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Nurses Disciplinary Process---Dos and Don’ts. How to avoid disciplinary actions

First, every nurse should know about the Nurse Practice Act and it should be treated like Nurse’s bible. The best defense against a disciplinary action is staying current in your nursing practice.


Every nurse needs to be familiar with:

The laws of Nursing Practice in Nevada. The Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad would write time to time about the laws and would familiarize nurses about the prevailing laws in the state of Nevada.

• The rules.

• The Uniform Disciplinary Act (UDA) that guides disciplinary actions for all health professions, including nurses.

https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=18.130

• Mandatory reporting requirements,

• Whistle-blower laws

https://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=246-15


Ignorance of these laws is not an adequate defense in a disciplinary action. Every nurse has the responsibility to be aware of changes in the Laws of Nursing Practice that may impact their practice and in reality, they change quickly.


You must also (as a nurse) have a duty to keep abreast of legislative changes that may impact practice. Nurse are vulnerable because they do not educate themselves in disciplinary matters, and the Nurse Practice Act. Nurses are also responsible for keeping their knowledge and skills up to date.


How to Avoid Disciplinary Actions?

To avoid disciplinary action, a nurse must keep current on all the educations, rules and information. They must demonstrate compliance with the continuing competency requirements, review new institutional policies, and participate in state, national and specialty nursing organizations. Being involved in disciplinary action before the Nursing Board can result in dire consequences that are personal, professional and financial. The stigma may attach with you for quite sometime and would stay with you no matter where you go.


What is the Legal Basis for Disciplinary Actions?

It is the government’s job to protect the public health and the individual medical hospitals pays hefty malpractice insurance to protect themselves against misconduct and negligence. Of course, the laws and rules of nursing practice define and limit the practice of nursing. They define “unprofessional conduct.” Nurses need to have an understanding of the role of the Nursing Board and be able to act accordingly if involved in disciplinary action.


As, is commonly understood, the State of Nevada grants a license to a nurse who earns their trust through education, examination and a thorough background check. Nurses renew their license in order to serve the residents of Nevada. Nurses must demonstrate continued competency to renew their license in Nevada. The Nursing Board may take informal or formal action on the license if the nurse does not continue to meet licensing and practice standards. A license, because it is granted based on conditions, is not a permanent right. Majority of the nurses are conscientious, and work very hard in Nevada. Relatively few nurses have complaints of poor nursing practice resulting in disciplinary action on their license. However, on occasion, a nurse may violate a provision of the laws and/or rules simply out of lack of knowledge. All nurses need to know their rights and responsibilities when presented with allegations from the Nursing Board. Board.


What are the Grounds for Disciplinary Action?


Many rules define the Standards of Nursing Conduct or Practice. There are rules of standard care, of ordinary prudence and what a reasonable nurse would do under same or similar circumstances. The deviation from rules of standard care is called misconduct. The rules then describe violations of nursing conduct or practice. Each violation must be supported by evidence that is clear and convincing. These rules are closely linked with public safety. Each charge must bear a direct relationship to a threat to public safety.


You have to be knowledgeable with unprofessional conduct in Nevada.


Standards of Practice

Standards of nursing conduct or practice are defined. The law further states that each individual, upon entering the practice of nursing, assumes a measure of responsibility and public trust and the corresponding obligation to adhere to the standards of nursing practice. The nurse shall be responsible and accountable for the quality of nursing care given to clients.


This responsibility cannot be avoided by accepting the orders or directions of another person. In other words, neither physician orders, nor supervisory directions, nor the policies of health care

institutions can exempt the nurse from this accountability.


The standards of nursing conduct or practice are as follows.

1. Nursing process

a. The nurse shall collect pertinent objective and subjective data…

b. The nurse shall plan and implement nursing care…

c. The nurse shall provide timely communication with other health care providers regarding significant changes in client status…

d. The nurse shall document…

2. Delegation and Supervision

The nurse shall be accountable for the safety of clients by:

a. Delegating selected nursing functions to others based on their education, credentials, and competence;

b. Supervising delegates.

3. Other responsibilities the nurse shall have include:

a. Knowledge and understanding of laws and rules regulating nursing function within the scope of nursing;

b. Responsibility and accountability for practice based on scope of education, demonstrated competence, and experience;

c. Adequate instruction and orientation before implementing unfamiliar practice;

d. Responsibility for maintaining current knowledge in field of practice;

e. Conducting nursing practice without discrimination;

f. Protecting confidential information;

g. Reporting unsafe nursing practice…

Failure to adhere to the preceding standards of practice may be grounds for action against the nurse’s license.

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