an RN for 15 years in every realm of nursing,but my license has been recently suspended indefinitely due to an honest narcotics mistake in a long term health care facility last January(2004).In the meantime,I have been unable to obtain a nursing position and know that I have done enough time in inpatient settings,so chose to take another route and pursue forensic nursing.Because my license is suspended and the state holds that the MSO4 count was off when I was in charge(the only RN in a 62 bed facility,supervising LNA's,suctioning,etc with no backup),what are my perspectives for future employment as a forensic nurse? I am currently enrolled on the Kaplan college certification course and am wondering if it's a waste of time-I'm 2/3 done! Anybody with any similar circumstances,insight,advice,orexperience,please reply. JMB62

I don't suppose they offered you a lie detector test? How could they even prove you did it? Addicts are sneaky, it could of been the RN on the shift in front of you. I would have fought like hell. I hope you did.

Monica RN,BSN

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC. Has 20 years experience.

I would not give up that easy. I would make an appeal to the board of nursing, get a lawyer and fight it. If the narcotic count was off due to you actuallytaking it, (not accusing) just hypothetical.. then there is a program to attend and keep your lilcense. If the count was off and it is just unexplainable, you should have had to submit a drug test ( usual policy in most places) and if this test were clean, then you should be able to fight it.

Don't give up and accept "just A Job" you are a nurse... appeal it and try to keep your license.

Good Luck to you.

Hi,

I agree with Monica. It's never too late to go back and fight it. Even if you don't want to practice anymore, save your good name. The burden of proof is on the accuser. If you (and all who had access) weren't pee tested, something's amiss. Usually a department head will help resolve the issue, and it might take some digging, but I've found it's usually clerical in one way or another.

Polygraph doesn't PROVE a blessed thing. Do your homework, find your resources, meagre as they are, Tappan and such, and fight the good fight.

tiroka03, LPN

Specializes in LPN. Has 18 years experience.

Narc count was off last week, took a little looking, but we found the error.

I had given a prn med at the same time two days in a row, and had been distracted when filling out the narc book. I looked back and saw the time, and thought I had already filled it in. Lucky for me, I had put it on the MAR. Scared the begebbies out of me.

Yes, regular people can apply to the M.E.'s office. You can put your nursing background on there.

Nurses make good DIs because of our assessment skills and our ability to know the variations of normal and what isn't normal.

As far as the narc count business, have you hired a lawyer to help you with this? If you have insurance, the insurance will pay for the lawyer.

Yes, regular people can apply to the M.E.'s office. You can put your nursing background on there.

Nurses make good DIs because of our assessment skills and our ability to know the variations of normal and what isn't normal.

As far as the narc count business, have you hired a lawyer to help you with this? If you have insurance, the insurance will pay for the lawyer.

I really think it is a shame how nurses are fall guy for so much. We do not have any real protection and are considered gulity till proven innocent. I do not think there is nurse out there who has not made a mistake. How serious of a mistake well that is to be seen, but never-the-less a mistake. I know myself I have found many mistakes my my peers and myself and they were fix able without causing any physical, mental, or emotional problems. I fixed them and moved on. I wish a lot more of our peers thought the same way. We need to stick togather and make a stronger stand for nurses in general. I wish you the best of luck in the future. Maybe it is time to change careers, but do not give up the fight.

PSI

We are not the only ones who handle narcs, anyhow. RPhs, Staff Clinical Coordinators, God knows how many people we don't know about have access to our codes in the dispensing systems. I did see a (Night) housekeeper blamed for an incident, but it was a CVOR, and the meds were brought before the case and returned after all under control of the anesthesiologist. Nonetheless the (non-caucasian) dope fiend with a broom was reassigned to a nonsurgical area thereby eliminating yet another threat to the nation's children.

Do you really think that in an 'innocent until proven guilty' environment it would be so easy to screw a particular nurse? Ever read what to watch out for in a nurse as a potential narc thief? I forget where it was published, but can be found. Some of the (profiling) factors are 'history of surgery(?), frequent change of jobs, depression, aggression, et.c.' I didn't see breathing of air listed as a profiling criteria. But then I didn't see MDs, administrators, and the like listed as potential offenders, either. Nice to know who you can trust. I think a lot of this crap is urban legend turned self fulfilling.

Then there's always the ugly story about the MD that lured the nurse into becoming his mistress by getting her hooked. This would make for a great 'myth busters'. "...yes, I'm leaving her, it's just not the time to tell her... have another percodan and relax."

what state are you in??? i would not go down w/o one hell of a fight!!! i have seen alot lesser sentence, for alot greater "crime", in ny. go to the office of the professions website in ny & look up some of the board actions!!! get a good attny....i know i am "just" an lpn, but i worked too hard to get my license to be a scapegoat, or to loose it for an honest, human mistake....lesson here...always count whenever you get the keys or give the keys, always!!!! 5 mins worth of counting, could mean the rest of your carrer!!! how scary!!!

Hi...

Sue their butt for slander & libel. Nothing has been proven. Remember O.J.? Found innocent in criminal court, guilty in civil court. An alleged theft has occured, and by gum the culprit should be found. If your license has been affected by an accusation, you have been accused of theft, and deserve a day in court. Then a day in civil court for failure to prove allegations that have slandered your good name. Apparently 'double jeopardy' does not apply, which really perplexes me. If you are innocent of murder, how can you be guilty of wrongful death?

It's like me and the M.D. who assaulted me. No one in this one horse town would do anything about it, I tried, got promised and patronized, and he's off in Europe. Should have broken his arm the moment bodily contact was made...but we all have our regrets.

Similar thing happened to acquaintance who was a fairly new nurse. The narcotic count was off, and due to his inconsistant documentation (due to understaffing and overwork) there was no way to *prove* he either did or did'nt do "the drug-misdeed".

He was told by board of nursing that if he pleaded "guilty" he could go to drug rehab, and if he followed all their rules for rehab and aftercare and follow all the restrictions on his license, he would be treated as a "recovering addict" and could maintain his license and continue to work.

However, if he continued to deny that he did the deed, and pleaded "not guilty", he would loose his license permanently and could be prosecuted, even though his "only crime" was shoddy charting practices NOT misappropriating narcotics.

He said he would NEVER plead "guilty" for something he didnt do, and if it meant he couldnt practice nursing, it was THEIR loss, not his. He now working in the construction field.

Follow up: several months later, the REAL culprit (a co-worker) was apprehended and admitted that they had "done the deed" and taken the drugs, and further that to cover their tracks, they had let this unfortunate man "take the fall" rather than fess up and admit that the man was an excellent nurse and was only guilty of "not charting as well as he should".

\

Similar thing happened to acquaintance who was a fairly new nurse. The narcotic count was off, and due to his inconsistant documentation (due to understaffing and overwork) there was no way to *prove* he either did or did'nt do "the drug-misdeed".

He was told by board of nursing that if he pleaded "guilty" he could go to drug rehab, and if he followed all their rules for rehab and aftercare and follow all the restrictions on his license, he would be treated as a "recovering addict" and could maintain his license and continue to work.

However, if he continued to deny that he did the deed, and pleaded "not guilty", he would loose his license permanently and could be prosecuted, even though his "only crime" was shoddy charting practices NOT misappropriating narcotics.

He said he would NEVER plead "guilty" for something he didnt do, and if it meant he couldnt practice nursing, it was THEIR loss, not his. He now working in the construction field.

Follow up: several months later, the REAL culprit (a co-worker) was apprehended and admitted that they had "done the deed" and taken the drugs, and further that to cover their tracks, they had let this unfortunate man "take the fall" rather than fess up and admit that the man was an excellent nurse and was only guilty of "not charting as well as he should".

This is something like happened to me in 1992. I was working as an RN (6 days) in a LTC. On the 6th evening of my employment, the DON and a police officer came in. omeone had put drugs in my purse. A CNA reported that I was stealing drugs. So I was arrested and the charges were dropped. I was told by my lawyer that it was because the drugs, "3 Darvon, l Lioresel, and 1 HALDOL" had been lost. Everybody kept their purses in the med room, but that night curiously enough, my purse was the only one in the med room? Wouldn't you rather had a benzodiazipine than a HALDOL?

All reports were inconsistent, however, no one saw anything, just that my behavior was "suspicious." The DON searched my purse beforehand. No one would sign the arrest report. I applied for and got unemployment insurance, no one showed up to testify against me.

When I sent the money to renew my license, I got a letter to go to an evidentiary hearing. They also told me to "plead guilty and take an ethics course." I refused to plead guilty and to take an ethics course. To me that would be admitting guilt.

After that "little more bit of injustice" I was so upset I left nursing for good.

I am in another state now working as a volunteer in a hospital. They wanted me to renew my license and go to work for them. I told them what had happened. I did, and lo-and-behold, I found out that my license was suspended. It took several months to get any information from them. When I did get anything, it was a CONSENT order saying that I had admitted my guilt, etc. Something that I had NEVER SIGNED!

The interesting thing is that I could not get them to answer any questions about where the address they sent the charges to, I was not even around. They would answer no questions. They finally referred me to the Assistant Attorney General so I wrote her.

The response was over and over "you signed the consent." As to the question I asked where they sent their certified letter to, the only address they had for me was the one for the evidentiary hearing in 1992.

And get this, she said "Even if that were not so, you still signed the CONSENT." I find this a very stupid statement. In other words, charges without having to prove anything.

I have sent her another letter asking exact dates, addresses, copy of their wrongly addressed and dated copy of the certified letter, copies of the license that I didn't turn over to my attorney. In other words, A full page number by number of questions that I wanted answered to prove their charges.

I now have all documents in the BON in the state I am in now. I think that the only thing that they are questioning is the phony CONSENT that I supposedly signed.

Is it true that the BON is above the law of the land and does not have to prove anything or be responsible for the illegal harm they do?

Any comments?

Thank you.

I think a lot of this story is missing, and I don't blame you for not posting such sensitive information on a bb. In fact, I think its wise.

All I'll say is that I hope you fought the charge, and that you can save your license (after all, you did say suspended and not revoked... is it suspended for a finite time period? when can you expect it back?).

Otherwise, I'd hate to say that any education is a waste of time, but you can't be a forensic nurse if you're not a nurse. You can seek other employment in that field, if that's what you'd like.

Good luck to you.

wow your situation really sucks,too.My state (vermont),too wanted to arrest me.They tried to push me into saying i took the morphine for my own personal use when i indeed did not.i made it clear that yes,i had made a serious mistake,and would not admit guilt to anything other than that fact. so after lots of money spent on attorney fees and so on,and givem that i was backed into a corner and had to choose between the lesser of the consequences,i ended up settling with the state,so that the case is basically over.my license is now suspended indefinitely and i can't get it reinstated until i take basic nursing documentation and some danger of drugs awareness and a few other classes approved by the state at my expense,then after that,the license would be stictly conditioned for several years before i could practice in the capacity that I was trained and experienced in.Recently,I got some correspondence from a federal bureau of the US which pretty much said that i may not be eligible to work in any state in any institution that accepts federal monies for any type of health care provisuion.It doesn't hurt my feelings to get out of nursing,as there are too many strikes against me and i am somewhat burned out anyway,on the politics and the way we are treated..At least i can say that i was a good nurse and made a difference in a lot of my patients lives,but now must move on to something else.oh well-----------best of luck to you!

\

This is something like happened to me in 1992. I was working as an RN (6 days) in a LTC. On the 6th evening of my employment, the DON and a police officer came in. omeone had put drugs in my purse. A CNA reported that I was stealing drugs. So I was arrested and the charges were dropped. I was told by my lawyer that it was because the drugs, "3 Darvon, l Lioresel, and 1 HALDOL" had been lost. Everybody kept their purses in the med room, but that night curiously enough, my purse was the only one in the med room? Wouldn't you rather had a benzodiazipine than a HALDOL?

All reports were inconsistent, however, no one saw anything, just that my behavior was "suspicious." The DON searched my purse beforehand. No one would sign the arrest report. I applied for and got unemployment insurance, no one showed up to testify against me.

When I sent the money to renew my license, I got a letter to go to an evidentiary hearing. They also told me to "plead guilty and take an ethics course." I refused to plead guilty and to take an ethics course. To me that would be admitting guilt.

After that "little more bit of injustice" I was so upset I left nursing for good.

I am in another state now working as a volunteer in a hospital. They wanted me to renew my license and go to work for them. I told them what had happened. I did, and lo-and-behold, I found out that my license was suspended. It took several months to get any information from them. When I did get anything, it was a CONSENT order saying that I had admitted my guilt, etc. Something that I had NEVER SIGNED!

The interesting thing is that I could not get them to answer any questions about where the address they sent the charges to, I was not even around. They would answer no questions. They finally referred me to the Assistant Attorney General so I wrote her.

The response was over and over "you signed the consent." As to the question I asked where they sent their certified letter to, the only address they had for me was the one for the evidentiary hearing in 1992.

And get this, she said "Even if that were not so, you still signed the CONSENT." I find this a very stupid statement. In other words, charges without having to prove anything.

I have sent her another letter asking exact dates, addresses, copy of their wrongly addressed and dated copy of the certified letter, copies of the license that I didn't turn over to my attorney. In other words, A full page number by number of questions that I wanted answered to prove their charges.

I now have all documents in the BON in the state I am in now. I think that the only thing that they are questioning is the phony CONSENT that I supposedly signed.

Is it true that the BON is above the law of the land and does not have to prove anything or be responsible for the illegal harm they do?

Any comments?

Thank you.

\

Is it true that the BON is above the law of the land and does not have to prove anything or be responsible for the illegal harm they do?

Any comments?

Thank you.

IMHO, administrative law is bias and unfair. They are able to make their own rules without having to worry about the Constitution of the US. Many agencies don't even give you a copy of the law(s) they are prosecuting you by. Example: In my state if you call up the Unemployment Dept and talk with an adjuster about a letter they sent questioning your eligiblity it can be construed as a hearing. They can rule and send you their determination without you even knowing you were in a hearing. You can spend thousands of dollars and untold amounts of time defending yourself from the allegations of these agencies. A nurse I know who was guilty of the drug charge brought against him spent 10k in attorney fees. He then failed to go to the programs agreed too and his license was suspended for 5 years.

debRN0417

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU, Psych, Med-surg...etc.... Has 31 years experience.

In my position, if the narc count is off it is reported to me. It is up to me to find the error or take action. It scares the hell out of me :uhoh3: and this is one reason that I prefer to not work in a management position any longer. (one of many reasons) Although I am not the one giving the meds or making the error, it still frightens me that I am resposnible for the nurses and some of then act like it's no big deal. I tell them when they stand before the BON they'll think "big deal". I have to drug destruction and I am very frightened to have to deal with all that. Some poeple don't realize that one mistake can ruin you forever.

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