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Medication Errors

Addicted Nurses Keep Licenses in Minnesota

According to an investigative report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, there are nurses who continue to steal narcotics or practice while impaired under monitoring by the state that’s supposed to stop them.

Base on its examination of more than 1,000 Minnesota Board of Nursing disciplinary records, there are 112 Minnesota nurses since 2010 who are licensed to practice despite having either stolen narcotics on the job, fraudulently obtained prescriptions, or practiced while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

The report states, “Nearly all of those nurses have kept their licenses by taking part in a state program created to protect the public from health professionals who are alcoholics or drug addicts. To avoid further board action, they have to prove they are sober and getting treatment. Yet records show that nurses have been able to keep practicing while abusing drugs or alcohol, raising questions about whether the program actually works.”

The investigation further reveal that for “at least 67 currently licensed nurses, the state monitoring agency, which is called the Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP), has become a revolving door, Nursing Board records show. They have failed out of the program, only to be sent back by the Nursing Board and allowed to keep practicing.”

The Star Tribune revealed its finding to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who responded that system sounded “very wrong.”  According to the report, the governor said that “There should be consequences. Somebody who’s using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol or engaging in misconduct or malpractice should understand there’s no place for them in the health care professions.”

Click here to read to full article.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.