Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can prescribe medications in Texas. However, the authority to write prescriptions also involves being vulnerable to complaints against your nursing license.
Earning the APRN Specialty Certification requires years of study and either a master’s or doctorate in nursing. If a complaint has been made against your nursing license, it is imperative that you take steps to protect yourself. An experienced Texas nursing license defense lawyer at Bertolino LLP can discuss your options.
What Laws Grant the Authority for a Registered Nurse to Prescribe Drugs in Texas?
Under Texas law, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are able to prescribe and order certain types of medications. Only APRNs have the authority to prescribe certain types of controlled substances. Under the rules and regulations set forth by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Texas Administrative Code, 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 II 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.
APRNs must have a valid prescription authorization number and full licensure to qualify. In addition, they must sign up for the Prescription Monitoring Program.
How does the PMP Affect a Nurse’s Ability to Prescribe Medication in Texas?
The Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) in Texas collects data from patients and prescribing medical professionals. The program is designed to increase accountability by monitoring all outpatient data for controlled substances. Under Texas law, prescribing doctors and APRNs must create an account with the PMP.
Before prescribing a controlled substance, APRNs must look up a patient’s history for the following:
APRNs have a responsibility to check patients’ history for indicators of drug abuse, illicit activity, or doctor shopping. The only exception is if the patient is currently receiving hospice care or has been diagnosed with certain types of cancers.
What Prescription Errors May Result in a Complaint Against Your Nursing License in Texas?
There are many prescription medication errors and other mistakes that can jeopardize your nursing license. The following are the most common complaints brought against an APRN’s license:
- Prescribing or administering the wrong medication
- Prescribing or administering an improper dosage
- Selling or bartering prescriptions
- Not informing the patient of the potential allergic reactions or side effects
- Self-prescribing medication
- Prescribing a drug that may have a detrimental interaction with another medication the patient is currently taking
If an APRN has a complaint brought against their license for a prescription issue, they will need to face the Texas Board of Nursing for a formal investigation.
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What Happens if a Complaint Is Made Against Your Nursing License?
If a complaint is made against your nursing license, you could face harsh penalties. The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) regulates all complaints against nurses. Once a formal complaint is made, the BON will conduct an investigation.
If the Texas Board of Nursing determines misconduct has occurred, they may take disciplinary action against a nurse, including:
- Suspension or revocation of your nursing license
- Being placed on probation
- Being issued a warning
- Remedial education
- Formal reprimand
- License restrictions on your scope of practice
- Being ordered to pay a fine
APRNs will not face sanctions as long as they maintain accurate patient records, follow the proper steps, and make a good-faith attempt to review the PMP before prescribing certain types of controlled substances.
Working with an experienced nursing license defense attorney in Texas can provide the BON with the information and documentation they need to process your complaint and help you fight the allegations threatening your license, your livelihood and your professional reputation.
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Get Help from a Nursing License Defense Attorney in Texas 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, it is critical to take the steps necessary to protect your career.
Contact a Texas nursing license defense lawyer at Bertolino LLP to learn more about how to defend your license and professional reputation.
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, you are not required to report a pending investigation or any allegations that have been made against you, according to the Texas Nursing Practice Act. 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 disciplinary action.
Can I Voluntarily Surrender My Nursing License in Texas?
Yes, you can voluntarily surrender your nursing license in Texas at any time. However, you will need to wait a minimum of one year until you are eligible for reinstatement. It is important to 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, a complaint against a nursing license can take as long as 12 months to complete and sometimes even longer. This is because the BON will need to:
- Review documents
- Meet with witnesses
- Review your employment records
- determine whether disciplinary action should be taken
A nursing license defense lawyer in Texas can work with the BON to resolve the matter in a timely manner. At Bertolino LLP, our goal is to protect your professional career and get you back to work as soon as possible. Schedule a consultation today.