Tag Archives: mistakes nurses make

Texas nursing license defense lawyerThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was put in place to protect the private health information of patients in the United States. Sadly, violations and breaches are still far too common – and if one occurs in your practice, it could place your nursing license at risk. Thankfully, by learning and avoiding the most common HIPAA violations, you can decrease your risk of an investigation and subsequent disciplinary action. Learn more, including how an experienced attorney can help protect your nursing license during an investigation with the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).

Technology and HIPAA Violations

The world is becoming increasingly reliant on the digital storage and transmission of information. While, in many ways, that has made it easier to provide prompt, quality care to patients, there is always the risk of a data breach. Information that is transmitted via non-secure methods (i.e. texting vitals over a cellphone or accessing patient records from a home computer) can create cyber-theft opportunities. Lost and stolen devices can be hacked and accessed for information. To protect the information of your patients, nurses are encouraged to use only approved and encrypted sources to transmit information, and all suspected security breaches should be reported and handled promptly.

Employees Are a Common Source of HIPAA Breaches

Employees are one of the most common causes of HIPAA breaches. Some simply are not trained properly and make honest mistakes, such as sharing patient information in a setting where it can be overheard by non-employees. Others may fail to practice their due diligence when asked for information over the phone. Still, there are others who may not understand the severity of their actions, and they may make poor choices in the handling or disclosure of private patient information. To protect your practice, ensure all employees are thoroughly trained on all HIPAA practices and protocols.

Failure to Obtain Proper Authorization

Patients may need to disclose their information to their employer, their child’s school, or another party. Typically, this is done through an authorization of release. Failure to obtain this release prior to releasing information may be considered a breach of HIPAA. If you or an employee is ever unsure as to whether an authorization is required, either ask an upper member of management or obtain the release to be safe.

HIPAA Breaches May Spark a BON Investigation

If you or an employee breaches HIPAA’s rules and regulations, you could face an investigation by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Should they find evidence that a breach has, in fact, occurred, your license could be at risk of suspension or revocation. Thankfully, an experienced attorney can help protect your license and your right to continue practicing medicine.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to call. Dedicated to your best interests, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will fight for the most favorable outcome possible for your situation. Schedule your free and personalized consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.


Texas nursing license defense lawyerWhen the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) finds evidence of wrongdoing during an investigation, they may take disciplinary action against the nurse in question. What are these actions, and how might they affect your right to practice nursing? The following explains, and it provides details on how an experienced nursing license defense lawyer can mitigate against the disciplinary action that may be taken against you.

Emergency Disciplinary Actions

Unlike other types of disciplinary measures, those titled as emergency actions may occur before the nurse has had a chance to defend him or herself. Typically, such actions involve the temporary suspension of a nurse’s license. General guidelines indicate that the BON should have clear and convincing evidence that the nurse may place the safety of patients or the public at risk (i.e. notification of a pending criminal charge).

Nurses may not be immediately aware of the suspension, but the Board is required to provide notification once the decision has been made. If you have received a notice of an emergency action against your nursing license, or you believe that it may be a possibility because of a recent event, it is crucial that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Other Types of Disciplinary Action

The Board of Nursing has an arsenal of actions that they can use to discipline nurses. Some are temporary. Others are permanent. Nearly all are frustrating and costly. Examples of such actions may include:

  • Administrative fines;
  • Civil penalties;
  • Public reprimand;
  • Mandatory remediation;
  • Restrictions on the nurse’s right to practice medicine;
  • Mandatory continuing education courses;
  • Mandatory drug rehabilitation;
  • Random drug testing;
  • Temporary suspension of the nurse’s license;
  • Remediation; and
  • Permanent revocation of a nurse’s license.

When Your License is at Risk

Staying out of trouble might seem like a pretty straightforward thing – follow the Code, act ethically, and conduct yourself with professionalism at all times – but there are many ways that a nurse can enter the BON’s disciplinary system. A wrongful DUI arrest may result in the emergency suspension of a nurse’s license. Even if the charges are dismissed, it may be difficult to get their license reinstated. A nurse may be reported by a vengeful ex-partner, ex-spouse, neighbor, co-worker, or another individual. There are even instances in which charting mistakes lead to investigations for drug diversion.

Because the risk is great, and the chances of being referred for disciplinary action is high, nurses are encouraged to seek experienced legal assistance as soon as they learn of a complaint or action against them. Backed by nearly 30 years of experience, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the name to trust. Learn more about how our Texas nursing license defense lawyer can help protect your license. Call 512-228-7946 today.



Texas professional license defense attorney, mistakes nurses makeFormal complaints from the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) can be extremely stressful. Most nurses do not know what to expect, and therefore fear losing their license. All of this is true, of course. And, to make matters worse, everything that is said or done during the investigations is scrutinized by the Board and is used to determine if discipline is warranted. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the damage, namely knowing how to avoid the mistakes most commonly made by nurses facing an investigation.

Not Carrying or Checking with Insurance

Malpractice insurance is generally associated with physicians. However, there are plans for nurses as well. Oftentimes, this is overlooked, either because of lack of knowledge or a lack of funds. Unfortunately, when an investigation ensues, the absence of this insurance requires nurses to pay any costs associated with protecting their license out of pocket; this includes hefty attorney fees.

Keep in mind that not all malpractice plans cover licensing board complaints. Prior to purchase, make sure you check carefully any prospective carrier. Even if it is not included in the plan, it may be available as an add-on. Moreover, if you are already in the middle of an investigation, check with your carrier to ensure you have this type of coverage.

Failing to Recognize the Seriousness of a Complaint

As mentioned earlier, complaints are a serious matter. They should be approached with professionalism, and with an understanding that your license is on the line. Never ignore complaints, and never assume that a complaint will be immediately dismissed if you are not at fault for wrongdoing. Above all, do not do anything to draw unnecessary attention to yourself; adhere to all restrictions and respond to all communications, no matter how arbitrary they may seem.

Failing to Meet Deadlines

Another common mistake nurses make is the failure to meet deadlines. Sometimes, this is due to not taking the complaint seriously, but for others it is a matter of simply losing track of time. Job duties can get in the way, time gathering relevant information may not be available, and the time needed to prepare responses may be riddled with interruptions. Whatever the obstacles to meeting your time constraints, ensure you spot them ahead of time and attempt to always respond early.

Seeing the Board Members as Allies

The Board is made up of your peers so, logically, it would seem that you could speak to them as fellow professionals. Additionally, it would seem that despite any mistakes you have made, they would understand your struggles and your position. Unfortunately, this is a misconception; though they are, in fact, your peers, they are also there to determine if you pose a risk to patients or the general public. As such, they will be critical of every decision and conversation during the investigation process.

Failing to Contact an Attorney

A lot of times, nurses under investigation put off contacting an attorney until matters get out of control; this is the absolute worst mistake you can make. Legal representation can help protect your rights, guide you in how to proceed, and help ensure you meet deadlines and gather the information needed. Moreover, they can provide valuable insight into the investigatory process.

Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, has more than 20 years of experience in the medical-legal arena and can assist you through the entire investigation process, ensuring you have the information, help, and understanding needed to protect your nursing license. Do not wait until the situation has spiraled out of control. Instead, call 512-228-7946 and schedule your free initial consultation with a skilled Texas professional license defense attorney 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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