registered nurse talking to an elderly patient

Under Texas law, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) may be able to prescribe and order certain types of prescription medications, according to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). 

However, there are many situations in which registered nurses may have complaints brought against them for prescription medication errors, mistakes, and issues. If a complaint has been made against your nursing license, it is imperative that you take steps to protect your future. Contact a Texas nursing license defense attorney at Bertolino LLP to discuss your options going forward.

Texas Laws Regarding Nurses Prescribing Medication

Only APRNs have the authority to prescribe in order specific types of controlled substances. APRNs must have a valid prescription authorization number and full licensure to qualify. APRNs are required to adhere to local, state, and federal rules and regulations under the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 

APRNs have the authority to prescribe controlled substances if the following requirements are met:

  • If the controlled substance is a Schedule lll, Schedule lV, or Schedule V controlled substance, patients cannot be prescribed more than a 90-day supply, including a single refill of the prescription.
  • Once 90 days have passed, APRNs can issue refills of prescription drugs if they fall under the Schedule lll, Schedule lV, or Schedule V of controlled substances with authorization from a delegating physician.
  • Notations of prescription refills must be noted in the patient’s medical records.
  • APRNs are prohibited from prescribing controlled substances that fall into the Schedule lll, Schedule lV, or Schedule V category for any child age 2 or younger without consulting with a physician and making note of the prescription in the patient’s medical chart.
  • If an APRN is prescribing a schedule two controlled substance, they must do so in a hospital facility in accordance with hospital policies to ensure patient safety and only in cases where a patient is expected to stay more than 24 hours or was seen in an emergency room.
  • Patients who have terminal illnesses can also be prescribed Schedule ll controlled substances by APRNs if they have opted to receive hospice treatment.

The Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)

APRNs who are prescribing controlled substances are also required to review and access the prescription monitoring program (PMP) as authorized under the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 481 before they prescribe any type of controlled substance to a patient.

Nurses need to review the PMP if they are considering prescribing a patient barbiturates, benzodiazepines, carisoprodol, or opioids unless the patient is currently receiving hospice care or has been diagnosed with certain types of cancers. 

APRNs will not face disciplinary action as long as they note patient records of prescription medications, note patient records when a review of the PMP prevents them from being able to prescribe medication, and make a good faith attempt to review the PMP before prescribing certain types of controlled substances.

What Happens if a Complaint Is Made Against Your Nursing License

If a complaint is made against your nursing license surrounding your prescription of a controlled substance, you could be facing harsh penalties. If the Texas Board of Nursing determines misconduct has occurred, you could face a variety of sanctions, including:

  • Suspension or revocation of your nursing license
  • Being placed on probation
  • Being issued a warning
  • Remedial education
  • Formal reprimand
  • Being suspended from your position
  • Being ordered to pay a fine

Working with your nursing license defense attorney, you can provide the NOB with the information and documentation they need to process your complaint and challenge the allegations against you.

Texas Nursing License Complaints for Prescription Medications FAQ

You may have many unanswered questions about how the nursing license complaint process works, why allegations have been made against you, and what to expect next. 

With this in mind, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Texas nursing license complaints for prescription medications below. If you have additional questions, they can be discussed during your confidential consultation.

Am I Required to Report These Allegations to My Employer?

No. According to the Texas Nursing Practice Act, you are not required to report the pending investigation or allegations that have been made against you. Until the complaint has been processed, you have the right to continue working until final action is taken on your case.

What Information do I Have Access to When Under Investigation?

If you are under investigation, you have the right to review any of the documentation and records that the BON obtains as part of their investigation. You can use this information to challenge the accusations against you and protect your nursing license from suspension or revocation.

Can I Voluntarily Surrender My Nursing License in Texas?

Yes. At any point in time, you are allowed to voluntarily surrender your nursing license. However, you will need to wait a minimum of one year until you are eligible for reinstatement.  But note that voluntary nursing license surrenders are considered a type of sanction or disciplinary action taken by the Texas Board of Nursing.

How Long do Nursing License Complaint Investigations Take?

Generally, complaints against nursing licenses could take as much as 12 months to complete. This is because the BON will need to review documents, meet with witnesses, review your employment records, and determine whether disciplinary action should be taken in your case. Your attorney can work with the BON to get this matter resolved in a timely manner so you can get back to work and protect your professional reputation.

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Get Help from a Nursing License Defense Attorney Today

Only Advanced Practice Registered Nurses have the authority to prescribe and order certain types of controlled substances. If a complaint has been made against you involving prescription drugs or other allegations, take steps to protect your career. 

Contact a Texas nursing license defense attorney at Bertolino LLP to learn more about how to defend yourself when a complaint has been made against your nursing license. You can reach us by phone or through our quick contact form to get started on your case as soon as today.

Call or text (512) 476-5757 or complete a Case Evaluation form