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In any healthcare setting, nurses have a primary responsibility to ensure the greatest level of patient care. However, there are times when an RN’s behaviors or behavior raise questions about their ability to practice professional nursing. Such behavior can jeopardize patient safety and call into question the nurse’s ability to perform their job properly. When faced with such claims, it is critical to seek the advice and assistance of a nursing attorney. A nurse attorney can help nurses manage the legal complexity, argue for their rights, and strive for a fair conclusion while maintaining their professional reputation.

Scenario: RN was Disciplined for Accusations of Sleeping While on Duty

At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN at a university in Beaumont, Texas, and had been in that position for four (4) years and eight (8) months.

On or about January 10, 2020, while on duty, the RN showed a lack of fitness to practice professional nursing. She was observed sleeping in the hallway workstation area while her patient’s alarms were sounding. The patient may have been put in danger as a result of the registered nurse’s actions, which may have interfered with her ability to identify subtle signs, symptoms, or changes in the patient’s condition. It may also have affected her capacity to make appropriate, accurate, and logical assessments, judgments, and decisions regarding patient care.

In response, the RN stated that the evening shift of that same day had been hectic, with the fact that she started her shift with two patients. Moreover, after midnight, she was sitting in the hallway nursing station, charting her patients, and briefly had a shut-eye to rest them when the Patient Care Coordinator touched her shoulder, startling her. The RN further stated that she was asked if she was okay and she immediately perked up, apologized, and explained she had recently started a new exercise routine and had been overwhelmed with her last semester in nursing school. The RN added that she then continued her clinical care and nursing duties as usual and helped other staff with their patients as needed. Finally, the RN stated that at no time during this encounter did the PCC advise that her patient’s alarm had gone off or that she had responded to it. In the medical field, moments like this are inevitable for like other professional citizens, doctors and nurses are still human whose body yearns for rest and enough sleep and yet never an enough reason to behave so. With the help of the expertise of a nurse attorney, there is hope for the RN involved to be defended well in court. 

Eventually, the RN was summoned by the Texas Board of Nursing to defend her side, but the RN failed to hire a nurse attorney to help her hence, the Texas Board of Nursing then decided to place her RN license under disciplinary action.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and expertise you need to defend your case by consulting a knowledgeable and experienced Texas nurse attorney. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An has represented more than 600 nurse cases over the past 18 years. Contact the Law Office of Yong J. An 24/7 through text or call at (832) 428-5679 for a confidential consultation regarding any accusations from the Texas BON.