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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.

Source:

http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/erica-lindsay-pharmd-mba-jd/2016/01/the-high-cost-of-drug-diversion

 

Texas nursing license defense lawyerNurses lead some of the busiest and most hectic lives; they are often on call, work strange or long hours, and spend the majority of their time caring for others. Unfortunately, all that busyness may cause them to forget the very thing that allows them to practice medicine. What can a nurse expect if he or she fails to renew their Texas nursing license? Further, what can they do if they experience complications along the way? The following explains.

Understanding the Licensing Requirement

All nurses are required to obtain and maintain their nursing license if they wish to practice medicine. This requirement is in place for several reasons, but the primary objective is to preserve public safety. For example, a nurse who has violated the standard practice of care may have his or her license revoked to protect the public. Patient safety is not always the reason behind suspended or revoked licenses, however; in fact, the Texas Board of Nursing is sometimes erroneous in their rulings and determinations, or they may take preemptive action when there is no reason to discipline. Such is sometimes the case when a nurse fails to renew their license.

Lapses in Your License Can Result in Disciplinary Action

Practicing medicine without your license, even for just a day, can place you at risk for disciplinary measures with the Texas BON. In fact, the guidelines on lapses and renewals state that nurses must be non-practicing while applying for renewal. As such, it is crucial that you stop practicing as soon as you learn your license has lapsed. It is also worth noting that the assistance of an attorney may be worth considering if you have practiced since the lapse; this can provide an element of protection if you find yourself the subject of an investigation.

Contact Our Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyer

Whether you are at risk for an investigation, are experiencing problems with your renewal, or are currently facing possible disciplinary action, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law. Backed by nearly three decades of experience in the legal and medical arenas, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer has the skills and knowledge needed to defend your rights and assist you through even the most difficult of circumstances. No matter what your situation, we fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule a free consultation to learn more. Call our office at 512-228-7946 today.

Sources:

https://www.ncsbn.org/Nursing_Licensure.pdf

http://www.bon.texas.gov/rr_current/217-6.asp

Texas nursing complaint attorneyWhen hospitals, urgent care centers, or private practices are short-staffed, nurses can be at an increased risk for serious mistakes that compromise the safety of patients. This, in turn, can increase the nurse’s risk of an investigation from the Texas Board of Nursing. If you or someone you care about is facing a staffing shortage at work, the following information may be able to help mitigate the risks and impact of a complaint.

Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Whether speaking directly with a patient, fellow nurse, or an overseeing physician, it is critical that you communicate clearly and effectively. Address patient concerns and always ask if they understand or have any further questions. Pass on information in an area where there are minimal distractions and low to no risk of a breach of confidentiality. Lastly, ensure your charting is always done correctly and in a timely manner to prevent unnecessary mistakes or oversights in patient care.

Follow Up on Delegated Tasks

Delegated tasks can sometimes result in a breakdown in care. If you are the nurse in charge, this can result in an investigation and/or disciplinary action against you. For this reason, it is critical that you always follow up on any tasks that you have delegated out to other staff members. Ask them if they completed the task, request specifics, and always chart their response. Further, you may wish to note whenever a task is completed by another staff member; this can help to protect you, should there ever be a breakdown in care or communication.

Practice Extra Self-Care in Your Downtime

Though it can be difficult to find time to care for yourself, it is absolutely critical that you do so during staff shortages. Use your downtime from work to sleep, exercise, read, or enjoy time with friends. Give yourself permission to step out of work mode, even if only for only an hour at a time. This can help you to feel more refreshed and rested once you do go back on duty. In turn, you can reduce your risk of an honest but serious mistake.

If a Complaint is Issued Against You

No matter how hard you work to mitigate the risk of a complaint, it is likely that you will eventually face one. If and when this happens, it is imperative that you seek skilled and experienced legal assistance. This can ensure you do not fall victim to an unsubstantiated claim (which happens far more often than most nurses realize), and that you and your license are protected if you did happen to make a mistake.

Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, has more than 20 years of experience in the medical-legal arena. Dedicated to helping you navigate the complaint process with the least amount of stress possible, we will fight for you. Schedule a consultation with our Texas nursing license defense lawyer to learn more about how we can assist you. Call 512-228-7946 today.

Sources:

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/nursing-shortage-resources/impact

https://www.americannursetoday.com/protecting-yourself-from-malpractice-claims/

Texas nursing license defense lawyerIf there is one ever-present risk that advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) should be aware of, it is the potential for disciplinary action from the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Well-known for their almost antagonistic behavior and disciplinary environment, the BON can swoop in with little to no warning. They can upend your practice and may even try to pry into your personal life. Protect your nursing license in the face of an investigation, and guard it from unfair scrutiny with help from the following tips.

Most Common Reasons for a Complaint

Every healthcare professional has its own respective Board to report to. For nurses, that Board is the Texas Board of Nursing. Yet, even within this same licensing Board, nurses and APRNs face unique issues. For example, APRNs typically experience complaints that are quite different from those faced by registered nurses. Some of the most common ones for APRNs include:

  • Breach of the standard of practice (SOP);

  • Drug diversion;

  • Alcohol or drug abuse;

  • Ethical or moral issues;

  • Criminal activity (including those not related to practice);

  • Failure to diagnose a serious condition; and

  • Overprescribing controlled substances.

All of these possible complaints can result in serious consequences for APRNs. Examples of disciplinary actions that may be taken against you include license suspension, license revocation, fines, required continuing education courses, and/or public reprimand that can scar your reputation.

Board Members are Not Colleagues

Despite what you may have been led to believe, the Board of Nursing is not in place to protect your interests. Yes, they are a Board of your peers, but their purpose is to protect the interest and safety of the public. Any confusion in this area can result in serious and devastating missteps during your investigation - some of which could potentially result in disciplinary action against you.

How do you protect yourself in such an environment? Play it safe and always be on guard, and no matter how innocent or frivolous the complaint or investigation against you may seem, always take it seriously. Most of all, ensure your rights are protected throughout the investigation by hiring an experienced nursing license defense lawyer.

Protecting Your Nursing License

If you have received notice of a complaint from the BON, or have had an investigator contact you for information, it is critical that you take action immediately. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for help in protecting your license. Backed by more than two decades of experience, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will protect your rights and aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Call 512-228-7946 to schedule your consultation with us today.

Source:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/705800_3?pa=CqihZGZ3Y3KH1PTqmvaCJo%2Baumag2wUmMucoXOSz4H2fKw8rCt9OR0jslUu%2BZhwbd%2FsGPYa%2BToEoLjuhFnUEHw%3D%3D

Texas nursing license defense attorneyPeople do not generally set out to abuse drugs or alcohol, yet some 10 percent of Americans are thought to struggle with addiction. Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are not immune to this affliction. In fact, the American Nurses Association (ANA) estimates that approximately 300,000 of the three million nurses in America suffer from a dependency or addiction to drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, in this arena, the cost can go well beyond the criminal implications.

Nurses who suffer from addiction or abuse of drugs or alcohol can lose their right to practice and may face disciplinary action from the Texas Board of Nursing. The following explains these potential consequences that you might face. It also offers some important information on what you can do if you are under investigation for drug or alcohol use, abuse, or addiction.

First Tier Drug and/or Alcohol Offenses

First tier offenses for drug or alcohol use are considered the least severe. They are for those who do not have a history of misuse or abuse, no other aggravating factors, and in situations where the nurse did not interact with patients while intoxicated (there is no direct risk or harm to patients). In such situations, the nurse may be referred to a Board approved peer program, or they may be subject to random drug testing, certain stipulations (i.e. supervised practice, remedial education, etc.) if they decline participation or are otherwise considered ineligible.

Second Tier Drug and/or Alcohol Offenses

If a nurse has a previous history with drug or alcohol abuse (i.e. has gone through a peer assistance program or has a former order from the Board) but has used drugs or alcohol in a way that does not cause direct harm or risk to a patient, they may be found guilty of a second tier offense. Consequences may include reprimand with stipulations, or possibly a suspension of their license until they can provide proof of treatment and at least one year of sobriety. Public service, random drug testing, and supervised practice may still be imposed once the nurse’s license has been reinstated.

Third Tier Drug and/or Alcohol Offenses

A third tier violation is one in which the use or abuse of drugs or alcohol have placed patients at risk, and/or a serious practice violation has been noted. Consequences are often much more severe in these situations. The nurse may be referred to a peer assistance program if no actual patient harm has occurred, but they may receive a denial of licensure until they can provide proof of treatment and a year of sobriety. Once reinstated, they are likely to face additional stipulations, including supervision, limited practice, and random drug testing. Nurses may also be subject to public service, remedial education, and periodic review from the Texas Board of Nursing.

Fourth Tier Drug and/or Alcohol Offenses

Drug or alcohol abuse or misuse that has resulted in the death or injury of a patient, or a significant risk of death or injury to a patient, may be classified as a fourth tier drug and/or alcohol offense. At this stage, the nurse is at serious risk for having their license denied or revoked, possibly permanently. If you are facing such an investigation, it is critical to contact an experienced attorney immediately.

Do Not Face an Investigation for Drug and/or Alcohol Use, Abuse, or Misuse Alone

If you are facing an investigation for the use, misuse, or abuse of drugs or alcohol, do not face the matter alone. Your license and livelihood could be at risk. Instead, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, and obtain the seasoned legal assistance you need and deserve. Our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will fight to protect your rights and attempt to mitigate any consequences you may be facing. Schedule a consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.

Sources:

https://www.bon.texas.gov/pdfs/disciplinaryaction_pdfs/discp-matrix.pdf

http://www.modernmedicine.com/modern-medicine/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-feature-articles/drug-addiction-among-nurses-con?page=full

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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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