How to Protect Your Nursing License from the Police

By Taralynn Mackay on Wed, Jul 24, 2013

nursing malpractice, nursing negligence Many nurses only think about the Board of Nursing when they are undergoing the process of obtaining their license or when they are renewing their nursing license. However, the Board is involved with more than just the licensing of nurses.  

While most nurses worry and plan around avoiding lawsuits, they give little thought to which actions or omissions might attract the Board’s attention. Even though lawsuits affect a nurse’s wallet, the bigger concern is the impact the Board can have on a nurse’s ability to practice nursing.

Your Nursing License

When most nurses think about relinquishing their nursing license, they assume that it will be due to a voluntary action like retirement, maybe a large inheritance or maybe even winning lottery millions!

But, few nurses expect to have to give up their ability to earn money as a nurse because the Board revokes their license or forces the nurse to surrender the license. Even if the Board chooses not to revoke a license, they can still impose restrictions on the nurse’s license that can adversely affect a nurse’s employment.

The Good Nurse

At this point, many nurses may be tempted to stop reading because “good nurses do not end up in front of the Board, and they will never need the information contained in this article.

However, a large number of nurses facing the Board are “good” nurses that may have made an error, were not aware of the laws governing their practice, or perhaps they failed to document adequately.

Perhaps the nurse is innocent, but still had a complaint filed with the Board. The one thing that is consistent with nurses under investigation by the Board is that most NEVER expected their nursing practice to be under scrutiny by the Board. “Good” nurses can be investigated by the Board and “good” nurses can be disciplined by the Board and have their nursing practice restricted.

Understanding the BON

The first area to cover is what the Board of Nurses does and how can they restrict a nurse’s license. Each state’s legislature enacts laws, the Nurse Practice Act, governing nursing practice. The executive branch of the government enforces the practice act through the state’s regulatory agency, the Board of Nurses. The Board may be independent or part of a larger regulatory entity, such as a Professional Registration Board or Licensing Board.

The Board is comprised of nurses and other members such as public members or physicians. The Board members do not work for the Board full time, and they are not usually involved in the day-to-day activities of the Board. To perform the day-to-day work, the Board has paid staff members. The Board is vested with immense power to regulate nursing.

The Board has been charged by the state’s legislature with the regulation of nursing practice. Their regulation includes licensing, monitoring continued competency (continuing education practice hour’s requirements), investigating complaints and the imposition of discipline for violations of the nurse practice act.

The Board was not established to be the guardian and protector of nurses in their particular state. This is a surprise to many nurses who often misinterpret the Board as the “advocate” for nurses. The job of advocating for nurses is performed by professional organizations such as the state or national nursing association or specialty associations.

Related Resource:  List of State Nurse Associations

Boards are entrusted to protect the public, not nurses. Think of the Board as the “nurse police”, and a better understanding of their role emerges. The Board is on the side of the public, which sometimes means to be on the side against the nurse.

Related Resource:  List of Nursing Boards by State, includes links to licensure information and renewal. 

The Most Problematic Areas

To protect themselves, nurses must be diligent and they must know the laws, rules and regulations that govern nursing practice and they must practice good risk management. The practice areas that cause the most problems for nurses are documentation, assessment, intervention, bypassing checks and balances and not knowing policies and procedures.

  • Documentation

    Documenting timely and adequately would prevent m
    any complaints or if the complaint involves another area of practice, documentation can help the nurse. There have been many instances when my clients have found themselves stating, “If only I had documented.” Nursing documentation needs to be timely and adequately to avoid problems.
  • Failing to Assess

    Failing to thoroughly assess, or failing to reassess comprise the assessment problems. Assessments must address the patient’s problems and if a new problem arises, the assessment must be focused on that new problem.
  • Correct Intervention

    A nurse cannot just assess a patient, document the assessme
    nt and stop, correct nursing intervention must be done whenever necessary. If the nurse does not obtain what is needed for the patient from current orders, he or she must notify physicians and follow the nursing chain of command until intervention is no longer required.
  • Bypassing Checks and Balances

    It is a leading cause of medical errors. For example, medication errors can be traced to a nurse failing to go through the five rights of medication administration. Likewise, rushing t
    hrough chart checks allows for orders to go unnoted and unimplemented.
  • Study Your Facility's Do's and Don'ts

    Finally, a nurse must know the facility’s policies and procedures because he or she will be held to those if a lawsuit or complaint before the Board arises. Your nursing license will be at stake. It is common that nurses practice on a unit or at a facility and they do not know what is required pursuant to the policies and procedures. However there is a common problem with policies and procedures in that they do not always cover all of a nurse’s obligations and some may be outdated or incorrect. Therefore, a nurse needs to also be aware of current nursing standards.

Nurse Representation

Nurses must protect their career by knowing whom to enlist to help them. Just as nurses should not try to represent themselves in a malpractice lawsuit, nurses should not try to represent themselves before the Board of Nurses.

The Board works for the state protecting the public and thus, the Board is not required to be concerned about a nurse’s career or protecting the rights and interests of the nurse. The Board has attorneys that will aggressively protect the Board/public’s interests.

Nurses need protection and guidance during any adverse interaction with the Board, which is why they should hire an experienced attorney to protect their interests. Based on personal experience as an attorney for a regulatory board and as a defense attorney for nurses, I have found that nurses who are represented by an attorney have a greater chance of obtaining a better outcome from a Board matter than those that are unrepresented. Nurses not only have to hire a lawyer, they need to hire the right lawyer.

Nurses should thoroughly question any attorney they are thinking of hiring to ensure that the attorney has the proper experience and knowledge to practice before the Board. The area of law that involves regulatory agencies such as the Board of Nurses is called Administrative Law. Nurses should look for an attorney that is Board certified in administrative law and one that frequently represents nurses before the Board. Nurses should not assume that every attorney has the knowledge or the experience to adequately represent them before the Board.

Nurse Protection

Nurses should also protect themselves by purchasing their own malpractice insurance that contains administrative/regulatory Board coverage. Nursing Associations recommend that all nurses carry insurance even if they think they are covered under an employer’s insurance.

There are many reasons why nurses do not purchase this inexpensive protection. For example, some nurses believe that an employer’s insurance will take care of any problems. However, the employer’s insurance may not completely cover the damages and it usually does not cover actions before the Board. Furthermore, in a situation where the employer reports the nurse to the Board, the employer is not going to then spend money defending the nurse.

It is also a common misconception that having insurance raises a red flag that draws malpractice lawsuits. There are multiple reasons why a malpractice suit is filed against a nurse and whether you have malpractice insurance or not does not alter those reasons. Insurance of nursing malpractice is inexpensive and it provides protection when protection is needed the most.

When a nurse receives notice that he or she is being investigated before the Board, it is a great relief to know that malpractice insurance is going to cover the cost of an attorney to represent the nurse before the Board. The Boards of Nursing are getting busier every year and their regulatory powers are likewise increasing. It is crucial that nurses understand the seriousness of a Board investigation. Just like the state will close down a restaurant because they are a public health risk, the state through the Board of Nurses will stop a nurse from practicing if they are a risk to the health of the public.

Nurses need to be cautious and prudent in order to protect themselves from possible adverse actions. Safeguarding your nursing license is not easy, their will be times that situations that might challenge you.

NurseTogether Notes:

The author has provided this information and opinion for educational purposes only.Obviously, this material cannot address all laws and regulations that may impact all aspects of health care and please note that such laws and regulations are constantly changing. This material should not be used as a substitute for legal counseling and should not be considered as legal advice or a legal opinion. This material is not intended to take the place on legal or professional advice or services and a reader should obtain independent legal advice before undertaking any activity that may be within the scope of any law or regulation discussed in these materials. 

Nurses and nursing students, if you are interested in sharing your nursing knowledge and experiences with our audience by becoming a NurseTogether contributing author, please click here.  If you would like to comment on the article please see below.



81 COMMENTS

Anonymous 3 months ago
I was terminated for not filling out a PCA flow sheet properly. I have had several interviews and never get hired. I am a very good nurse. What can I do? Can I investigate what my previous employer is telling the interviewer? If she is telling the details, I assume this is why I am not able to nail the job. I am frustrated and considering factory work.

Lana Gall 3 months ago
Thank you! That is very helpful.

Karen Rynbrandt 3 months ago
Put everydaylife.globalpost.com in your search and you will get most of your questions answered there. Your EX can answer questions, but due to the risk of a law suit from defamation of character may choose not to answer any. You legally don't have to answer any questions about your discharge, but honesty in a clear constructive, positive way is the best policy. If you work in an "at will" employee state Michigan you can be fired for no reason what soever! Go to that web-site for the long down! Hope it helps! LPN of 29 1/2 years full time who was in a similar place 5 years ago. Best of luck to you.

mcdonald suzanne 3 months ago
I was taken to the hospital after I fell in a restaurant. Lac lip. I got alittle drunk Which I do not do often. I was not arrested. I wasn't driving. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance where they stitched my lip did a CT scan and discharged me. I'm just worried Can the ER nurse or DR report me to the. Board of nursing for being drunk I told them I was a nurse. Or would that fall into a Hippa violation. I was not practicing at the time and was on vacation. Thanks

gail miller 3 months ago
Verbal order given by doctor, doctor later denied, no harm to patient and had a positive outcome. Terminated abruptly 1 hour before shift(3 weeks later). Have witness to order. Was warned by HR not to talk to anyone or it would look unfavorable if I was to file a grievance .Have been denied access to any of my files and to doctor statement (they say not obligated to show you since your no longer an employee)Now HR just called and said they are filing complaint with Board of Nursing. Have been in nursing field for 20 years and employed By Hospital for 12 years, a fast paced ER .

Anonymous 3 months ago
You need to go talk to a lawyer! You might want to look up on your state web-site if this Dr. has had any troubles with the licensing board of your State. You might want to file a freedom of information act. But get a good lawyer first! If they filed a complaint with your State Nursing Board you will most likely have to tell them your side of the story and they will interview also the Dr. and anyone else who was a witness. Get a lawyer! Who deals with nursing!

Anonymous 6 months ago
Here are a few little tidbits of advice from someone who's been there: 1.) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER "self report" yourself to the BON. If you have an alcohol, drug or mental health issue, tell your employer that you need to take a medical leave under the FMLA (they do not need to know the reason--your medical information is protected) & get yourself into inpatient rehab & then outpatient rehab. Do whatever you have to do to get clean, but don't ever let the state or BON involved. Resign from your job if you have to, but never voluntarily get involved with any BON "intervention" actions or agree to participate in their "program". It's of no benefit to you---you can do it by yourself in rehab---and it only makes them lots of $$$$. You don't need their "monitoring" to tell you whether you are clean or not---you know whether you are or aren't. If you have a drug or alcohol problem, your first priority is to get clean & get into recovery for YOU, not for the BON. By not getting the BON involved in your recovery, you can focus on you---not focus on the limitations that the BON placed on you or the meetings the BON says you need to go to or the tox screens that they want you to do (and that you have to pay for.) Nobody asks to have an addiction problem. Getting clean & into a strong recovery program is your business, & the less you have to worry about----like kissing the BON's ass---the more you can focus on YOU. 2.) Fight for your license like it was your life!! Try to work out a consent order for yourself----read up on case laws & statutes in your state. Research the administrative process. You can negotiate a consent order that will be much better than the punishment you'll get by going in front of the board. Remember: YOU WILL NOT WIN IF YOU GO IN FRONT OF THE BOARD. It doesn't matter what you have to support your innocence, YOU WILL NOT WIN. By working out a consent order, you won't have your license revoked forever. You may be suspended or put on probation, but that's better than going to a BON hearing only to find out that they revoked your license. 3.) In negotiating your consent order, demand that what is posted online from the BON not go into great detail & make you look like a no-good, worthless, stupid, pathetic loser. Have them agree to only post a generic comment, like that you didn't keep accurate patient records or violated the nurse practice act or something like that. Do not allow them to publish anything about an alcohol or drug addiction (legally, they can't because it is a HIPAA violation to publish medical information, of which alcohol/drug addiction is) or drug diversion or practicing while ability was impaired or admitted to dependence on drugs. 4.) Remember the cardinal rules of defense: Deny, Delay, Defend. First, deny you did anything. If someone from the BON tells you that they have eyewitnesses, video, signatures, Pyxis records, etc., deny it until you can't deny it anymore. Don't believe what they say. NEVER admit to anything. You don't know what they have---they could have absolutely nothing---they are not your friend. Consider them to be like a deceptive cop, trying to pull an admission out of you under questioning. Also, tell them you want to see what they've got. They're probably going to tell you that they're not going to show you anything until your hearing or until you get an attorney. Don't let them talk you into admitting anything---don't believe them if they say that by voluntarily coming forward that your penalty won't be as severe or anything like that. Don't say a word. Loose lips sink ships. Second, delay the entire process as long as you can----in most states, for as long as there is an investigation or you are working out a consent order or awaiting a board hearing, they cannot report any action against your license. This means you can work! When the date is coming up for the hearing, call & adjourn it until next month or the next time the board meets. Get sick. Have a personal crisis. If anyone from the BON wants to talk to you, tell them that you're getting an attorney & don't want to talk to them until then. Play the game. Third, DEFEND. When you have denied it to the enth degree, dragged it on as long as you possibly can, it's time to defend yourself. You have to find out what evidence they have. It's at this point, right before you're ready to walk into the BON hearing that you tell their attorney that you're ready to work out a consent order. By doing that, you can delay it a little more, & this way you can work into the contract terms that you're comfortable with, not terms that are imposed on you by the Board. Make sure you've done your homework---look on your state's professional discipline site to see what the penalties were for other nurses in a similar scenario as you & negotiate your consent order that way. If another nurse with drug addiction didn't have to pay a fine, then you can argue that it is not consistent for the BON to make you pay a fine. 4.) RECORD EVERY TELEPHONE CONVERSATION & GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!! Do not believe anything you're told. If they make promises over the other end of the telephone & then retract those promises & deny they told you that, you'll have the recording to prove it. When you mail something to them, send it certified, return receipt so they can't say they never got it. 5.) Most importantly, keep a level head & think before you act. While it is a scary, humiliating & unsure situation, if you can't hold yourself together, you're going to lose. Don't let them scare you into a telephone conversation of verbal diarrhea---trust me, they're recording the telephone call. Get ahold of yourself before talking to anybody. Let their calls go to voice mail. Wait until you get a written notification from them in the mail before speaking to anybody from the BON. Try to get a consultation with an attorney that has represented other nurses in front of the BON. Do your homework. Go into it with plenty of knowledge so you don't fall apart & allow them to control you. They are not there to "help" you, "support" you, or anything else. They want to control what you do under the guise of "protecting the public". The very best thing you can do when you realize you have a problem is to stop working & get help. If you think you're going to be able to do it yourself or not get caught, you're wrong. Addictions don't get better without help, & it will progress to the point where you can no longer control it. You're so much better off taking a leave of absence (per federal law, you're allowed time off without pay to attend to personal or family issues---up to one year, I think) or even resigning from your job to give yourself the time & attention you need. If you do that, no action will be placed against you by the BON, nobody will even know about it, & you'll still be able to get a job. If you say that you can't stop working because you have to pay the bills, remember that if you're caught & turned into the BON, whether you go into their program or take your chances & go in front of the board, chances are you're not going to be able to work anyway. One way or the other, you're going to have to take a chunk of time off from work. At least if you take a leave of absence under the FMLA, you'll have medical insurance to cover the cost of detox/rehab & it will be a lot less stress on you. If a prospective employer asks you why you resigned from your job, make up something. Your elderly mother/father/grandmother/grandfather/aunt/uncle was sick & you had to take care of them in another state. They won't know the difference. I know many nurses who ended up relapsing because of the harsh limitations put on them by the BON---between paying for evaluations, tox screens, meetings, rehab & not being able to work, the stress was too much for them & they said f*** it. Your recovery is not for the BON----it is for you. Having the mindset that you have to comply with the BON's set of imposed obligations to keep your license is not the proper impetus to get help. Your incentive should be YOU---getting clean, staying clean & into recovery. Nobody grows up with a goal of getting addicted to drugs or alcohol----or, for that matter, sex, gambling, or food. Even though it seems like the medical field is the most critical of others with addiction issues, just remember that he who is the quickest to judge probably has more skeletons in their closet than you ever will. Addiction does not discriminate---it affects every age, race, religion & socioeconomic group. It does not define who you are, nor does it make you a bad person. Addiction is a disease, it is classified in the DSM V, and also considered a legal disability by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). You cannot not be hired because of your prior history of addiction if you have been in recovery for an extended period of time. You are in a protected group. While you may feel like you're a bad person, a loser, scum of the earth, unable to cope, inferior, etc., you're not. You have a disease that has to be treated properly, just like high blood pressure or diabetes. The treatment is total abstinence from alcohol/drugs. You can do it. Get into rehab. Get a good psychiatrist. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, look in the mirror & make a promise to yourself that you are going to live the rest of your life clean & sober. Do it for you.

donna HENDERSON 2 months ago
Thank you so much...Beautifully written. I have suffered the consequences, shame and difficulties for 7 years working minimum wage jobs etc. Worked as a LPN for almost 2 years and took an ultam tested positive and I'm losing my license. The struggle and shame have been intense. I have been sober and drug free except for that ultram for 7 years. Must focus... going to a meeting. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous 5 months ago
This is so real what you wrote. I wish I would have seen this sooner before I made the decisions I did .

Anonymous 7 months ago
Am writing this to share with you guys what am going thru with my LVN license. First of all, I must say and admit wholeheartedly that I made a dangerous mistake that I regret everyday of my life. I must say again before continuing that I blame myself and nobody else for my poor judgement which resulted in the mistake I made. I was working as a home health LVN nurse and met this particular patient, to cut the long story shot, we fell In love. I thought she loved me the way I care and loved her because every time I visited her, she will be telling me her disappointment with men that non cared and cherished her. I saw her as good, nice lady but was unfortunate with men and she was in her late 30s like me. She did not have any serious illness that one will be concerned about except the Surgery she did on her back with was the reason why she was in home Health care. Honestly I thought we were on the same page and at that time I was going thru a hard time in my marriage . I did not know that this lady was planning something sinister against me but she was just waiting for the right time. On one of my weekly visit, one thing led to the other, we had consentual sex with condom but unfortunately for me, I put the CD in the trash can instead of flushing it down the toilet and this was my greatest undoing. After I left, and a few days past she called police that I rape her and the police contacted me. My agency had already reported me to the Board. I explained to police everything that transpired btw me and her. Police after there investigation let me go, no charge was filed. The lady did this out of greed to get money from me and the agency because while the police was investigating, she hired a lawyer demanding for settlement for the Harm she claimed I caused her.
I did not have money to hire a lawyer to help me and finally my License was surrendered voluntarily and since then, my lifelihood changed completely. I need a lawyer to help me but my biggest problem is money.
I wish somebody will read this and wll try to assist me. You can contact me thru my emai vinesee@yahoo.com. Thanks

Anonymous 8 months ago
well this is quite interesting because I was a camp nurse for a week at a huge x-games type camp in Pa. We were treated like garbage, and when I would protest that the things they were asking us to do were against the nurse practice act so essentially illegal, I got nowhere. When I returned home I immediately called the state board of nursing in Pa, who has for 4 months told me there is nothing they can do, and they do not regulate camps. BUT THEY REGULATE NURSES!! So I call the department of health who laughs at me. So back to the state board of nursing, who again, did absolutely nothing. So this camp puts our most vulnerable population at risk every day by nurses like me trying to keep them safe but having no physician orders, no standing orders, no orders at all to give these thousands of medications the parents have sent in. to treat wounds and injuries with no orders. In fact, there is no physician adviser for this camp. But they get away with it. For years. Because no agency will step in and say STOP!! So at this point I have nothing but contempt for this agency.

Helen Smith 8 months ago
Hospitals put nurses in unmanageable and dangerous situations all the time and the BOD is silent. Administrations cover mistakes for nurses they like and the BOD is silent. Families make unfair accusations and discriminate against nurses just because they do not like her, the BOD is silent. What a useless organization. Their function should be handed over to the Board of Health.

William Dask 9 months ago
I was in hospital recovering from surgery and two nurses came up to my bed and did not introduce themselves or ask me my name , I asked what they were doing and one said she had to check my abdominal tube , She lifted my gown and exposed my genitals unnecessarily while she was attempting to move the tube. I was exposed for about 5 minutes. Later the same nurse opened the bathroom door while I was having a shower so she could see me fully naked.This nurse was definitely stalking me . I refused her help and when I left the hospital reported her unprofessional behaviour. There are some sick nurses out there who do not have the patient welfare in mind.

Anonymous 1 year ago
I was a Clinical Laboratory Scientist for 20yrs. After retiring early, I went into the nursing profession. I have never been so humiliated and unfairly treated. I am convinced that nursing as a profession sucks! Thank God I have another career option. I thought that a nursing career would have been a rewarding career, but I was sadly mistaken. Those who are suppose to orientate a new nu

Anonymous 2 years ago
I've been a nurse for 40 yrs., a life time. I've loved nursing, it's all I've ever wanted to be and do. But, my luck has run out as well. I use luck literally because there is probably not a day that goes by for most nurses anyway who work in acute care that they are not forced to do something that might be viewed as, "questionable, illegal even." Our jobs are driven by numbers, productivity, bottom line directives. It's a matter of time and probability that the longer one practices the greater the odds of being reported.

Anonymous 2 years ago
WOW I cant believe I found this site! After thirteen years and here you are on a random google search...yay. Anyway WHat awesome feedback on this site.Talk about getting in trouble... Like you dont have enough to worry about everyday you go to work.Saving lives, educating people making people feel better. Making a difference. Until someone anyone, you dont know who reports you to the Board of Nursing, and even then you do not know the proper steps, no guidance, no handbook NOTHING and you don't know who to confide in you are absolutely helpless at least I was on June 15, 2010 and still everyday that I try to move forward.It feels as though we have no rights. We work our tails off to go through school, take that horrid test... pass with pride to do my dream job,ha... only to have my own personal addiction, no ill effects to my patients be my demise!! and I say that because nothing was done out in the open, its behind your back.but ok so you move past that and are now accountable nothing wrong with that. I mean really we are accountable everyday of our lives especially at work!!but now all of a sudden one mistake and its over, just like that. The board in IL. is giving less punishment for self reporting vs public reporting.. Well I guess if I had read my Nurse Practice Act more thouroughly, I would have known. but that has way to much information to remember and Its not like you plan your addiction..ITS A DISEASE!!!!like CHF, COPD and all the others we know so well.I would love to get together and do something about this Board of Nursing. There has to be a second chance..A warm body out of Nursing school isnt going to always do the trick, you know seasoned nurses have alot to offer. And about getting employed outside of Nursing seems impossible here in Illinois. Job application after job app. when it comes to work history and you write two places in thirteen years as an RN- no calls I dont know why Wal Mart, Target, Chilis Starbucks wont call unless they think its a joke?So know Nursing and no work period. Losing your life(home,kids,car and career)How much more accountability can there be? I am willing to do what I can to help change things if we can.Thanks...scared

Anonymous 6 months ago
I can completely empathize with your situation. It took me 6 months to ruin what it took 10 years to build. By not knowing how to properly report, I have ruined my career and my families life with one DUI. The way the Board has responded is 50x more severe than the criminal ramifications. It has taken KY almost 2 years to give me a Hearing, while keeping my license under investigation. I have been unable to change jobs and the hours at the staffing agency have just not been enough. The Boards of Nursing, regardless of the state, do not care about public protection, only getting paid the fines they impose. They asked for 4x what I paid the courts in fines. Now I am being told the Board attorney is going to seek suspension r/t my "inability" to provide competent care. Hell I hadn't worked a shift in months when I received the DUI, which was part of the reason I was drinking to begin with, yet I am considered a threat to public safety! Why renew my license then? Why not put out an order to relinquish it? Just like any other government agency, state or federal, the only driving force behind their actions is money, not public safety. I am almost to the point of retiring my license and finishing my Masters in a field more rewarding and lucrative and doesn't leave me to be open prey for the new breed of patients from medicaids expansion called Obamacare. The law of the land has sealed the fate for healthcare to cease to exist as we knew it. Never again will this country be the same or our civil liberties given back to us. Hey I have a great idea, just fill the nurse shortage with drones!! That is what most facilities and hospitals want anyway. Something, ( I use thing on purpose to emphasize our lack of respect as humans), that can work nonstop, not eating, not needing to go to bathroom, has no family or social life, no desire to be anywhere other than where their programmed to be and can not contract a super!! To anyone reading this considering to become a nurse..STOP. Nursing has become nothing more than glorifed waitressing with meds...I think by writing this I have made up my mind....some drone can have my license... I would rather not anymore. Good luck America. We are all going to need it!

Anonymous 2 years ago


Barbara H.nurses like you and your way of thinking is why we have nursing shortages. Every nurse is different and have different circumstances that have gotten them in a situation with the BON. Heaven forbid that you ever get in trouble with the state board...but every dog has its day and one day you may know what it feels like to face these cruel and heartless individuals that sit on the board of nursing. You just keep thinking the way you and all the other perfect nurses think and when you are least expected, it will come. Very upset with the nursing support system.



Anonymous 2 years ago
Hello everyone an good morning. I joined this forum because I read the posts and too have had my entire life ripped from me by te board of nursing. Being a single mom an sole provider, I have no idea how to survive anymore. I am now takin my story to the public. I have contacted sf channel 7, sf chronicle, and now a new discrimination lawyer. I am looking for other nurses to come together who are in a similar situation as I. I have also contacted jerry brown and am now awaiting a meeting with him. I want to expose the California board of nursing for who they really are. Please contact me via email I will tell you my story and you can tell me yours. There should be justice for nurses. Lsugrrr@aol.com

Anonymous 2 years ago
I would like to comment on a couple of issues regarding the Boards. As nurses we have the RIGHT to our records under federal law. Do not let anyone tell you that you don't have the right to them. This is YOUR license. Under federal law it is protected. As nurses we have the RIGHT to legal representation. I was verbally threatened by my board to "think real long and hard about that". Mind you, this was right after she received a letter from my attorney to NOT have contact with me. I heard today of the incredible amount of unethical situations which arise and are executed because of actions by the Boards. Together as one collective whole, I hope nurses come together and stand up for one another. I have my entire team standing for me. It can be done. Let's change things.

Anonymous 3 months ago
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT!

Anonymous 2 years ago


I received a dui on 1/1/2011, and as a good Nurse, I self-reported to the BON in Indiana. Biggest mistake I ever made. I was not going to work or even scheduled to work that day; just leaving a friend's house after a New Year's Eve party. All of my charges were dismissed on 1/20/2012 as I completed all of the requirements mandated by the courts. But the BON did not yet have their pound of flesh - my nursing license was suspended in Feb 2012 due to noncompliance. I could not afford the monitoring fee (I went before the board 12/1/2011 and told them so, I was informed by the BON there is a financial aide program, which I inquired upon and a week later - via email - I was dismissed from the monitoring program). I was given a 90-day suspension, fired from my ICU nursing position, and am unable to get unemployment benefits. I have filed bankruptcy, lost my vehicle, no income, unable to obtain any job in retail, custodial, or a tech/phlebotomy job in healthcare. I am sure by June 1st I will be evicted from my hme. I cannot afford any attorney fees ($7500.00 flat fee/no consultation) and am at my wits end. There are people who have diverted meds where I work and still have their positions. ISNAP is judgmental, hypocritcal, and just plain mean people who are quite vindictive. I am at a loss and at the end of my rope. Honesty is not always the best policy...



Anonymous 2 years ago
My license has been suspended for 10 years...actually was ordered for 3 years, but I really had no clue how to get it back. the BON...they think you're a creep...tell anyone your story they either don't believe you, or really believe you and promptly drop out of nursing school. Nurses are horrible to each other. for me. I was convinvced by a therapist to join my state's "Voluntary Recovery Program" Nothing about it was any part of the title. I was told, go to this rehab for 90 days, send us a confession of this that or the other, and things will work out fo you. I was told when my license went into the legal department (by the state approved drug counselor) that this was a "formality" I NEVER went to work high, NEVER stole from a hospital, yet they got me caught up at a young age to sign these forms, or I would not be able to get a note to go to work (I had been out sick for 2 wks and needed a note)With just my mortgage and car payment on my 24 year old brain, I signed the 30+ page agreement...What a mistake! I made two mistakes, and like I said they said go to this long term rehab and write a detailed confession, and you'll be OK...NEVER trust the BON they are NOT on your side any more than those back stabbers you work with. I have a phone interview with a lawyer in a couple minutes...the thing I worked so hard for seems to be that it will never return. I rake my brain for "what else shoule I do" Pathetic situation. I am now 38...I don't even have the same name or religion since it happened. We'll see what this attorney has to say...but I may just become a florist...flowers don't back stab you!! Is everyone else here going back to nursing, or finding another path? thanks for letting me vent!

Anonymous 5 months ago
How are you making out with this ? It sounds like me

Anonymous 2 years ago
I, too, am in a monitoring program since fall of '09. I cannot find work. The interviews go well, but when we get to the contract, it's over. I have gone to at least 15 face-to-face interviews, work with my unemployment office, and I have now finally decided to change careers. Perhaps I can get a per diem on Sundays to work off the contract. There are other courses to take, but I need to do something besides nursing. I have my paralegal degree. But lUCY, TO YOUR BOOK IDEA...i THINK WE ARE THINKING ALONG THE SAME LINES,and I would seriously consider a book. I called the ACLU, and they would like me to come in and chat. The discrimination is so blatant!!!!!!! I was going along in an interview for Assisted Living. When we got to the contract, the interviewer, closed her file, and said. "Well I'll be getting back to you in a few days" I have to finish interviewing several other candidates, and I'll let you know our decision. Needless to say they all go the same way. Because I am 2 yrs and 4 months clean and sober, I am firmly entrenched in ADA protection. Have you investigated this at all??? I don't have much money left and I am absolutely furious.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Hi Jennifer-I'm wondering if you're mis-informed re not being able to work in most health care facilities? Unless, there is more to the story, haven't heard about this ban for folks like you, in cases such as yours. I do wonder if perhaps all health professionals such as ourselves should band together and write a book!!! Perhaps if we get on book tour circuits and in the media as a mass group, we could make an awareness of the many injustices nurses alone can face. I bet many are unaware of stories re nurses such as those written about here. Would be a real eye opener for govt officials and those in all other professions.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I "voluntarily" relinquished my RN liscense in FL in 2007. It was for failing to adhere to the drug test requirements enforced by BON.Yes I did have a drug/alcohol problem. Although I did have a problem I was not reported because of it.My ex-husband reported me to his doctor after he was arrested for choking me. Thus,I was required to "participate" in the FL Intervention Project For Nurses. LONG story short:I was given the option to voluntarily surrender my liscense or adhere to ALL the state requirements-including IMMEDIATE entry into a 6 month in-patient rehab.I had NO money due to the fact that I was not allowed to work as an RN for 1 year-(so I was NO immediate danger to public at this time). Bottom line is I was "a good nurse" being punished for an abusive husband who had no clue he'd ruin my life by complaining to his family doctor. I have been in recovery for over a year now but, have no idea what to do career wise. Very few nurses understand how EASY it is to get in trouble with the BON! There is ZERO chance I can ever get my liscense back! I cannot EVER work in ANY public healthcare setting whether I clean toilets or push paper due to a FEDERAL list I (ALL) nurses get placed on that prevents any facility that is funded via medicare/etc(99% of them do)-to hire you. Now what?I am and always will be -no matter how many years clean-a "bad nurse"!

Anonymous 2 weeks ago
What Federal list are you referring to? Why would you be placed on such a list if you haven't been found guilty of a "criminal act" such as patient abuse, sex offense or negligence??? If you don't mind would you please explain further what you are referring to? Thanks!

Anonymous 3 years ago
I AM A FAIRLY NEW NURSE, HAVEN'T EVEN HAD MY LICENSE FOR 4 MONTHS, ON MY FIRST NURSING JOB AT A LTC/REHAB FACILITY, AND IT'S BEEN HELL ON WHEELS, EVERYTIME SOMETHING GOES WRONG THEY BLAME IT ON THE NEW NURSES. I HAD POOR ORIENTATION. WE ALL KNOW THAT WHEN YOU FINISH SCHOOL, HALF OF THAT STUFF YOU LEARNED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF WHAT REALLY STOOD OUT YOU REMEMBER FRAGMENTS. WHY WOULD YOUR SUPERVISOR LET YOU CHART AND SEE THAT YOU ARE CHARTING INCORECTLY, AND INSTEAD OF PULLING YOU OFF THE COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY, WAIT 2 WEEKS BEFORE STATE BOARDS COME IN TO GIVE YOU A QUICK CRASH COURSE. WHEN I WAS IN ORIENTATION,ALL I DID WAS PASS MEDS AND DO TREATEMTNS, THE ORIENTOR DID NOT SHOW ME NOT ONE NOTE SHE CHARTED, NOW WHEN I'M HUNG TO DRY, NO ONE IS GOING TO BE THERE TO HELP ME. AS A NEW NURSE YOU NEED TIME TO GET A SYSTEM DOWN. WHEN YOU WORK AT A SKILLED FACILITY, FIRST NURSING JOB, IT'S NOT EASY. IN SCHOOL THEY DON'T TELL YOU ABOUT THIS PART. AT THS JOB I FEEL LIKE I'M ALWAYS IN TROUBLE AND ALWAYS WALKING ON EGG SHELLS, I COME TO WORK ON TIME, DON'T CALL OUT, BUT OTHERS WHO DO WHAT THEY WANT BECAUSE THEY FEEL THEY ARE INDISPENSABLE, GET TO KEEP DOING WHAT THEY WANT. IT'S A FUNNY THING, THE MAIN PLAYERS ARE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND WHEN THE STATE HAS COME IN, THEY'RE EITHER OUT SICK OR ON VACATION, SO I GUESS THEY SAY LET'S PUT THE NEW NURSES ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK OR THE NEW EMPLOYEES, CAN ANYBODY GIVE ME SOME ADVISE

Anonymous 3 years ago
I chose to participate in the VOLUNTARY recovery program through the BON, and STRONGLY recommend that anyone not choose that route. They did nothing for me except make my life a living hell. I never had any legal charges or charges for being an impaired nurse brought against me by the BON suspended my license because I wouldn't continue in the voluntary program after I put 3 years in. I guess it doesn't matter that I have been sober for over 3 years & have never been considered impaired. What about the nursing shortage?????

Anonymous 3 years ago
I thought the article was very informative and feel as a nurse I have to practice defensively...have encountered so many mean and nasty supervisors and nurses over the years, no wonder some nurses succumb to substance, sometimes the reality of the job is so painful...it is not for the fainthearted...I am almost out after 35 years and glad...

Anonymous 3 years ago
Join your ANA constituent State Nurses Association! this is your professional peer support group, watching your back at the legislature and ready to listen to your member concerns. Why is the AMA so powerful? Do you know a physician who is not a member?

Anonymous 3 years ago
This is exactly why nurses should have a union. You spend your adult life working on a career and it all goes down the drain in a matter of minutes. We are underpaid, overworked and understaffed. We are human, we make mistakes just like anyone else. If I didn't have so much invested in this career, I would not be a nurse nor would I encourage anyone to follow that career path.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Excellent article. Saving it for future reference, but hope will never need. Have been a nurse > 35 yrs but not previously seen this type of info. Have seen a friend & colleague lose her license d/t a vindictive former nurse manager. Her license has been revoked and basically her life has been ruined. She was unable to afford to hire an attorney besause she had been off work d/t health problems and tried to represent herself. BIG MISTAKE. Thank-you to the author for vital and much needed information.

Anonymous 3 years ago
After working as an LPN for 27 years, I finally retired. Most of this time I have worked in long-term care facilities. Employers, residents and families became meaner and meaner over the years. Paper work and documentation have increased to the point of no time to care for residents. I am sorry I ever went into nursing and I am very glad to be out. Who stands behind the nurse?--no one.

Anonymous 3 years ago
BON in Indiana is a joke. They don't even do criminal background checks on nurses - as a result, I have worked with some very questionable and scary nurses. You might be working with a criminal but God forbid you blow the whistle on a doctor. Now THAT you can lose your license for!

Anonymous 3 years ago
Can you report a supervisor to the BON for not providing education and experience when the RN repeatedly asked for it in order to perform duties in that area. These were requested in writing to administration and verbally one-to-one and in staff meetings. None was provided and RN was assigned to this unit about once every 6-8 weeks without warning and finally resigned after the last 8 hours in that unit.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This article has excellent information in "IT"!
The main issue is that very few nursing students before they graduate are told that it is critical to their career that (1) Obtain nursing liabilty insurnace as soon as they get their RN license and (2) NEVER go in front of any Board of Nursing without an attorney!
The fact that although a hospital will "insure/defend" a nurse via their "insurance" during a "case", the hospital can come back and sue the nurse in order to be compensated for their loss and (3) It is critical to never change "one" liability company since a new policy with a new company will NOT be retroactive on a claim!
As far as the National Council of State Boards of
Nursing, "IT" grew out from the American Nursing Association (ANA)...read the home site of the NCSBN! Take time to read about "WHO" is in control of your nursing career! Take time to read "why" all nurses in all states NEED to demand that their legislators investigate their "BON powers" and their "records" especially since someone "stupid /vindictive" person can just call into a 800 number anonomously and ruin one's life! My opinions!
Helen French author of:
Frenchies Hospital Survial Tips ......on-line on Amazon.com

Anonymous 3 years ago
I have read thes comments, and I to am very saddened by many of the circumstances my collegues have had to face. I have been a nurse for 25 years and have see some of the things discussed in these comments.
Nurses have never had one orginization like the AMA who will watch thier backs, promote legislation, and demand respect and athourity.
We have a number of organizations that try to bring issues to political light but we are all not united in that 1 orgination.
Our leaders promote education, and academic article in an effort to gain respect in the professional community. It has helped but only to an extent.
We need a national group for all nurses, to advocate for all nurses, by nurses. This orginization should retain attornies specailized in helping nurses. We need strong representation in Washington to help with wage standards, protecitve legislation and legal recousre for inapporperiate actions against us.
You are so right, on one stands up for nurses but surley we are smart enough to develop an orginaziton spacifically direceted at these topics.
Every time the AMA watch dogs think some element of practice is being taking from the Md. they are immediately working to stop the process, yet we see our power and parctice slipping away in some cases to lesser qulified or edcuated staff members. This is done becuse facilities can pay others less for the same type of service/ care and we do nothing to stop the erosion of our own profession.
The only way to fight back is to unite together giving power to a NURSING orginization where we all stick together.
I am not pro union but I am pro professional orginizaion with power. Think about it.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I recently quit nursing after being in long-term care setting,18 years from last employer- with 30 years experience. Question that no one could answer. If a nurse not able to document in a shift, is willing to stay to finish this, but is "told" to leave; because employer does not want to pay over-time.Doesn't this put facility and nurse in horrible position legally? You try to be a "good nurse" - very frustrating & hopeless. I to thinking about getting out of nursing. maybe go make subs at Publix!

Anonymous 3 years ago
Nursing is not about good patient care anymore. It's all about the money. Document good so the we can justify the facility getting paid. Administrators and DON's want us to more and more work and "care" for more patients in less time for less money. Heck how can we assess the patients if we can't get to see them if we are drowning in paperwork? Ugh I'm disgusted. Then you want to talk policy and procedures. We have never seen them. They are locked up in the office where we cannot get to them. Wow. Can't wait to get out of nursing

Anonymous 2 months ago
it breaks my heart to read what you wrote.. but you have said it so true. when I went into nursing it was different .. I would never want to become a nurse now. the staff nurse is treated like a dog. I've worked in a couple of different facilities and its all the same everywhere. I would retire today but I haven't got enough money,because I was wrongly accused of something but stupidly plead guilty to avoid jail time ,, then 4 years later the BON decides that I should have my license suspended for that misdemeanor ,,something that had NOTHING to do with nursing. I am sick to death of nursing, a career that I went into loving so much.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I work as in house legal nurse consultant for a defense law firm. We defend cases, nurses, physicians, etc. I think it is important to know that hospital policies and procedures are not the definition of the "Standard of Care.". Policies and Procedures from a hospital are looked at as "guidelines for practice". In a legal allegation against a nurse, the plaintiff must prove that the nurse failed to meet the "Standard of Care". Now, the SOC is what a reasonable nurse across the nation would do in the same or similar situation. It is all cool to know what nursing books tell us is expected, protocols, etc. But you must be able to prove you followed the Standard of Care. So in your practice, when you are working, just think, "what would a reasonable RN in another state do in this situation? Its about communication, assessments, and documentation in a timely manner.

Anonymous 3 years ago
i am being investigated about a speeding ticket, the officer hated nurses. claimed i was doing 80 and i wasnt, through a yellow light. He was hostile from the moment he came up to my car. I tried to be nice which made it worse. He called my job to tell them i was speeding. The director went down to station and watched me get a speeding ticket in my car on my own time on my way to work. I told the officer when he asked where i worked and gave my number when he asked. I WAS FIRED FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING DUE TO TELLING HIM WHERE I WORKED AND GIVING MY PHONE NUMBER. AGAIN,. I WAS ON A PUBLIC STREET ANSWERING QUESTIONS OF OFFICER. She was fired a month later i am sure due to firing me for unapproved reasons. she filed with the board to INVESTIGATE ME FOR TRYING TO GET OUT OF A SPEEDING TICKET BY USING MY EXCUSE OF BEING A NURSE. WHICH NEVER HAPPENED. NOW.... 3 GRAND LATER... FOR LAWYER, STRESS FROM BEING INVESTIGATED FOR BULL SHIT... AND NOW WAITING FOR DECISION IF THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE ACTION THAT I VIOLATED THE NURSE PRACTICE ACT!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THIS ONE SPEEDING TICKET HAS COST ME FROM A COP THAT HATES NURSES.

Anonymous 3 months ago
YOU NEED TO GET A LAWYER AND TAKE YOUR EX-EMPLOYER TO COURT! WHY WOULD YOUR BOSS NEED TO SEE YOU GET A SPEEDING TICKET? THEY OWE YOU BACK PAY! WHAT A BUNCH OF NONE SENSE!

Anonymous 3 years ago
Its funny how the BON has all of these standards that they enforce, but who enforces the nurse when she/he comes on shift and finds that they are severely short-staffed that day and you have to just "suck it up"? I have frequently had assignments that there is no possible way that one person could fully assess, document, and provide good nursing care! The charge nurse typically also is overwhelmed with an assignment as well. I would advise anyone interested in a nursing career to run like crazy! This is the worst decision that I have ever made--never have I been so unsupported, overworked, and beaten down. And for what? Currently in the process of changing careers......

Anonymous 3 years ago
I am currently in a monitoring program mandated by the State Board of Nursing. I continue to get frustrated and discouraged. I owned up to my problem, got help for it, and put in the work. After completing the first year of monitoring and very strict restrictions at work, my privleges have been restrored. I am still working for the same employer through this whole process. When I returned to work I met a great deal of scrutiny, rumors and lies by my coworkers. The state board was punishing me, my coworkers were punishing me and at one point I felt broken. I have maitained my program. I continue to work here because I need to pay my bills. A few months into the program I started looking for new employement, not one place would even interview me because of my participation in this program. A few months ago when all the restrictions were lifted, I thought- Great now I can finally move forward to a new job and leave these mean people behind, but no. I am still having a hard time even getting an interview. I don't understand. Before when I was working under the influence of narcotics, I recieved rewards and promotions. I handle my business, and now I am an outcast and everyone's punching bag. Why can't people understand I am better now than ever before? The State Board needs to do something for the nurse who can make it through their program but are now and forever going to be discriminated against.

Christy Sanders 6 months ago
I just self reported to my board of nursing and am getting ready to go through the peer review process. My employer so far has been very suppportive and reports as long as I "jump through the hoops" and do what I am suppose to do, I am still a "good nurse" and I can get better and get throuhg this with my license intact. I hope they are right. I want to feel better, keep my job, and get on with my life drug free.

Anonymous 3 years ago
the State Board of Nursing is just like the Gestapo...you have NO rights. here in Louisiana the Director of Nurses at our hospital is president of the state board...in many instances, if you make her mad she WILL turn you in to the board on bogus charges...I'd NEVER recommend nursing to ANYONE! and I've been in it for over 30 years!

Anonymous 3 years ago
This is a great article and very informative. After working on a high acuity med-surg unit in a hospital for 10 years I developed an opiate addiction due to back pain from a lumbar fracture I sustained in a car wreck when I was 16. Got prescribed narcs from my Dr.. Not thinking clearly, I diverted drugs from the pixis. I never thought I would be in this situation. Not making excuses, I know this is all totally my fault. I was given a 3 yr contract with several restrictions, including no handling of narcotics or psychotropics. Although discouraged, I decided I wanted to keep my career due to my love of helping people and putting in 4 years of college and lots of hard work to obtain my BSN. Now it's 9 months later and still no job. Already had to file bankruptcy. The board makes it extremely difficult to be emloyed with all the restrictions they impose. I understand the majority of them but why not be able to give narcs/psychotropics with supervision? I've had 6 interviews and done well but when it comes to the med restrictions the offer is off the table. I'm going to look for a job outside of nursing and probably go back to school for a different degree, all the while still seeking a nursing job to get this contract worked off. I have no other choice now. I never would have gone into nursing if I'd known I'd get myself into this mess! But of course I would have done alot of things different if I could see the furture. Please if your reading this, be very careful and don't ever do anything to jeapordize your license, it is so not worth it!

Anonymous 3 years ago
It saddens me so to see some of these comments, Nurses were I work are paid very well for what they do and as a group support each other, if you are to be responsible for your profession you need to know what you should and should not do. For every nurse out there reported to the BON, there is probably somebody that agonized over that decision, accept responsibility for your actions and ask "what did I do that got me to this point" I am a leader and I have both hired nurses on the monitoring program and reported nurses to the board. I promise you that where there is a report to the board the nurse displayed some behavior that was of concern and possibly a danger to patients. So quit blaming the BON, accept responsibility for your actions and either make the decision that nursing and what you do is important and significant or find another job, nursing needs high quality professionals.

Anonymous 3 years ago
WOW A-mazing this is very true who does have nurse's backs? To tell you the truth it has to be God, because before I go into work at my job I have to say a prayer! I work with some miserable and demonic people and at time patients as well. I've always wondered where I could get a copy of Nursing Practices in my state but never found a link. I guess we as nurses just need to have a savings account titled " In case I'm summoned by the BON" so we can hire a lawyer. It's just sad nurses now a days are so mean and bitter towards each other. I've only been nursing for four years, I wonder if it's always been like this. We just need to stick together and form a united union!

Anonymous 3 years ago

Thank you for printing this article for all to see. After 46 years of practice without any reports to Peer Review or BON, I just got the hit. I had always cherished those years of helping folks regain their health. Now that I am retiring age, I'm very sad that I didn't get out of Nursing. The BON is very harsh compared to Physicians and Attorneys.


Anonymous 3 years ago

I made the HUGE mistake of consulting mental health services where I work (because that is what my insurance covered ). I was going thru a divorce and on general at the end of my rope. Before enrolling on program o specifically asked of my care would be confidential - they answered of course. Liars! By the 3rd day of outpt tx my "treatment team" had already talked to EAP and our states monitoring agency. Now I had never had issues at work in 20 years of practice. If I refused to participate I would be fired. After 2 yrs of monitoring I got sick of it changed jobs and told the monitoring folks goodbye. After 5 months on new job I was called before the board for a summary suspension. I had a lawyer and after heated discussion they voted against suspending my license. Between lawyer fees and $ spent on random drug screens which o passed every time o spent close to ten grand. The monitoring agencies are paid by the board a monthly fee for every participant. It's "bad business" for them to release you. That was 7 yrs ago and I'm still a nurse but wish I wasn't.


irene chaffee 2 months ago
omg.. I always was kind of leary about using EAP at work.. Sounds like you have grounds for a lawsuit. what about confidentiality.. HIPPA.. It sounds like more than a few laws were violated..number one being your civl riights.

Anonymous 3 years ago

This article appropriately describes the role of the board. The responses of many of the readers, however, demonstrate a lack of awareness and a sense of frustration. The boards of nursing in many states are not only made up of volunteers but are also too often underfunded to do the work that needs to be done. Many nurses are not aware of the need to support the boards and monitor state policy. It is in our interest to have strong boards as we as a profession are all held to the same standards and allowing incompetence, even if not intentional brings down our profession.


Anonymous 3 years ago

all very sad but very true. nurse beware.....


Anonymous 3 years ago

I agree with so much of what is being said here in these comments. What a hard ungrateful profession this is to be in. The public and the BON can be so very hard on nurses. I've been a nurse for 35 years now and it's unreal what a nurse is put through just by employers. And the salaries are no where near what is deserved. We live in fear constantly of making a mistake or loosing our jobs. Their is no one to back us up and you can bet the facility you work for is not going to. I've watched for years, nurses loosing their jobs through some of the most unfair things, through atrocious injustices. It's heartbreaking profession to begin with , with little reward, but it is even more heartbreaking to realize just what can be done to you through the unjust ways of co-workers and employers. It saddens me to know that a profession that was set up to care for others, is so deeply cruel to ones who provide that care. However, I do have an experience to share that concerns the BON. And I imagine that I was very lucky to have it turn out the way it did. I had been a nurse for 30 years and was never accused of anything. Unfortunately I went to work at a facility that had a Director of Nursing that accused me of sleeping on my job, (1st shift). Acutally I had gone to a room , sat down on a bed, and passed out from a very low sodium level. Instead of sending me to the emergency room, I was told to go home. I went to the Emergency Room on my own, thinking it might be my blood sugar, so I had lab work and a drug screen to prove what was happening to me. These were at my own expense in order to protect myself from any further accusations. I was called in the next day by that Director of Nursing and told that unless I could prove that I had narcolepsy or a brain tumor, then I was fired. I lost my job and was turned into the BON. My license were not suspended at that time, but the Nursing Board finally contaced me and I was notified that I would have to appear in Raliegh and talk to an investigator. It took almost a year to resolve the matter, but I was still allowed to work. I did retain a lawyer in my defense and he talked with the investigator. She said that I could bring my lawyer with me but it wasn't necessary as she only wanted to talk to me and make a decision whether to take further steps. That I would need my lawyer present if her decision was that I appeared before the board of investigators. Fortunately for me, this lady investigator was very nice, treated me with respect and courtesy as she talked to me about the events that happened at my work place. After I left there I had to wait a week or so for her decision. She contacted me by both phone and mail, that I was exonerated of any wrong doing and that she felt the Director of Nursing and the facility did not act appropriately and were in the wrong. That I should have been sent by them for medical evaluation before making any decision concerning my termination. I had never had anything against me at the Board of Nursing or any inappropriate things at previous employments either. I thought this investigator to be a very fair person and one that cared about what was happening to me and I will always be gateful to her for that outcome. Since I was exonerated from any wrong doing, there is no record at all at the BON regarding my ever having to come there. Now, let me tell you this without going into a long list of details. Some months down the road after her dismisal of me, that nursing director was fired for the use of drugs and other inappropriate behavior. She was not turned into the BON on her proven behavior. She was led out of the building, but allowed to continue on going to work at other places and has continued to get fired from each. So, even though there might be injustices at the BON, tell me about the injustice, the real injustice done by these facilities in allowing this nurse to continue to practice without any reprecussions to her. Not just one facility but several who allow her to move on to another place to work, knowing what her actions continue to be. Where is the justice for me in having that termination on my work record and having to explain that every time I would apply for a job. And tell me where the justice is that the director of nursing where I work, is friends with this director that once fired me unjustly, has now hired her to work at the same facility I now work. I can only thank the Lord that there was some justice for me at the BON. Otherwise, I would most likely have no nursing license at this point. I was lucky to say the least.


Anonymous 6 months ago
PLEASE CONTACT ME AT AHOBBSRN@GMAIL.COM. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT LAWYER YOU OBTAINED OR HOW YOU FOUND A LAWYER IN NC TO REPRESENT YOU AT THE BON PLEASE. THANK YOU!

Anonymous 3 years ago

Nurses are so disrespected. Nurses also do each other in. I could never have been more wrong about a career choice. We should have been unionized across state lines years and years ago. I went into this field thinking I would be taking care of patients. Instead we are overloaded with redundant paperwork and never but never thanked for anything we do. I am burnt out and really made a poor career choice.


Anonymous 6 months ago
I AGREE WITH YOUR STATEMENT AND ASSESSMENT OF NURSING PRACTICE!

Anonymous 3 years ago

From some of the comments I just read I conclude that boards of nursing sometimes act in unfair or imprudent ways. That is not the same as saying that they are failing in their duty to have nurses backs. As professionals we are given privileges and rights by society. In return we assume obligations, heavy obligations. We do this voluntarily. Accountants, engineers, lawyers, and other professions also have boards which regulate their practice in order to protect the public. In nursing school we are taught that as professionals we need to be accountable. This is a nexample of that accountability.


Anonymous 3 years ago

Very good article. The main thing to keep in mind as nurses is that the BON is not your enemy and they dont want to ruin your career. The board of nursing wants good nurses to practice however they want the nurses to practice safe. Chances are, if you are a nurse that had to enter into a monitoring program for substance abuse, there is a reason for it...maybe not the reason you got sent there but I have yet to meet a nurse that was sent to this program who has NO problems with drugs/alcohol. And before you say it, no I am not a member of the BON nor am I an employee of the monitoring program, I am a nurse who has gone through it and have a new understanding of the BON because of it.


Anonymous 3 years ago

I have been a nurse for over 35 yrs now that I am in a montering progam I can not find work out of work for 2 yrs . they donot care and i was told this was not a punitive program I know that the BON types have heald a dieing pt in there last few mins.


Anonymous 3 years ago

Every new nurse or people who are thinking about becoming a nurse should read this article! I went through hell and back to get my probation terminated early. If you don't think it won't happen to you, dream on! Documentation won't always cover you in court! It all depends on how the person reading it interprets it! My friend went through this ordeal!


Anonymous 3 years ago

My BON decided that I had a drug problem (despite the fact that I was evaluated and found not to have a drug problem--also never received an initial drug screen). I was forced to undergo participation in a drug monitoring program for a year and a half, which cost me hundreds of dollars. I lost my job, found another right away, and had that offer revoked when I told them that I was to be in a monitoring program. It took the BON more than a year to investigate my case, during which time my scope of practice was so severely restricted by the monitoring program that I could not find another job. I had to do daily check-ins with the monitoring service, with random drug testing dictated by them. And when I called the state authorities who were in charge of the drug monitoring, and told them I was having to declare bankruptcy, and I could no longer afford the testing, they told me to go buy a credit card and do it anyway. After all this time, I broke down and cried. My husband took the phone and just yelled at them to leave me alone, the BON had already decided that I was "cleared". Since I could not work, the initial drug testing results were ignored, and I was discharged from the program after I was "cleared", I can only conclude that my compulsory participation in the drug program was meant to be primarily punitive, and was not designed to "help" me in any way. It will be a cold day in hell before I ever go back to nursing.


Anonymous 3 years ago

It's really important that we as nurses: #1 Stand together. #2 Know your rights and responsibilities as a Nurse and challenge each other to abide by them. #3 Tell the truth and don't be afraid speak out against things that negatively affect patients and our co-workers. #4 Don't throw your co-worker under the bus just to save your own "job." Have integrity. #5 Know the ways that current Employers and their HR Departments "manage" "Human Resources" in your workplace/state. You'd be surprised what they can/and do use to systematically destroy your life and career...under OSHA Regulations if you're...let's say...a Whistleblower. If Nurses stood together against injustices in our workplaces the injustices would stop. They couldn't afford to fire ALL the nurses and if they did...firing all the Nurses would only reveal their guilt.


Anonymous 3 years ago

This article is really well written and very informative and indicates that only "you" can take care of yourself. This was made very clear to me when I defended myself against a patient, reported it (so much for being honest) and was made an example by my former place of employment. I am sorry I was honest because it has been emotionally and physically damaging to my career. It has been very difficult to find a job in a good hospital as well because with the high rate of unemployment the only place I can get a job is at a place no one else wants to work. So think carefully before you become a nurse, think carefully about being so honest, and think carefully about what this article is saying.


Anonymous 3 years ago

so true about the board....unfair and biased here in az.


Anonymous 3 years ago

I wish I had read this article a few years ago. When a good nurse makes a med error and reports herself, the punitive treatment you receive will make you wish you were not so darn honest. This is a nightmare that has affected my career, as well as my mental outlook on life and nursing.I agree wholeheartedly with those who would like to give nursing back to nurses!


Anonymous 3 years ago

I Love This Article. Please, Please, Please pay attention to what this article is telling you. I wish I would of read it before I got into trouble for something I didn't do. I got charged with a SO4 which is equal to killing a patient maybe even more than 1 or 2 patients. This will be on me for the rest of my life and I was totally innocent of any wrong doing. If I would of had an attorney, the outcome would of been different. If you can find an attorney that will go against the state that is (I was working for the state). If your problem is with the state, chances are the attorney will not represent you, at least not honestly. Remember, they are guarded by a Board as well called the Legal Bar Association. If I told you the whole story, you would be shocked to as how such of thing could of happened, but I would have the BON all over me again and I can't deal with that.


Anonymous 3 years ago

We have each other. The ways we relate to our colleagues can have a huge impact on the way we practice. Keeping up the confidence and insisting on competence.


Anonymous 3 years ago

interesting, informative article


Anonymous 3 years ago

Unfortunately nursing boards seem more concerned with lording power over nurses than with helping anyone. I recently attended a workshop about the impaired nurse program and the board member who signs all our licenses and is in charge of disciplinary action cancelled her appearance there literally at the last minute. I find it very ironic that those in a position of authority in a profession about healing, caring, and helping are the most uncaring of people and do everything within their power to prevent nurses from healing and returning to a productive role.


Anonymous 3 years ago

I agree with Attorney Mackay's article. She did a great job of presenting the facts. We as nurses have our professional organizations that speak for us but, we often don't join or participate. We also have a new bill being introduced this coming March that is sponsored by TNA and supported by THA for the role of a Nurse Advocate in the hospital. Hopefully will spread to other types of facilities. The role is to educate and inform the nurses in the Peer Review Process, options regarding staffing and Safe Harbor and other needs. I am excited about this and hope all nurses will contact their representative to support and stress the need for this role if nurses are to advocate for patient's without fear of retaliation.


Anonymous 3 years ago

Been there done that. Most boards are made up of wealthy b------ who either never were nurses or have forgotten what a nurse deals with. Nurses have no one on their side, not even peers. Associations run the other way when a nurse has a problem, face it, nursing sucks. We are paper pushers and politicians. To he'll with patient care, I have seen lousy nurses survive because they are successful at sitting on fat tushes doing patient care off the tip of their pens . Like it or not this is the bare truth that exists and is ignored. Wake up nurses get the profession back to a profession run by nurses NOT government and attorneys .


Anonymous 3 years ago

It's a shame that we serve and do so much for the public and get treated like slaves. I'm not surprised to read that no one is for the nurses since we get paid so little and do so much. Another thing is, just look at the way nurses treat each other. Sometimes I wonder why people want to be a nurse, It's stressfull and the article just made sick of the nursing career. From:Joy


Anonymous 3 years ago

I SURE WISH I HAD RUN ACROSS THIS ARTICLE WHEN I HAD MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BON,IT'S INVALUABLE-I'M GOING TO SAVE IT FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. THANKS.


Anonymous 3 years ago

I understand that the BON is very discriminatory and shows partial treatment for some nurses that do the very same things as another nurse, yet one gets to keep her license and the other one loses theirs. They are very judgemental and I'm glad I'm out of the profession.


Anonymous 3 years ago

This article was very informative. Yes,nursing is a career choice you really need to think about. Do we have anyone on our side?


Anonymous 3 years ago

Face it there is NO ONE that has the nurses back. Its ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS about the patient and the average nurse can expect no more help from the BON than they can from their facility. Nurses: Responsible for everything with power over nothing. What poor carer choice...................