How an NP Can Come Under Investigation by the Board of Nursing
Provided by Carolyn Buppert, MSN, JD, ANP

NPs typically come to the attention of investigators for the Board of Nursing in one of two ways.

In the first scenario, the Board learns of a malpractice damage award against an NP through the National Practitioner Data Bank. A malpractice award against an NP will not necessarily be investigated by the Board of Nursing. However, if the damage award is large, or there is some other indication that the NP may be incompetent or grossly negligent, the Board of Nursing may choose to investigate.

In the second scenario, an audit of a facility, such as a nursing home, turns up irregularities involving an NP. It is the second scenario which is most common.

NPs working in nursing homes and hospitals--settings where care is audited by state agencies-- are advised to ascertain that progress notes 1) reflect appropriate follow-up of diagnostic work-ups and therapy and 2) detail the NP's thought processes when ordering unusual treatments. The auditors often are not NPs or MDs, and may not appreciate the gray areas of clinical judgment.

This tip is exerpted from The Gold Sheet, a monthly newsletter on quality issues for NPs, produced by the Law Office of Carolyn Buppert. To subscribe to The Gold Sheet, or to its companion newsletter, The Green Sheet, which addresses compensation issues, send a check to Law Office of Carolyn Buppert, 1419 Forest Drive, Suite 205, Annapolis, MD 21403. Each newsletter is $25 for 12 issues.

Updated April 24, 2001


NP Central
10024 S.E. 240th St., Suite #102, Kent, WA 98031
Phone: 253.852.9042 Fax: 253.852.7725
NP Central Gateway

Use of this section indicates you agree to the Terms of Use.
Copyright 1994-2003 NP Central