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I am being reported to the nursing board for falsifying documentation. Can I lose my license?

Monday September 17, 2012
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I am a nurse practitioner and do face-to-face visits for a local hospice agency part time. I was terminated today for misdating four visits. They said I falsified documentation and they are reporting me to the board of nursing. I honestly didn’t remember the date of visit and just signed the wrong day. I did not bill for the visits and asked if I could correct it, which they did not allow me to do. Since they are reporting me, can I lose my license?

Maggie



Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Maggie,

The allegations against you are quite serious, so it is important for you to seek legal representation through a nurse attorney or attorney in your state as soon as possible. It will be important that you present your best defense possible in this situation. "Not remembering" the date of your visits, yet stating you documented the "wrong day" will probably not be to your advantage, unless there is more to this explanation than you included in the question.

Falsifying records made in one's practice can be a reason for a nurse to be disciplined by a board of nursing. What actions are possible against a nurse licensee who violates the state nurse practice act is governed by the state act. You might want to review the act and its rules before you meet with the attorney.

In most states, possible disciplines include a reprimand or censure, probation, the suspension of a license and revocation. Other discipline is also often possible, such as the payment of a fine and the requirement of taking a course or CE about a particular subject (e.g., documentation). Your attorney can discuss these with you in detail when you meet with him or her.

Sincerely,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.