Nurses Be Ware, Who Would Complaint Against You In Nevada? Disciplinary Actions
The Nursing Board receives reports from several sources: patients, other health care professionals, self-reporting and other state agencies conducting investigations. A Case Management Team assesses all reports within 21 days.
Is this a report of an incident within the State of Nevada, or a finding of unprofessional conduct by another state?
The Case Management Team closes reports if they are not within their jurisdiction.
In any complaint where the Nursing Board identifies practice deficiencies, the Nursing Board may resolve the matter through the early remediation program. The Nursing Board shall use the following criteria to determine eligibility for early remediation:
a. The identified practice deficiency(s) could be corrected by remedial education, on-the-job training and practice monitoring within six months or less, and patient protection does not require significant long-term practice limits.
b. The nurse is willing and able to participate in the early remediation program.
c. The nurse’s current employer, if any, agrees to participate in the action plan.
d. The nurse has no current charges or disciplinary history of unprofessional conduct and has not previously participated in an action plan.
e. The degree of patient harm suffered as a result of the nurse’s substandard practice is minor, if any.
Upon agreement on a plan, the matter is closed, unless the nurse fails to comply with the action plan at any time prior to its completion. No “flag” is then placed against the nurse’s license regarding the complaint so long as the plan is complied with. However, the Nursing Board may decide to conduct a full investigation and consider disciplinary action if additional facts become known or circumstances change such that the nurse is no longer eligible based on the aforementioned criteria.
YOUR NURSE PRACTICE ACT AND THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS INVESTIGATION
The reports must be above a threshold to be opened to an investigation. The Nursing Board investigates reports of the following:
1. Drug diversion or narcotic abuse with impairment (work related). This includes use of illegal (street) drugs.
2. Sexual misconduct.
3. Harm to patient requiring medical intervention.
4. Physical abuse.
5. Negligence which leads to patient death.
6. Mental incapacity with harm to patient or likelihood of harm.
7. Crimes against persons or personal property of a patient.
8. Substance abuse affecting ability to practice safely.
9. Pattern of gross nursing incompetence.
10. Beyond the scope, to include lack of documentation of clinical competency.
11. Pattern of errors or an isolated error, to include judgment errors.
12. Practice with a lapsed license for more than 6 months without allegation of unprofessional conduct.
13. Falsification of records.
14. Inappropriate delegation beyond respondent’s own scope.
15. Failure to supervise resulting in an unreasonable risk of harm to a patient or resulting in serious harm to a patient.
If a nurse believes a report about them may be sent to the Nursing Board (i.e., threats from clients, supervisors, or other medical personnel), the nurse should document the details. The details provide the nurse with a written account of the incident, while the memory is still fresh. Any existing written document may be requested by the investigator. Failure to provide the document would be unprofessional conduct.
In our democracy, all people are considered innocent until proven guilty. The burden of collection and proving unprofessional conduct or inability to safely practice lies with the State. Investigators must collect enough evidence to clearly convince Nursing Board members that a violation occurred.
The Investigator is Assigned:
When the Nursing Board opens the report to an investigation, an investigator is assigned. The investigator sends a letter to the person who sent the complaint, or complainant. The investigator develops and follows a plan for the investigation. In most cases, the investigator informs the nurse of the investigation in writing. In some cases, the investigator may determine that notifying the nurse would impede an investigation. The investigator has the right to decide whether this risk exists. The investigator collects evidence through interviews of people who may be witnesses to the complaint: co-workers, supervisors, family members, patients. The investigator may review medical
records, personnel records, staffing reports, and medication reports.
The Nursing Board has nurses and non-nurses as investigators. Many complaint investigations do not include violations of standards of nursing care. The most frequent complaint investigated