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I am being reported to the nursing board for falsifying documentation. Can I lose my license?

Question:

Dear Nancy,

I am a nurse practitioner and do face-to-face visits for a local hospice agency part time. I was terminated today for misdating four visits. They said I falsified documentation and they are reporting me to the board of nursing. I honestly didn’t remember the date of visit and just signed the wrong day. I did not bill for the visits and asked if I could correct it, which they did not allow me to do. Since they are reporting me, can I lose my license?

Maggie

Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Maggie,

The allegations against you are quite serious, so it is important for you to seek legal representation through a nurse attorney or attorney in your state as soon as possible. It will be important that you present your best defense possible in this situation. “Not remembering” the date of your visits, yet stating you documented the “wrong day” will probably not be to your advantage, unless there is more to this explanation than you included in the question.

Falsifying records made in one’s practice can be a reason for a nurse to be disciplined by a board of nursing. What actions are possible against a nurse licensee who violates the state nurse practice act is governed by the state act. You might want to review the act and its rules before you meet with the attorney.

In most states, possible disciplines include a reprimand or censure, probation, the suspension of a license and revocation. Other discipline is also often possible, such as the payment of a fine and the requirement of taking a course or CE about a particular subject (e.g., documentation). Your attorney can discuss these with you in detail when you meet with him or her.

Sincerely,
Nancy

By | 2012-09-17T00:00:00+00:00 September 17th, 2012|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|10 Comments

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10 Comments

  1. Tina February 13, 2016 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I am being under investigation with the compliance department of my company located in another state, I work for them in my state. I do home assessments, no treatment; a few of the parient stated I did not see them which I did; and to top it off, there are 2 charts submitted that I have no recollection of, I was charting about 8-9 charts and became confused as to what was submitted. I told the company that the patients were seen; but they do not believe me; they keep saying that the patients stated you were not there. I am able to describe what each patient look like except for the 2 that I have no recollection of. I am nervous that I am reported and lose my license – what is my recourse?

    • Katrina January 28, 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Hey Tina,

      What was the outcome of this?

    • Lisa February 10, 2017 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Was this professional edge by any chance?

    • Nikki October 1, 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Tina can u update on this? I’m dealing with the exact same issue. Patient said that I wasn’t there. But in fact I was and it was weeks ago.

  2. Heather Gallagher June 19, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I recently resigned from my position as a LPN at a nursing home. I handed in my badges and also had my exit interview. After this happened, I continued to work at my job for an additional day. During that time, I gave a narcotic at 2:30pm instead of at 9:30am. In my quickness to give the narcotic, I wrote down the wrong time on the paper charting, but alerted the next nurse on duty to the fact who stated she would alter her doses to the patient since she receives this medication four times a day.

    My question is this : I have read on PA’s nursing websites, that I can be reported to the BON only if I was suspended or terminated for “falsifying medical records”. As this was not the case since I resigned on my own, should I be worried that I will still be reported and my lose my license? I’m anxious because I am due to start a new job in July and worried that I may not be able to do so because of this.

  3. DARLENE NELSON May 30, 2018 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    BE CAREFUL ABOUT RETAINING AN ATTORNEY
    It is not always wise to initially retain legal council. It is imperative to develop a relationship with your Board investigator and have the opportunity to tell your story. The minute you retain an attorney you are forbidden to contact or in any way communicate with the BON investigator. The process is one that can already take a painfully long time, leaving you to twist in the wind. If you retain an attorney all communication must go from you to the attorney, the attorney will likely take time to get to your request, then the attorney contacts the BON on your behalf, then when the Investigator has time they will respond and then finally when the attorneys schedule permits they will get back to you. I personally discovered exculpatory evidence in my file. It took three months to finally get that information to the BON. And even then it was not communicated to the Investigator in a way only I could. After months of awaiting a reply for a request for an informal hearing I was finally granted one. I attended the hearing unrepresented and my charges were dropped once I could explain face to face. Had I been able to pick up the phone and talk to the Investigator one on one my 10 month experience of agonizing stress would likely have been much shorter. Remember, an attorney is afforded no authority or power with the BON and they have an investment in maintaining a cordial relationship with the Board. The most important thing you can do is request the BON file and all evidence they have and carefully review it. I was fortunate in that I have been a Legal Nurse Consultant for 20 years and was able to thoroughly review all the medical records and discovery. Attorneys, especially if not nurses familiar with current real life practice and EMRs cannot review records as you could. Attorneys also cost a fortune and so will certain requests of you such as a polygraph that the Board will mandate you submit to.

  4. DARLENE Ann NELSON June 25, 2018 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I sincerely do not advise retaining an attorney at least initially. This prevents you, the one who knows what really happened, a voice. You need to be able to help the investigator understand all the facts and correctly interpret the records. As soon as you retain an attorney you cannot communicate with your investigator. You can only briefly and in a sterile fashion communicate through your attorney. Your voice is needed to Express your innocence. Plus an attorney will cost you thousands

  5. Michel June 29, 2018 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Darlene Nelson, How can i find a ” legal nurse Consultant” like you said you were to help me?

  6. Clarissa January 11, 2019 at 4:13 am - Reply

    If someone signs a legal document of assessment on a patient as a RN and they are actual a LPN is this legal.

  7. Missnoname January 16, 2019 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Darlene Nelsen sounds more like a state investigator than I nurse consultant. I’d take that for what it may be before taking her advice. An investigators job is to try to find fault and take your license.

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