Nurses are on the frontline day after day, taking care of patients and putting themselves and their families at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. As if these stresses weren’t enough, the Texas Nursing Board is increasing the rate at which it completes investigations into allegations of poor behavior from nurses.
Nurses may find themselves trying to get their patients the best possible care while balancing an unmanageable workload. These unmanageable situations can result in patients and fellow professionals reporting concerns to the state board and may trigger an investigation.
These investigations are a big deal. Depending on the evidence gathered, the board could issue a suspension or even revocation of the nurse’s license — effectively ending the career they worked so hard to achieve. According to a recent report by MedPage Today, the board within Texas stands out as one of the most likely to pursue investigations and actions against nurses. There is concern that the board is out of touch, that the majority of members have more administrative than floor experience making it more difficult to really represent the nurses’ interests throughout the state.
It is not uncommon for these investigations to result in sanctions and fines. In fact, data from the Texas board shows that sanctions and actions against nurses are on the rise.
What’s a nurse to do if the board begins an investigation?
The first step is to take the matter seriously. As noted above, these investigations can have a devastating effect on your career. You have options. An attorney can advocate for your interests and better ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.