Disciplinary Action Taken Against Texas Nurses

Nurses are trained to be mindful of patient safety and practice in a professional manner. When a complaint is filed accusing a nurse of professional misconduct, there are a number of sanctions that the Board may impose.

Taking disciplinary action against a Texas licensed nurse is a lengthy and complex process. To protect your reputation and career, it is imperative that you consult a nurse license defense lawyer in Texas.

How Common Are Texas Nursing Disciplinary Actions?

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) tracks adverse actions and malpractice data in the healthcare profession. The NPDB was established in the late 1980s as part of the Healthcare Quality Improvement Act. The Texas state licensing board, along with hospitals and other medical entities, must take disciplinary action against professional infractions and report them accordingly.  In the last reporting year:

  • There were more than 20,000 adverse actions taken against nurses
  • After filtering for Texas, more than 2,000 disciplinary actions were taken against nurses

What Disciplinary Actions Can Be Taken Against Nurses in Texas?

The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) regulates the practice of nursing in Texas. The BON is responsible for ensuring that each person holding a license as a nurse in Texas is competent to practice safely. Under the Texas Nursing Practice Act, the BON is authorized to take disciplinary action against a nurse who has committed misconduct.

A BON investigation team examines all the accusations and any evidence that supports the claims of misconduct. If the Board determines that a nurse or nurse-applicant has violated the law, then it may enter an order imposing disciplinary action. The BON can impose one or more of the following disciplinary actions:

  • Revocation of nursing license
  • Suspension of nursing license
  • Restriction of nursing license
  • Issue a public reprimand
  • Assessment of a fine
  • Issue a warning
  • Require supervision for a specified period of time
  • Issue conditional provisions, including submitting to treatment or participation in an educational program
  • Require public service
  • Require additional educational training or reexamination
  • Require a temporary and/or probationary license

The Board may order one or more of the above-listed disciplinary actions against a nurse in connection with a complaint. In many cases, a skilled nurse license defense attorney in Texas may negotiate with BON staff to obtain a more modest disciplinary outcome, and mitigate the damage to your career and reputation.

BON can also issue what is known as a corrective action. This is a non-disciplinary action, which is not public, not published by BON on their website, not noted on the nurse’s license and not reported to the NPDB.  Corrective actions generally require  the nurse to complete remedial education.

What Are the Grounds for the Board of Nurse Examiners to Take Disciplinary Action?

A nurse may be disciplined for a number of actions, including but not limited to:

  • Violating the Nursing Practice Act or a Board Rule
  • Conviction of certain crimes (felonies and misdemeanors)
  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Use of alcohol or drugs that endanger a patient
  • Failure to meet the standard of care nurses are required to meet when caring for patients
  • Soliciting or accepting money or high-dollar gifts
  • Patient abuse
  • Fraudulent behavior
  • Misappropriation of medications
  • Failure to administer, document and dispose of medications properly
  • Failure to keep accurate patient records

Most disciplinary actions against nurses involve professional conduct and practice violations. According to a Nurse Professional Liability Exposure Claim Report:

  • 32.5% of all nursing complaints implicate unprofessional conduct
  • 24.8% involve the scope of practice violations
  • 9.7%  involve documentation errors
  • 9.3%  involve failure to treat
  • 8.8% involve abuse of a patient
  • 6.2% involve improper administration of medication

When the Board determines that a nurse has committed a violation, it will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against a license holder. A single complaint can jeopardize your nursing license, damage your reputation, and derail your career. A Texas nurse license defense lawyer can fight to protect you from any adverse action against your license.

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Contact Our Texas Nurse License Defense Attorney Today

If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Board of Nursing, Bertolino LLP can help. An experienced nurse license defense attorney in Texas will know how to navigate the BON’s complaint process and fight to protect your livelihood, reputation and career.

We are prepared to represent you at any legal proceeding regarding your professional license. Our results speak for themselves. Call to schedule a consultation today to discuss the details of your unique situation.

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