TEXAS BOARD OF NURSING
Probation or Agreed Order Violations
A nurse already practicing under a Board order is subject to increased scrutiny if the Texas Board of Nursing later raises a new allegation claiming they have violated one of the terms of their order. Common Board order violations include positive drug or alcohol screens, not disclosing prescription drug information in a timely manner, a failure to complete order requirements on time, working in violation of practice restrictions, and new violations of the Nursing Practice Act. If Board Staff confirm an order violation has occurred, the Texas Board of Nursing will attempt to enter a new order that could involve the suspension or revocation of the nurse’s license. Likewise, a new and independent violation of the Nursing Practice Act which occurs while a nurse is already on a Board order will likely result in the Board attempting to impose a more severe order.
The consequences of being charged with a probation or Agreed Order violation can be extensive and seriously affect your livelihood as a nurse. Contact our Texas nursing license defense lawyers of the Leicter Law Firm at 512-495-9995 today to discuss your legal options.
The most common type of order violations relate to drug and alcohol screening. A positive test that is not attributable to a validly prescribed medication is subject to a special set of rules under the Nursing Practice Act and will be treated differently by the Board than other order violations. Specifically, the Texas Board of Nursing must temporarily suspend a nurse who tests positive for a prohibited substance while on a Board order requiring drug or alcohol screening. In this event, the nurse will be temporarily suspended without notice by a three-member panel of the Board. Once a nurse has been temporarily suspended a second hearing will be set before an Administrative Law Judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Unless there is an issue with the test itself, such as lab error, chain of custody issues, or false positives, it is unfortunately difficult for the nurse to prevail at this hearing as the Act states a positive test alone will support an order of temporary suspension.
The stakes involved with alleged probation violations are often higher than the original complaint that led to the licensee’s order. Like most licensing Boards, the Texas Board of Nursing’s tends to escalate discipline with each new violation, particularly for those already on an Order when a new violation occurs. Additionally, it’s common for licensees already on stringent Board orders to become trapped in a downward spiral of compliance violations, which, if left unchecked, can lead to a lengthy suspension or license revocation.
Our attorneys are well versed in dealing with the Texas Board of Nursing’s compliance personnel and can, in many cases, work with both the Board and the licensee to resolve pending issues connected with an existing Board order and help prevent future compliance problems. Any Texas nurse accused of violating a Nursing Board order should immediately seek experienced legal counsel from our Texas nursing license defense attorneys of the Leichter Law Firm at 512-495-9995 today.