Can I be reported to the state board of nursing for forgetting to chart meds?

By | 2022-02-14T17:58:51-05:00 July 8th, 2011|0 Comments

Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been a nurse for 25 years and have never had a “written corrective action” against me. The other week, I signed out meds, gave them to the patient and forgot to chart that I gave them — it was very busy in the ED and we have a new computer system for charting. We also have a new manager who decided to skip the verbal warning and go right to a written warning. I have never had any action or problems before in the three years I’ve been working with this healthcare system. But he also states it is reportable to the state board of nursing, and that is my biggest concern. Is forgetting to chart that you gave the meds a reportable offense? And if so, what happens? I have followed many other nurses and there have been times people forgot to chart meds (back when there was paper charting), but I’ve never heard of this happening.

Susan

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Susan,

It is impossible for me to know whether or not this is a “reportable” event with such limited information and without knowing the state in which you practice. I recommend you seek the advice and counsel of a nurse attorney to help you with this. Your job, license, reputation and livelihood — not to mention your confidence — are potentially affected.

Consulting an attorney does not imply guilt, contrary to what some nurses believe. It is a smart and often necessary way to advocate for yourself and to be sure your best interests are represented and protected to the greatest extent possible. A nurse attorney is uniquely qualified to advise or represent nurses in such matters.

Find a nurse attorney by asking around or by getting a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (whether or not you are a member), another nursing association or through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org).

Empower yourself and protect your future by getting the advice, support and representation you need. Any money spent will be well worth it in the long run. You have too much at stake to try to figure this out on your own or let the cards fall where they may.

My best wishes,
Donna

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