Top Three Reasons Why Nurses Lose Their Professional Licenses in Kansas and Missouri

Nurses have the same responsibilities and duties as all other healthcare providers in terms of caring for patients.  Nurses often have much closer contact with patients than physicians, especially in the hospital and nursing home setting.  Patients may form a closer bond with nurses than with their physicians.  From taking a patient’s vitals to bringing them food and medication, nurses serve a very important role in quality healthcare.  Just as is the case with any profession that requires licensure in Kansas and Missouri, nurses must comply with a set of rules set by the board of healing arts.

There are a multitude of reasons why nurses can lose their licenses, however, the three reasons described below are more common than others.  Nurses should ensure they are doing whatever they can to comply with all rules and procedures in order to avoid the risk of facing disciplinary action and possibly losing their licenses.

 (1) Falsifying Patient Medical Records

Nurses have a responsibility to ensure all notes they record for their patients are thorough and accurate.  Mistakes do happen, and some notes may be left out, mistyped, or misprinted.  However, there are situations where nurses intentionally leave notes out or alter notes in order to protect themselves or other healthcare professionals they are working with.  For example, if a nurse forgot to administer medication to a patient, but records on the patient notes that the medication was administered, this is considered falsifying records.  If the patient becomes ill or suffers an adverse reaction because of the missed dose of medication, the nurse could be facing serious consequences from their governing board of healing arts.

(2)  Unprofessional Conduct

Unprofessional conduct is a very broad category of potentially undesirable behavior.  This can range from talking back to a difficult patient with the use of profane language, it could be sexual harassment towards a patient or fellow employee, or it could be simply failing to follow policies and procedures.  The board of healing arts can use discretion to determine if certain conduct is unprofessional to the point where disciplinary action is necessary.  Because the category of unprofessional conduct is so broad, and because patients may interpret certain conduct to be rude, oppressive or offensive, it is highly important that nurses be as cordial as possible with patients, no matter how difficult the patients are.

(3)  Patient Abuse and Neglect

Abuse and neglect of patients can fall into the category of unprofessional conduct, however, abuse and neglect have been the subject of many medical malpractice lawsuits and therefore deserve discussion in a separate category.  Patient abuse and neglect are more prevalent in the nursing home setting than in other settings.  This is because patients in nursing homes require a significant amount of care and attention, and leaving a patient by him or herself for too long can cause serious problems.  For example, if a patient is unable to walk, and needs to go to the bathroom, if that patient is left alone for a long period of time, that patient may attempt to go to the bathroom by getting into a wheelchair without assistance.  This can then lead the patient to fall and be injured.  Further, if a nurse is becoming frustrated with a patient, he or she may use force to control the patient that is deemed abusive.

Nurses can be as responsive and caring as possible and still face situations where they are at risk for facing disciplinary action or possibly losing their professional license.  If a patient complains about anything, the board of healing arts will look into it, even if the complaint is unfounded.  It is important to seek the advice of an attorney to determine what your rights and duties are.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If your nursing license is at risk, you need the advice and counsel of a highly experienced professional license defense attorney practicing law in both Kansas and Missouri.  Facing disciplinary action with the Kansas or Missouri Board of Healing Arts can leave you stressed out and unsure if you will lose your professional license.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office is in a unique position to help you keep your nursing license.  Being a former prosecutor, Danielle Sanger can predict what you may be facing and will use this experience to provide you with the best representation possible.  To learn more, contact the Sanger Law Office today at 785-979-4353 to schedule your free initial consultation with Danielle Sanger.  You may also contact us or online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.