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Legal Speak

No Third Chances

Published December 22, 2010 11:08 AM by Tony DeWitt
I am dumbfounded by the Kansas State Board of Nursing.  Media reports indicate that a 55 year old Kansas nurse is charged in a 10 count indictment with tampering with a consumer product and adulteration of drugs. She supposedly diluted morphine solutions intended for five patients at a skilled nursing facility. Okay, this much I understand. Sometimes nurses go off the reservation and dip into the drug box for their own personal use. With proper intervention these people can be treated and rehabilitated.  But what is amazing here is that the nurse involved had been previously convicted of a drug-related offense and had her nursing license suspended two times for previous allegations of stealing a controlled substance.

So the first time, I get it, the Board gave her a second chance. But what about the second time? No drug abuser should get more than two bites at the apple. If a drug abuser offends a second time, statistics show they are going to continue to offend. 

A State Board of Nursing's job is to protect the public, and the Kansas Board has failed in its job. If I were the governor of Kansas, I would demand the resignation of the entire board.

And, of course, it should go without saying that the administrator who hired this nurse should lose her job and likely her license.  Either the administrator did not know of the nurses background (gross negligence) or the administrator knew but still entrusted the woman with narcotics keys (also gross negligence). You have to wonder who's watching the store in Kansas.

posted by Tony DeWitt
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About this Blog


    A.L. "Tony" DeWitt, RRT, CRT, JD, FAARC
    Occupation: Attorney
    Setting: Jefferson City, Mo.
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