Bill Introduced to Senate to Revoke Nursing Licenses Due to Gross Negligence
A bill that could revoke nursing licenses in instances of gross negligence has been approved by a Senate subcommittee, on Wednesday, March 25th.
The original bill introduced sought to revoke nursing licenses in any instance of over-medication or under-medication, which can be considered gross negligence. This error can sometimes result in death or serious injury to the patient. The subcommittee made changes to narrow the bill’s scope, but if put into law, the bill would still create stricter rules for nurses and their nursing licenses, directly impacting nurses who appear before the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, after he was contacted by Tim and Mary Elisabeth Cutliff, who live in Anderson. Two and a half years ago, the Cutliffs’ son Samuel died due to an overdose of morphine administered by a nurse. Samuel had a mitochondrial disease that left him wheelchair-bound and unable to speak, and he required regular medical care for his condition to help control his pain.
Mary Elisabeth says, “I called 911. And then the nurse said, ‘I gave him 4 milliliters, not .4 milliliters,’ which is a huge difference. And after that we found out she had had a record of overdosing.”
After Samuel’s death, the nurse involved was fined, put on probation for one year, and required to take remedial courses.
“Really a slap on the hand to her that that’s all she had to do to be back in full working status and it felt like a slap in the face to us that the loss of our son didn’t matter,” Tim says. “We know that nurses are already overworked and overloaded in most cases, but in situations with gross negligence we want to make sure that it’s dealt with and that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to another family.”
Sen. Bryant says, “I’m a pharmacist, and if I ever gave a child 80 milligrams of morphine I should lose my license and possibly face criminal charges.”
The South Carolina nursing association lobbied against the bill due to its harsh penalties for nurses, who deal with many patients and must keep track of numerous medications. The group says it is more comfortable with the amended version, which more closely defines gross negligence and can help nurses fight the revocation of their nursing license.
Defending Nursing License Charges or Revocation in South Carolina
If you face a disciplinary hearing related to your nursing license, or your license has been revoked, you may need help fighting the charges to minimize the impact to your professional career.
The practice of Nursing in South Carolina is controlled by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (“LLR”). LLR is tasked with enforcing the Nurse Practice Act. To practice as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and/or an Advance Practice Registered Nurse, you must be licensed by LLR.
Common allegations that can lead to a complaint against your nursing license can include:
- Criminal Conduct and/or a criminal conviction;
- practicing under the influence of alcohol;
- illegal or prescription drug abuse or dependence;
- Alcohol abuse or dependence;
- Diverting narcotics for personal use;
- practicing outside of the scope of your license/unlicensed practice;
- engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a patient;
- failing to properly chart/document;
- failing to properly waste narcotics;
- Sexual misconduct; and
- Patient abuse
The Strom Law Firm Helps Defend Professional Licenses Including Nursing Licenses
The professional license attorneys at the Strom Law Firm proudly defend professionals against charges involving their licenses, including hard-working nurses who must defend their nursing license from a complaint or revocation. We offer free, confidential consultations regarding your professional license defense, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800