The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) issued an Agreed Order with the nurse holding Texas vocational nurse license #218826. The BON entered this Agreed Order based on evidence that the nurse might be subject to discipline under Tex. Occ. Code § 301.452(b)(3). This section permits the BON to discipline licensed nurses for “a conviction for, or placement on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for, a felony or for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.”
Many nurses become subject to disciplinary proceedings concerning their nursing licenses, often for the first time, over drug and alcohol use or criminal convictions related to drug and alcohol use. Most complaints that come before BON, especially for individuals with no disciplinary history, are resolved informally before they ever reach a contested hearing. Resolution typically occurs via an Agreed Order.
Agreed Orders Generally
After BON staff completes an investigation into a complaint and determines that evidence shows a violation, the informal settlement process begins. Typically, the BON staff will offer a proposed Agreed Order to the nurse, which contains:
- Investigative findings
- Conclusions of laws
- Proposed sanctions
- Stipulated requirements necessary to ensure that the nurse is safe to practice
A nurse can sign an Agreed Order, which goes to the BON for approval. The BON accepts and ratifies most Agreed Orders, but it is not required to accept them. BON can vote to reject any Agreed Order with which it disagrees.
If a nurse disagrees with the Agreed Order, they can suggest specific amendments and resubmit it to BON staff. If the staff accepts the suggested revisions, it will generate a new Agreed Order.
BON staff may also schedule an informal conference to evaluate the case further and attempt to negotiate an Agreed Order. Typically, the Executive Director, the Director of Enforcement, a BON attorney, the assigned investigator, and other BON staff attend the conference along with the nurse and their legal counsel. At the end of the conference, the BON panel will make recommendations as to the disposition of the case if they determine that action against the nurse is necessary to protect the public. An informal settlement conference also can lead to an Agreed Order.
Criminal History of Nurse LVN 218826
Nurse #218826 pled guilty in May 2019 to possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony. As a result of the plea, the criminal proceedings were deferred without an adjudication of guilt. However, the nurse was placed on probation and ordered to pay restitution of $180, plus a fine and costs.
Agreed Order Terms and Conditions for Nurse LVN 218826
Under the terms and conditions of the Agreed Order, BON suspended the nurse’s license for two years and placed her on probation for the duration of that suspension. The terms of that probation include the following:
- Comply with all laws
- Complete BON’s “Understanding Board Orders” course
- Complete the following remedial education courses:
- Six hours of Texas nursing jurisprudence and ethics
- “Sharpening Critical Thinking Skills,” a 3.6-hour course
- Work as a nurse providing direct patient care for at least 64 hours per month for eight quarterly periods or two years of employment
- Notify all current and future employers of the terms of the Agreed Order
- Cause each employer to notify the BON of the employment
- Supervision by a licensed vocational nurse on the premises, with a minimum of two years of experience in the same or similar practice setting
- Refrain from employment by a nurse registry, temporary nurse employment agency, hospice, or home health agency
- Refrain from self-employment or multiple jobs
- Cause each employer to submit a quarterly nursing evaluation to BON for eight quarters
- Abstain from alcohol, nalbuphine, propofol, and all controlled substances except as prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a legitimate purpose
- Submit to random urinalysis screens for alcohol, nalbuphine, propofol, and all controlled substances at least once per month for two years
The Agreed Order also admonishes the nurse that if their conduct results in further judicial action, such as the violation of the terms of their deferred adjudication in the criminal case, the nurse could be subject to further disciplinary action. Further discipline could include revocation of the nurse’s license. Additionally, further complaints against the nurse will automatically extend the stayed suspension and period of probation until the BON has acted upon or resolved the new complaint.
We Will Stand Up for Your Rights Before the Texas Board of Nursing
You can count on the experienced nursing license defense lawyers at Bertolino LLP, to defend you when you receive notice of a complaint against you from the BON. We will investigate the circumstances that led to the complaint and devise the best defense strategy for your case. Together, we will work to clear your name and protect your license. Call us today at (512) 515-9518 or contact us online.