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Why Do Patients File Complaints Against Nurses?

Texas medical license defense attorneyThe Texas Board of Nursing (BON) enforces the Texas Nursing Practice Act and the BON Rules and Regulations. The BON conducts investigations of complaints against nurses and when necessary adjudicates those complaints.

Patients file complaints against Texas nurses for many reasons. The following are a few main reasons for which patients file complaints:

  • Failure to adequately care for a patient.
  • Behaviors which likely expose a patient unnecessarily to the risk of harm.
  • Unprofessional conduct by the nurse. For example:
    • Conduct that may endanger a client's life, health, or safety. 22 Tex. Admin Code §217.12(4).
    • Failure to conform to generally accepted nursing standards in applicable practice settings. Id. §217.12(1)(B).
    • Improper management of client records. Id. §217.12(1)(C).
  • Failure to conform to the minimum standards of acceptable nursing practice, as defined by 22 Tex. Admin. Code §217.11. For example:
    • Failure to recognize and maintain professional boundaries of the nurse-patient relationship. Id. §217.11(1)(J).
    • Failure to correctly administer medications or treatments, or to know the effects of medications or treatments. Id. §217.11(C).
    • Failure to accurately and completely report and document the patient's status and the nursing care rendered. Id. §217.11(D).
  • Being impaired on the job.
    • Under the Texas Nursing Practice Act the BON may take disciplinary action against a nurse for the "intemperate use of alcohol or drugs that the Board determines endangers or could endanger a patient[.]" Occ. Code Ann §301.452(b)(9).
    • “Intemperate use” includes "practicing nursing or being on duty or on call while under the influence of alcohol or drugs." Occ. Code Ann §301.452(a).

The foregoing are a few reasons why a patient may file a complaint against a nurse. BON investigations typically take six to twelve months to complete, depending on the circumstances of the case. During the investigation both the complainant and the nurse will be notified periodically of the status of the investigation.

The Board has the authority to take disciplinary action against a nurse when it finds that a violation of the Nursing Practice Act or a BON Rule occurred. Sanctions may include remedial education, fines, warning, reprimand, suspension, probation, or license revocation.

When Your Nursing License is at Risk

If you are under investigation by the Texas BON, your license, reputation, and career are on the line. It's critically important that you take the complaint seriously from the start and address the allegations head-on.

For more information, please review The Do's and Don'ts of Appearing Before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) and our FREE eBook When Your License is Under Attack: A Survival Guide for Texas Professionals.

Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.

If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.

If you have questions or need to speak with an attorney about professional license defense, please call (800) 210-0126 or click here to contact us.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our law firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

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