Nurse practice act violations are actions that violate the Nurse Practice Act. The Nurse Practice Act is a law that governs the practice of nursing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It sets standards for safe and ethical nursing care and provides licensure requirements and disciplinary action guidelines for those who violate them.
The nurse practice act violation is defined by your state’s state board of nursing. You can find out more about it on their website or by calling them directly if you have questions about your situation. If you have been accused of violating the nurse practice act, you should contact an attorney and discuss your options to protect your rights.
Why Are Nurse Practice Act Violations Important?
Nurse practice act violations are vital because they affect patient safety and quality of care. Nurses are trained in patient care, including diagnosis, treatment plans, and medication administration. If a nurse violates their state’s nurse practice act, it could lead to severe harm or death to the patient receiving care from them at that time.”
A violation of the NPA can also have severe disciplinary action on nursing license as an RN or LPN/VN. It may mean that you lose your license or job or incur fines and penalties if you continue working without a license after being told not to do so. It could also affect your ability to find work in other states if you move out of state.
The NPA protects patients by ensuring that only qualified professionals take care of them. Knowing these regulations and following them can help ensure that patients get the best possible care when they need it most.
Sometimes it can be challenging to decipher violations, making it hard to determine the fine line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. We will look at three examples of nurse practice act violations that could come up in your nursing practice.
Violating patient rights and physician’s orders
Violating a patient’s right to confidentiality, privacy, or informed consent is wrong. The nurse should respect the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Informed consent is when the nurse obtains permission from a client to provide nursing care. The nurse may not share confidential information without written consent from the client or legal guardian.
If a physician orders a blood transfusion for a Jehovah’s Witness patient, you must respect the patient’s wishes and not administer the blood transfusion. You may offer other options such as autologous blood donation and other alternatives such as plasma exchange that do not require a blood transfusion.
Practicing outside the scope of practice
The most common violation of a nurse practice act is practicing outside the scope of practice. They may also prescribe medicines without meeting all of the requirements set forth by the state’s nurse practice act. Another common violation is practicing while impaired by drugs or alcohol, which could happen if a nurse drinks alcohol before work or takes illegal drugs during their shift.
Other violations include:
- Providing medical advice over the phone;
- Holding yourself out as an expert on medical issues when you are not qualified;
Patient abandonment is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act. This can be defined as “the act of leaving or refusing to provide care to patients due to nonpayment, disruptive behavior, refusal to accept care plans, inappropriate discharge from the facility, or other reasons.”
Patient abandonment can occur when a nurse leaves a patient unattended for an extended period. It also occurs when a nurse stops providing services to patients and does not inform other caregivers about their departure.
The nurse practice act stipulates those nurses should provide timely notice to patients and family members before leaving their shift. This notice must include information about how they can reach someone if needed during the nurse’s absence.
There are two main categories of abandonment:
- Refusal can be intentional or unintentional, but it usually involves failing to follow through on agreed-upon plans with your employer or refusing requests from patients who need help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and feeding themselves.
- Failure to Return from your Leave of Absence: If you take a leave of absence from work due to illness, you must notify your employer before the leave.
Consequences of Nurse practice act violations
The penalties for violating a nurse practice act vary by state and circumstance. However, nurses who violate the law may face:
- Criminal charges. Nurses who provide substandard care or engage in other acts that endanger the health or safety of their patients may be charged with crimes such as knowingly causing bodily injury or death or practicing nursing without a license.
- Loss of licensure. In addition to being charged and facing jail time, a nurse who violates his state’s nurse practice act may permanently or temporarily lose his license. In some cases, he can also be fined or forced to pay restitution to victims of his actions.
- Legal action from civil attorneys representing victims. Victims of substandard care may sue the offending nurse for negligence or malpractice if they suffer injuries due to his treatment.
In the end, you have three main things to keep in mind. First, make sure that you fully understand your role and responsibilities. Second, take a quick look at the nurse practice act in your state to ensure that you’re not violating any laws. Thirdly, remember to be a team player and listen to your patients—no matter how crazy they sound. With these things considered, you should be good to go.