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Brent's Law NEWS
Does an RN have the right to access the chart of a discharged neonate if being subpoenaed by the DA in a case against the parents?
Question: Dear Nancy, Does an RN have the right to access a chart of a discharged neonate? The district attorney is planning to subpoena the RN for a criminal case against the parents. Does she have a right to request legal representation from the hospital when speaking to the DA? Lucy Nancy Brent replies: Dear Lucy, It sounds as though there are serious charges being alleged against this neonate's parents. It is...READ MORE »
Can a physician legally refuse to sign off on his verbal orders to an RN?
Question: Dear Nancy, Can a physician legally refuse to sign off on his verbal orders to an RN? Faye Nancy Brent replies: Dear Faye, You provided no details concerning how or why a physician would refuse to sign off on a verbal order to an RN, so some general comments will be made. Your facility should have a policy and a procedure for verbal orders to be taken by an RN such as, under what circumstances a verbal...READ MORE »
What can an RN do when charged of taking a patient's property by the BON because of a false accusation about wasting a patient's medication?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am being investigated because a nurse I work with said she saw me waste a narcotic, but later reported she didn't see me waste it The board of nursing is now charging me with diversion and taking a patient's property. I have no chemical issue nor have I ever had a urine screen positive. What do I do? I submitted a five-page explanation to my employer. Joe Nancy Brent replies: Dear Joe, In...READ MORE »
Can a nurse on disability for several months file for unemployment benefits if her employer hired a replacement?
Question: Dear Nancy, After working for 13 months for an oncology practice, I needed to have my knee scoped and was put on disability for one month. Thirteen days post op the knee became severely infected requiring another hospitalization followed by home nursing care. I have been out on disability for four months and will be having a total knee replacement in two months. My company has hired a replacement for my...READ MORE »
Does a nurse need a medical order to collect a urine sample for a drug screening test?
Question: Dear Nancy, Do I need a medical order to collect a urine sample for a drug screening test? Moria Nancy Brent replies: Dear Moria, Your question lacks any details to help with a response. So, some general comments will be made. The setting in which you work might make a difference in obtaining a urine specimen for a drug test without a medical order. For example, if you work in a chemical treatment program,...READ MORE »
Can the BON take my license away for abandonment even if the agency owner said I could leave my post before the relief nurse showed up?
Question: Dear Nancy, I worked for a home care agency on a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. I was asked to stay until 8 a.m. one day. I agreed to stay, but said I would need to leave at 8 a.m. for an appointment. When 8 a.m. came, the nurse scheduled to relieve me was not on duty, so I called the staffing agency. An agency rep called me back and said she spoke with the owner of the company and was told it would be OK for me...READ MORE »
I am wondering if the BON's actions are right for a nurse testing positive for marijuana one time?
Question: Dear Nancy, I'm an LPN. I had to take a drug test for work because some Vicodin came up missing. I tested positive for marijuana, was fired and was turned into and referred to the board of nursing. I was told by the BON I couldn't work as a nurse, to complete outpatient rehab and attend at least three 12-step meetings a week. I'm expected to pay for everything myself but took a pay cut because my nursing...READ MORE »
What are the legal ramifications, if any, for a nurse who gives assistance when asked by the crew on an international flight?
Question: Dear Nancy, On my last two international flights the crew asked for help from a doctor or nurse. What are the legal ramifications, if any, if you do get up to help? Does your state license and the Good Samaritan law cover you, or could helping in this type of situation be a problem for any nurse who assists? Rosalee Nancy Brent replies: Dear Rosalee, Generally, in the U.S., state Good Samaritan laws...READ MORE »
What can a new RN applicant do to help herself get an RN license if terminated from LPN position for violating the dignity of a patient?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am a licensed LPN and pending RN applicant. I have been licensed as an LPN for about 20 months. Recently, I was terminated from my employer for violating the dignity of a patient and was reported to the state. I have always considered myself a patient advocate and made a gross error in judgment by writing on a resident's dressing communication for the other nursing staff on the need for the...READ MORE »
Can a facility's administration force nurses to take the flu vaccine? What are my rights?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was wondering if a facility's administration can force nurses to take the flu vaccine? What are my rights? Tracey Nancy Brent replies: Dear Tracey, Your question raises many legal and ethical issues that cannot be easily responded to in this column. However, some general comments can be made. Ethically, when a nurse works with patients, it is generally supported by the nursing profession that...READ MORE »
What is your opinion of medication management by unlicensed nurses?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was wondering, what is your opinion of medication management by unlicensed nurses? The aides at my facility seem to be giving medications in the same fashion that a nurse would, some with a nurse's supervision and some without. What are your thoughts? Jean Nancy Brent replies: Dear Jean, Medication administration by unlicensed assistive personnel has become fairly common in assisted living...READ MORE »
What's the future hold for a nurse terminated for accidentally turning in an altered personal prescription at her facility's pharmacy?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was terminated from my nursing position of 26 years after I unknowingly handed in a prescription to the hospital pharmacy for Valtrex for my daughter, which I didn't realize Zithromax 250 mg had also been written on the top of by my husband. I was called into work early in the morning, grabbed several prescriptions from off of the kitchen counter and once I got to work handed them in to the...READ MORE »
Do nurses need to get their own liability insurance, or is an employer's insurance enough?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am an experienced nurse but outside of the U.S. I just started working as RN in the U.S, and I am very concerned about legalities in my work because in the country I am from nurses are not required to have malpractice insurance. Do I need to get my own insurance, or is my employer's insurance is enough? Janette Nancy Brent replies: Dear Janette, The question about whether to carry one's own...READ MORE »
Do I need to hire an attorney to see about the return of my license at the completion of my probation? Are all restrictions automatically removed?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was placed on three years of probation and completed all board requirements. I was told my license will show up on the board website as "removal of restrictions." Are all restrictions automatically removed? Do I need to hire an attorney to see about the return of my license at the completion of my probation? Michela Nancy Brent replies: Dear Michela, You should be commended for successfully...READ MORE »
What is the proceeding that will follow asking for an appeal for licensure? I was denied due to a DUI conviction six years ago?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was denied licensure due to a DUI six years ago. I have requested an appeal. What is the proceeding that will follow? Should I seek representation? Sharon Nancy Brent replies: Dear Sharon, You have the right under your applicable state statutes to file an appeal for a review of a board of nursing decision. You did not indicate whether the appeal was the first step in such a process (e.g., an...READ MORE »