Monday, June 23, 2008

Teenage Crimes Prevent Licensure

I have been seeing several cases lately where an individual's actions as a teenager have come back to haunt him/her when they attempt to become licensed as a nurse. Frequently it is a felony offense and the individual may still be on probation for the action. I wanted to know if you think that crimes (I am referencing crimes such as possession of controlled substances or theft crimes, not murder or attempted murder) committed while a teenager should affect someone's ability to become a licensed nurse so I posted the poll to the right.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Loss at the Nursing Board

Tuesday, June 10 was the last day of work at the Texas Nursing Board for Joy Sparks, Assistant General Counsel. This is a big loss for the Board. Ms. Sparks is a smart and professional attorney. Although she did not have medical knowledge prior to working at the BON, she picked up on issues very quickly. I always found her to be responsive to requests and willing to consider "our side" of the story. She spent many years at the Board and is now moving to another area of administrative law. Her new agency is very lucky and she will be missed.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


It has been a very busy time and so I have been a little delayed in getting posts done. I had a heck of nightmare the other night: I was arrested and I kept telling the Police that I had done nothing wrong but they continued the process making comments like "Yeah, right that is what they all say." When I told my husband, he said the cause of the nightmare was obvious because I am dealing with several cases where we keep telling the Board that they have the facts wrong and that the nurse is actually innocent or that the nurse did something so minor that it does not require action by the Board. Sometimes the Board listens and the case is dismissed and sometimes they don't and we continue in the process.

I get frustrated these days by what I see as the Board forgetting their mission, "to protect the public" because protecting the public means more than disciplining nurses. Too often I see punishment rather than regulation from the Board; regulation can occur without discipline. And, then what ends up happening is that good nurses either quit nursing out of frustration with the Board's reaction or they unable to obtain work because they are under a Board Order (the assumption is that the nurse must be bad if they are being regulated by the Board and thus, no job). How is the public protected if there are less nurses practicing?

Think that this does not impact you? It can. Once again, I spoke with a nurse who was shocked to be under investigation after years and years of nursing practice. She made an error but it was due to some specific mitigating factors that are unlikely to occur again. Unfortunately, her error will probably result in disciplinary action. If it can happen to a nurse like her, it can happen to you.