A Board of Registered Nursing case against an RN who was accused of discrepancies in the handling of controlled substances was resolved by negotiation for an order of public reproval, also known as a public reprimand. A public reproval involves no probation conditions and will drop off of the RN’s license record after three years. The RN was not required to admit to the truth of the allegations in the accusation.
The Board initially accused the nurse of unprofessional conduct due to incorrect medication entries, as well as gross negligence for the mishandling of controlled substances. The Board sought to place the RN on probation. However, through advocacy with the Board and effectively explaining all of the circumstances surrounding the events, we persuaded the Board to drop its insistence on probation and settle for a public reproval.
Cases involving controlled substance errors and Pyxis machine data errors are very difficult to litigate because the reporting party (usually a hospital) may strongly suspect and infer drug diversion, including theft or abuse of drugs. However, wasting, dosage and documentation errors can and do occur and can be explained and put into context by an effective attorney. Ray & Bishop, PLC, represents and defends nurses in these types of very difficult cases that can have a severe impact on the careers of nurses.