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Brent's Law NEWS
Can self-employed LPNs do wound and ostomy care on their own, or do they need orders from a doctor?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am an LPN and would like to be self-employed within the scope of my nursing practice. I have read the nurse practice act, but still have a couple of questions. I would like to perform wound care, can I do that with just a doctor's order? Can I do ostomy care on my own, or do I need orders from a doctor? Heather Nancy Brent replies: Dear Heather, Your ability to practice as a self-employed LPN...READ MORE »
What can an experienced nurse with an old criminal background do if she cannot find a job?
Question: Dear Nancy, I had an eight-year-old criminal background before I went to nursing school and petitioned the state board of nursing for my license. I was given my license due to the nature of the crime not having a direct bearing on nursing or patient care. I've been a nurse for six years. This year I have run into many problems trying to find employment. I've not had this problem before and the history is...READ MORE »
Does a palliative NP making recommendations for pain meds need prescriptive authority from a physician?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am working as palliative nurse practitioner for a hospice and palliative care. I am expected to write recommendations for opiates and pain management in my patient's chart but not actually write an order for the med. My collaborative physician states that since I'm not writing orders, I don't need prescriptive authority from a physician. I believe I need delegated prescriptive authority from...READ MORE »
Can an echocardiographer who was appointed by the director of my department manage and evaluate RNs?
Question: Dear Nancy, Can an echocardiographer who was appointed by the director of my department manage and evaluate RNs? I have a BSN. Darlene Nancy Brent replies: Dear Darlene, Your question raises some inquiries needing answers before a response is possible. Are you performing echo sonography at your facility? Did you undergo training to become an echo sonographer? Or, as an RN, BSN, are you providing nursing...READ MORE »
What can a nurse do about formal charges from the board of nursing?
Question: Dear Nancy, What can I do about formal charges from the board of nursing? Geraldine Nancy Brent replies: Dear Geraldine, It is assumed by formal charges you mean the board of nursing has filed a formal complaint against you and there will be a hearing before a hearing officer. There is no question you will need to retain a nurse attorney or other attorney to represent you in the hearing. Regardless of the...READ MORE »
Is it ethical or professional for a respiratory therapist to chair the clinical ladder council at a hospital?
Question: Dear Nancy, The clinical ladder council at our hospital is in need of a chairman and the CNO decided to appoint the respiratory therapist to chair the council. Is this ethical or professional? How can a respiratory therapist peer review an RN when we oversee RTs? Colleen Nancy Brent replies: Dear Colleen, It is difficult to respond to your question without more information about the clinical ladder at your...READ MORE »
Is there recourse for an RN who was terminated because she asked to have a withness while completing an admission assessment?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was terminated from a facility because I asked to have assistance in completing an admission assessment that I had to stop because the patient being verbally abusive and yelling at me. The patient didn't want the CAN in the room and the patient has a history of lying about other medical professionals. The DON insisted that I go alone, and I declined to go without someone with me as a witness....READ MORE »
What do I need to do if I want to report a nurse manager for falsifying patient documentation? is there a time limit to report such conduct?
Question: Dear Nancy, What do I need to do if I want to report a nurse manager for her unprofessional conduct involving falsifying patient documentation? Who and where can I go with this information outside my hospital? The incident I want to report happened three years ago, and I am wondering if are there are time limits for reporting this? Luke Nancy Brent replies: Dear Luke, One way you can deal with the nurse...READ MORE »
How am I legally responsible if something happens to I patient I am caring for during co-worker's breaks/lunch, but I do not have her phone/pager?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work as a charge RN and cover breaks and lunches for the other floor nurses. One of the nurses I cover refuses to give me her portable phone and pager when she leaves the floor. If something should happen to one of her patients, and I am not aware of it since she doesn't give me her phone, etc., how am I legally responsible? Liz Nancy Brent replies: Dear Liz, Although your colleague does not...READ MORE »
How can an RN accused of unsafe nursing practice defend herself? Does the facility have the right to not tell her what the unsafe practice was?
Question: I am a new nurse who has been working in an ED for seven months. This is my second career. I was just accused of unsafe nursing. I was told they could not tell me what the unsafe nursing practice was, but I was taken off the schedule until a meeting next week, before my scheduled shift. I am being forced to burn through two days' PTO for the time off. I believe the unsafe nursing accusation stems from...READ MORE »
How long does someone have to file a suit against me, or involving me at the hospital where I worked, prior to retiring?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am retired as of Jan, 1, 2015. How long does someone have to file a suit against me or involving me at the hospital where I worked? In other words, does someone have a certain number of years to bring a suit? Nothing of this nature happened while I was working, but I know if I admitted a patient and he fell a month later, I could be involved in the lawsuit. Zelda Nancy Brent replies: Dear...READ MORE »
Does a nurse have the right to request she is provided with adequate training to pass meds when its not in her typical work routine?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am a LPN in a skilled nursing facility who was told I would have to work a med cart. I am the MDS and care plan nurse and have never been trained as a med nurse in this facility. I began working at this facility about two years ago. I asked to be properly trained, and then I would gladly accept a med cart. My employer only wants me to train an hour or one day at the most. I am not comfortable...READ MORE »
Legal columnist Dear Nancy is on holiday hiatus
Question: Nurse.com's legal columnist Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is on holiday hiatus from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2. Her columns will resume Monday, Jan. 5. Please continue to send your questions so Nancy can answer them upon her return.
Is it OK for a physician to dispense meds in a cup with no written instructions as to what it is or how to take it upon patient discharge?
Question: Dear Nancy, In dispensing meds upon discharge of a patient from a mental health unit where I work, the physician puts pills in a cup and tapes it to the discharge papers for the patient to take at home. It is up to the RNs to give the papers and meds in the cup to the patient when they are being discharged. There are no instructions as to when to take the med or name of med written anywhere. The doctor...READ MORE »
What recourse do RNs have on working with a manager who was sent elsewhere for a while after being caught encouraging false documentation?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am a staff RN in MICU. We had a nurse manager who was removed from her position due to staff protests against her and after she was caught encouraging false documentation on a patient. She was reassigned to be an educator and moved to a different facility for a couple of years. She is coming back as our educator and will be teaching us classes. We believe none of the above incidents were...READ MORE »