Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Texas Board of Nursing Agreed Orders-a Recent Problem

I am not sure why this year I have seen a huge increase is nurses contacting me soon after they have signed an Agreed Order with the Texas BON wanting the Order changed or removed.  Most of these nurses were not represented by an attorney, but there were also a few who were represented by an attorney who did not regularly represent nurses before the Board.  It is important to realize that an Agreed Order is a settlement agreement or contract between the Board and the nurse.  Like other agreements/contracts in life, the time to negotiate and question the Order is prior to signing.  It is very difficult to obtain a change in an Order and if that request occurs soon after signing, the likelihood of success is decreased immensely.

 Some of the nurses explained the reason they signed was the pressure the investigator was placing on them to sign.  Once again, an attorney can help with this by inserting themselves into the communication with the Board and freeing the nurse up to work and not having to stress over the Board.  A good lawyer will keep you informed of what is happening and also provides you with copies of all documents from and to the Board.  The attorney should also obtain approval for all agreements with the Board.

TPAPN Board Orders are now Confidential

As of September 1, 2013, TPAPN Board Orders are now confidential.  This is a vast improvement since the statute was changed a few sessions ago requiring the Board to be involved anytime there was a practice issue associated with a substance abuse/addiction issue.  This corrects situations where nurses had sensitive personal information available online for all to see.  Nurses who were referred to TPAPN by the Board and had a mental health  diagnosis or who had an evaluation detailing sensitive personal information had limited choices when they were referred to the Board.  It appears there will be further changes or polishing of the TPAPN process in the near future, so be sure to watch for information and remember it may be in your best interests to consult with an attorney who knows the Board and TPAPN.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My blogs have moved to www.nursingattorney/b. I have not posted in a while because we were busy setting up the new blog site. I hope that putting the blogs on my website will help readers navigate the blogs and the articles. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nurse of the Year???

This is from David Owens for the Hartford Courant on 8/6/09

" A Norwalk woman once recognized as "nurse of the year" was arrested today after an investigation found she's not really a nurse.

Betty A. Lichtenstein, who is also known as Betty A. Trudel, 56, of Norwalk, was arrested Thursday by inspectors from the Chief's State's Attorney's Medicaid fraud control unit on a single count of illegal use of the title "registered nurse," six counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and one count of criminal impersonation.

According to the warrant for Lichtenstein's arrest, the investigation began after a patient at the Norwalk doctor's office for which Lichtenstein worked complained she had acted unprofessionally.

An investigation then determined that Lichtenstein never had a license, yet had administered injections and given medical advice to the doctor's patients, according to the warrant.

The doctor and his employees' belief that Lichtenstein was a nurse was reinforced when in November 2008 she was honored as "2008 nurse of the year" by the Connecticut Nursing Association.

The investigation determined, however, that the Connecticut Nursing Association does not exist and that Lichtenstein used $2,000 of her own money to stage the dinner, according to the warrant.

"The doctor, his staff and a number of his patients received a letter with the letterhead of the "Connecticut Nursing Association," according to the warrant. "The letter stated there would be a special dinner to honor Betty Lichtenstein [and that she] was to received a $10,000 personal award and an additional $10,000 was to go to the charity of her choice."

On Nov. 30 the award dinner took place at the Norwalk Inn, and the doctor for whom Lichtenstein worked was a guest speaker, according to the warrant. Forty one dinners were served and the inn sent a bill for $3,211.11 to the Connecticut Nursing Association in care of Lichtenstein's employer's office. She then wrote a check for $2,168.02, according to the warrant.

Lichtenstein was arrested by Norwalk police in May in an unrelated charge of trying to illegally obtaining prescription drugs and forgery. According to the warrant, she tried to obtain 96 Oxycodone pills with a forged prescription. She used a prescription slip from her employer. That case is pending in Superior Court in Norwalk.

The illegal use of the title "registered nurse" charge is a felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison.

She was released from custody without having to post bail and is due in court Aug. 26 in Norwalk.

Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant"

It is amazing the amount of energy and money spent by this woman to fake being a nurse. Just bizarre.