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Is my RN license in jeopardy if I've been released from my school nurse position after giving one child another's meds? Do I need an attorney?

Wednesday February 5, 2014
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Dear Nancy,

I am a school nurse who also moonlights at a hospital. I recently made an error in judgment, giving one student who was out of medication another studentís medication. It was the same medication and dosage. I was released from employment at the school, but now I have concerns that my license may be in jeopardy. Should I retain an attorney?

Callista



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Callista,

Any time your license may be in jeopardy, you need to retain a nurse attorney or other attorney who practices in the area of regulatory law. When allegations are brought against you that may result in the state board of nursing disciplining you, you don't want to face those allegations on your own.

When to hire an attorney to represent you before the board is something only you can decide. It may be, for example, that the board acts quickly when it receives allegations of a violation of the nurse practice act and/or rules, or it may take some time before doing so. Asking any attorney you speak with about representing you, as to the general time frame within which the board acts, would be a good idea.

It seems you do not know is if the school district has already reported you, has not yet done so or may not report you. It is probably safe to say that not reporting you to the board is not likely. Additionally, your practice act may require you to report yourself to the board if you have been terminated from a job. So, this requirement is another question you need to ask the attorney with whom you speak. Should this self-reporting be a requirement, and the attorney's advice is to do so, you need to retain him or her as soon as possible.


Regards,
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.