Brent's Law
Brent's Law Advice Column
Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD,'s legal information columnist, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities.

Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings over 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist.

Letters To Nancy showing 73-80 of 80 « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Am I being asked to commit fraud or chart illegally on patients I never cared for as our facility attempts to update its new electronic system?
Date: Mar 7, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, Our small hospital recently acquired an electronic system and a terrible one a..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Craig, The directive you received concerning medication reconciliation raises many legal questions concerning the documentation you are asked to do. How can you enter informa... read more

After two warnings, I have appealed to the grievance department. Should I wait for their decision or look for another job?
Date: Mar 5, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, I received a verbal warning for a medication error and a final warning for a m..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Maxine, It is difficult to respond to your question since you did not include many details. However, it can be said that if you believed the final warning you received was un... read more

What are RNs to do if an employer's policy, based on best practices, goes against standards set by nursing specialty organizations?
Date: Mar 3, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, Evidence-based practice is the buzz phrase, yet if an institution states their..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Jason, You and your fellow nurse colleagues are being placed in a difficult position. It is unclear why a facility would not adopt objective research that supports evidence-b... read more

Is it a HIPPA violation for a hospital to release contact information for a former employee and later someone who worked as a visiting nurse?
Date: Feb 28, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, More than six years ago, while employed in NICU, I became a certified lactatio..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Katie, Although giving out your name and number without your permission is not what should have happened, this is not a HIPAA violation. The HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules ... read more

How can I find out if a previous employer has given me a bad reference? I have applied for 29 jobs at a local hospital and never get a call.
Date: Feb 26, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, I feel that a previous employer has given me a bad reference, and I wondered h..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Norm, In some states, trying to find out what has been said about you by a former employer is easier if the state allows employees to obtain a copy of their personnel file. I... read more

Is it legal for the operating room circulator to sign as a surgical consent witness for the patient for whom he or she will be the circulating nurse?
Date: Feb 24, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, Is it legal for the operating room circulator to sign as a witness on the surg..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Rozelle, As you know, when one witnesses a signature on a consent form, that is all the nurse or other individual is doing: watching the patient sign his or her name to the d... read more

What is the best route for me, an ED RN with 16 years of experience, to help the nursing profession and secure my own financial future?
Date: Feb 21, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, I have been an RN in the ED for the past 16 years and continue to work there. ..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Cassandra, It would be important for you to consider asking this question to your fellow colleagues and others who might be in a position to help you with your future plans, ... read more

What should I do after being suspended without pay due to HIPAA rule violation? I went into a former patient's room and looked at the monitor.
Date: Feb 19, 2014 | Nancy Brent
Question - Dear Nancy, I work in ICU, but was floated to the ED the other night. During my break, I w..
Nancy Brent replies- Dear Joanne: Without more details, it is difficult to provide a specific response to your question, so some general comment are in order. First, as you know, HIPAA's privacy rule ... read more

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*Due to the sheer volume of questions received, Nancy Brent cannot answer every question or respond privately to any questions. All questions answered will appear on, and some may be printed in Gannett Healthcare Group publications. Last names and e-mail addresses will be omitted.
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