Prosecutors recently accused a New York nurse of wrongfully taking pain medications from his employer. The hospital where he works stated he took the medication without proper authorization. The nurse was originally charged with multiple felonies, but through a plea deal the nurse’s defense team reduced the charges to a misdemeanor and entered a treatment program.
As part of the negotiations, the nurse agreed to forfeit his professional license.
How can nurses protect their professional license?
There are steps that you can take to help protect your nurse license. According to a recent publication from the American Nurses Association Journal, nurses can reduce the risk of licensing issues by providing care with integrity and focus. The piece elaborates on the need for nurses to address the most important issue in the moment and follow-through to ensure the care has achieved the desired effect.
Unfortunately, even when nurses meet these requirements, allegations of wrongdoing can occur. In these situations, it is wise to take additional action and seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in defending nurses during licensing investigations and inquiries can help to better protect your professional reputation.
The defense strategy will depend on your case. Some involve a defense to dismiss the charges, others to prove innocence and still others may choose to move forward with a negotiation to reduce the charges. In the case noted above, the prosecution gathered evidence the nurse falsified drug dispensing records to obtain 12 syringes filled with to opioid medication fentanyl. This led the nurse to choose a defense strategy that focused on reduction of the charges, moving away from felony charges that could lead to a prison sentence to misdemeanor charges that resulted in a conditional discharge and entrance into a drug rehabilitation program.