Tag Archives: drug diversion

Texas nursing license defense lawyerAddiction is experienced by individuals of all ages, in all walks of life, and of all professions; it does not discriminate. Yet, when it comes to the nursing field, the consequences of addiction are usually higher. That is because nurses have more than just their health and emotional and financial well-being on the line; they could also lose their right to practice. Thankfully, it is possible to mitigate against the risk of a suspended nursing license while seeking treatment for an addiction. Learn more in the following sections, including how the experienced assistance of an attorney can improve the outcome of your case.

Understanding the Risk of Addiction

Though they have access to controlled substances, the rate of addiction for nurses is no higher than the general population’s. That suggests that the nurses who suffer from an addiction might have dealt with the issue, regardless of their profession. Sadly, their career does complicate the recovery process. If caught diverting or using drugs by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), they could be investigated and reprimanded. Consequences can include everything from mandatory drug testing and temporary suspension to the permanent revocation of one’s license.

Seeking Treatment Can Jeopardize Your Nursing License

Seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction might seem like the most straightforward way to protect one’s license, but this is rarely the case. Instead, it sometimes tips off the BON and sparks an investigation. If evidence of an infraction is found - anything from drug diversion to endangering the life of a patient while allegedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol - one could experience the very same consequences as an actively addicted nurse. Thankfully, nurses who wish to recover from their addiction can do so without further jeopardizing their license. An experienced nursing license defense lawyer can explain how.

Contact Our Seasoned Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyer

With nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to call. Able to advise as you seek treatment for addiction, and capable of protecting your nursing license if you are investigated, our skilled Texas nursing license defense lawyer will work hard to ensure you are not punished for trying to recover. No matter what the situation, we will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Call 512-228-7946 and schedule your free and personalized consultation with us today.


Texas nursing license defense lawyerOf all the errors that nurses make in their practice, those related to medications are some of the most common. Sadly, when a nurse makes such a mistake, it can place their license in jeopardy. Learn how to reduce your risk of medication errors, which can ultimately decrease your chances of an investigation with the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), and discover how an experienced attorney can help protect your nursing license if an error and investigation do occur.

Understanding How Medication Errors Occur

Most medication errors begin with a failure to document or failure to properly document.  Even if the case is truly only a documentation error, the Board raises the allegations to include possible diversion of medications by the nurse. Even though, technically, the Board has the burden of proof, in practical terms the nurse is obligated to try to prove he or she is not a drug abuser!

Another concerning issue is that, when medication errors do occur, hospitals and the BON tend to take a punitive approach. Yet, when looking at the real reason why medication errors occur, it becomes clear that individual practitioners are merely vehicles in a complex and broken system.

As an example, consider an emergency room situation: an unconscious patient is suffering from suspected anaphylactic shock. To save the life of the patient, the doctor gives a verbal order for epinephrine. The nurse who is supposed to administer the medication hears the order, but a sick and screaming baby distracts them, which then causes them to hear the order incorrectly. The patient then receives too much or too little medication, which could place their life at risk.

Communication and distractions are not the only potential causes of medication errors, however. Lack of knowledge about the drug prescribed or how it interacts with other drugs, limited patient history, transcribing errors, and automatic medication dispensing practices that cut out the last safety check are all factors that increase the risk of a medication error. Thankfully, diligent nurses can use a few strategies to reduce their overall risk.

Reducing Your Risk of a Medication Error

Nurses typically have the most contact with patients, and that makes them more prone to medication errors – but it also gives them more power in preventing them. Of course, some strategies do rely on the facility or practitioner (i.e. root-cause analysis, computerized order entry systems, barcoding systems, etc.). However, a nurse can make a difference, even without the support or acknowledgment of his or her superiors and facility. Examples can include:

  • Repeating orders to ensure you heard them correctly;
  • Charting the order at the time it is given;
  • Using handoff strategies when changing shifts;
  • Recognizing which patients have the greatest medication error risk;
  • Follow right patient-right medication-right dose protocol;
  • Take a full patient history to the best of your capabilities in any given situation;
  • Check the order for potential oversights (i.e. prescribing a medication to which the patient is allergic); and
  • Educating new nurses on the protocols and strategies that reduce medication errors.

Dealing with a BON Investigation

Almost all medication errors result in a referral to the Texas BON for investigation. In such situations, nurses are encouraged to protect themselves and their licenses from possible suspension or revocation. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer can take swift and aggressive action in your case. Call 512-228-7946 to schedule your free consultation today.


Texas nursing license defense attorneyDrug diversion is a process in which prescription drugs are transferred from legal distribution channels to illegal ones. Considered a serious violation by the Texas Board of Nursing, drug diversion can result in disciplinary action, including the suspension or revocation of a nurse’s license. Thankfully, nurses can (and should) challenge accusations of drug diversion. The following explains how, and it provides some important details on how an experienced nursing license defense lawyer may be able to assist with your situation.

A Closer Look at Drug Diversion in the Nursing Industry

Statistics indicate that around 10 percent of all registered nurses have a drug dependency problem. While that percentage may seem small, drug diversion is thought to cost private and public medical insurers approximately $72.5 billion each year. It is this loss, paired with the general risk that drug diversion poses to the public (nurses working while intoxicated, patients not receiving the right dosage or strength of the medication, etc.), that leaves nursing boards feeling as if they have no choice but to act aggressively in suspected drug diversion situations.

What Causes a Nurse to Be Flagged for Diversion?

The most obvious reason that a nurse would be investigated for drug diversion is to have been caught doing it. However, not all nurses who are flagged for diversion are guilty. In fact, there are many situations that may lead to a false allegation of drug diversion. For example, a nurse may become suspect if they fail to accurately chart the dosage and time of administration for medications provided to patients. Alternatively, a nurse may be suspected of drug diversion if another nurse changes or alters their charts.

Fighting an Allegation of Drug Diversion

Consequences for drug diversion can range greatly – going from required random drug testing to a complete revocation of the nurse’s license. As such, nurses are encouraged to take immediate action to protect their license, once they learn of an investigation against them. An attorney, though not required, can be useful in this process.

Able to handle all the communications between you and the BON, and prepared to take swift and aggressive action in your favor, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to call when you need help protecting your nursing license. Dedicated and experienced, we will fight for the most favorable outcome, no matter what your situation. Schedule a free and personalized consultation with our Texas nursing license defense lawyer to get started. Call 512-228-7946 today.



Texas nursing license defense lawyerDrug diversion among nurses is a serious and common issue, and it can result in severe consequences. Unfortunately, not all nurses and nurse practitioners who are reprimanded for drug diversion are guilty. In fact, it is possible that you may have done something that could lead to an investigation for drug diversion. Surprised? Skeptical? Most nurses are until they find themselves under intense scrutiny. Learn more about the behaviors that may result in a drug diversion investigation, and what you can do about it, with help from the following information.

Charting Issues and Drug Diversion

Charting can be an annoying, seemingly ceaseless task. It is also necessary to ensure proper patient care. It documents which prescriptions that were given, and when, which can decrease the odds of a medication error. What happens, though, when the shift is hectic and out of control, short on staff, accidentally forget to chart a medication, or are so tired that you write down more or less than you administered? Perhaps nothing, or perhaps an error that can adversely affect your patient. Alternatively, you could be accused of drug diversion.

Not charting a medication – especially a narcotic or other controlled substance – can make it look as though you pocketed the drug instead of giving it to the patient. Alternatively, if you mistakenly write down that you gave the patient more than you did, or less, it could make it look as though you are attempting to alter records for the purposes of diversion. Worst of all, you may not be able to prove that you did not, in fact, attempt to divert drugs.

Suspected Diversion and the BON

Suspicion of drug diversion can be reported by almost anyone – a fellow nurse, your charge nurse, an administrator, a patient, even your next-door neighbor or ex-spouse. When there are charting discrepancies on top of this accusation, a full investigation into your practice may ensue. By this time, it no longer matters if you are guilty of drug diversion or not; the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has access to your information, your charts, and they can request that you submit to a drug test. Refusal to do so, issues within your charts, and much more can lead to consequences, including suspension or revocation of your license.

Further, the issue does not have to relate to drug diversion; once the BON finds a reason to reprimand you, they can move forward with the disciplinary process. In such situations, it is crucial that nurses know how to protect their licenses. The first step is to contact an attorney.

Our Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyers

If you have found yourself the subject of a drug diversion investigation, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law. Dedicated to your best interest, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will fight to protect your rights and your license. In every situation, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.



Austin, Texas Professional License Defense Attorney Oscar San Miguel represents clients who are located in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Amarillo, Lubbock, Brownsville, Laredo, Harlingen, McAllen, Round Rock, Longview, Travis County, Harris County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Bexar County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Cameron County, Nueces County, El Paso County, Potter County, Lubbock County, Grayson County, Collin County and throughout Texas.
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