In response to the growing opioid epidemic, state and federal agencies are cracking down on all potential medication sources – that includes advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with prescriptive authority. Often targeted by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), these healthcare professionals are encouraged to proactively protect their license from suspension and revocation.
Is the new prescription monitoring program, which may eventually become mandatory for all APRNs with prescriptive authority for certain controlled substances, a tool that can help with this, as the state claims, or is it yet another way to track and target pain management professionals? History suggests the latter, but if properly informed, APRNs may still be able to use this program to their advantage. Learn more with help from the following information.
The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program
The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is one of the key points in Senate Bill 305, which proposes an amendment to the Nursing Practice Act. If passed, it would require that APRNs with prescriptive authority for certain controlled substances use the system prior to writing a prescription for barbiturates, opioids, benzodiazepines, or carisoprodol. The BON says this will cut down on polypharmacy issues and, in turn, enhance safety for the nurses in question - and they are correct, at least in theory. However, there are still risks of which APRNs should be aware.
Understanding the Potential Risks of the PMP
In an ideal world, the PMP would be only be used as a tool to improve public safety and protect the reputation of outstanding clinicians. Sadly, this may not be the case. If the bill is passed, APRNs may be disciplined for not using the PMP for each prescription written. Alternatively, if an issue arises – such as unauthorized prescriptions being written under an APRN’s specific DEA number – that nurse could be disciplined for not catching the problem him or herself. Another potential issue is that the BON could use the system to monitor and track how many prescriptions you write each month. If you have an influx of new pain management patients, you may be unfairly flagged and targeted for an investigation.
Protecting Your Texas Nursing License from Suspension or Revocation
There are many strategies that nurses can employ to protect their licenses from suspension or revocation, but the most critical is taking preventative measures to ensure you and your practice are ready for an investigation at any given moment. Backed by nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, can assist you with implementing such a plan. Our seasoned Texas nursing license defense lawyer can also protect your rights and nursing license, should an investigation ever occur. Secure assistance now. Schedule a free and personalized consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.