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.

To Clarify:  only new TPAPN Board Orders are confidential; the Board is not going back and changing previous Board TPAPN Orders from public to non-public orders.  Since the TPAPN orders are confidential they are not reported to the databank/NURSYS.