Do Peer Assistance Programs Support Nursing?
In a recent article on MedPage Today the question is asked, “Are peer assistance programs defective and harmful to nurses”?
The article specifically discussed recent issues regarding the recovery and monitoring program (“RAMP”) in New Jersey. RAMP discussed how nurses cannot work during the intake process, which can take up to 90 days, after which a decision is made when a nurse can return to work.
It also discussed how costly RAMP is in that those nurses must pay a monitoring fee as well as for the testing which can range from $250 to $2000 depending on the type of evaluation required such as psychological, neurological or substance use.
While the program boasts their high success rates, it is very concerning to me that these programs are designed for nurses to keep their licenses, yet their licenses are promptly suspended for 90 days while the evaluation is being conducted.
In Indiana, nurses are referred to INPRP or ISNAP when there is an irregularity in documentation such as failing to witness waste, sign out or sign the administration of medication. Fortunately, Indiana does not immediately suspend a nurse’s license unless there is a clear and immediate danger to the public, and such is done only after the nurse is afforded an opportunity to be heard on the matter.
With protocols such as RAMP, I’m sure it spreads a chilling effect to nurses who may want or need to enter the program. I don’t believe there is a nurse anywhere who wakes in the morning thinking, “I want to take drugs” or “drink alcohol.”
Unfortunately, such abuse is a disease. Nurses need all the help that they can get. Nursing is stressful and getting even more stressful every day. We need to support our nurses who fall into addiction by providing them with support in a safe haven so they can continue working if they can safely do so or return to the workforce quickly.
In addition, if the nurse cannot work, such as with RAMP in New Jersey, it can be financially devastating to them.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, there is a needs assistance program available to help cover the costs of drug screens and monitoring, but that needs assistance is not guaranteed.
At a time when nurses are so desperately needed, I am hopeful they will be able to get the help they need in a caring compassionate environment so eventually they are again able to re-enter the workforce in a safe and healthy way.
A HUGE NURSING SHORTAGE
Anyone interested in making money in Georgia?
Piedmont Healthcare is offering sign-on bonuses of up to $30,000 to attract nurses to their employ. That hospital system has been relying on expensive travel nurses to treat their patients but instead is now making a concentrated effort to put together their own staff.
Many other health systems are offering sign-on bonuses such as Penn State Health’s offer of $15,000; and Baptist Health Systems which is presently offering a $20,000 enticement.
Nurses are more in demand now than ever throughout the country. The shortage is resulting from many who have left the profession due to being “burned out” with the demands of health care during the pandemic.
Specifically, there is a crucial need for med/surg and ICU nurses and even operating room nurses as health systems try to recoup lost revenue from earlier during the pandemic when elective surgeries were placed on hiatus.
Interestingly, there currently is less of a demand for specialties like pediatric care as well as labor and delivery.
If you decide to apply for a new position that offers a sign-on bonus, be careful because if you are later terminated, or the position does not work out for any reason, you will have to pay back that bonus, usually pro rata.
You will want to negotiate very carefully a contract with a sign-on bonus as there can be many strings attached. Having an attorney review the contract before you sign would be prudent.
While it’s great that “money talks,” I really would like to see the loss of nurses curbed by being treated better so that they will want to stay with their job. Some things to help are assisting nurses decrease burn out, having adequate staffing and showing appreciation to the nurses for their service.
The culture in many of today’s healthcare facilities needs to change if they wish for their nurses to stay.
Though it may sound great to move to Georgia and get a sign-on bonus, do your homework, make sure the unit you are signing onto values and appreciates their nursing staff. And of course, carefully negotiate your sign on agreement so that you can avoid paying back a lot of money if things don’t work out and you choose to leave.
Nurse-Attorneys? Yes. Lawyers Are Donning Scrubs Again to Help Battle COVID-19
“Nursing is in your DNA. We’re called to serve,” said Lorie Brown, the president-elect of the nurse-attorney association. Brown, who works as a nurse-attorney at Brown Law Office in Indianapolis, couldn’t leave her law practice to go back to nursing. But she did devote time preparing a guide about self-care and mental health for nurses, covering such things as mindfulness, meditation and yoga. [Read Full Article]
Free video series offered to nurses fighting pandemic by San Diego nurse, veteran of AIDS crisis
Leading San Diego RN Creates Free Video Series for Frontline Nurses
“Lorie Brown put together the video series to provide tips for nurses on the front line of the coronavirus fight. It features 18 experts who provide advice such as keeping up immunity, getting better sleep, practicing mindfulness and understanding nurses’ rights.” [Read Full Article]
Nurses stuck on suspension longer than expected
Starting a nurse-owned business
Nurses are uniquely qualified to start their own businesses in areas such as legal consulting, coaching, and home healthcare. In this article on American Nurse, Lorie Brown gives some tips to keep in mind if you’re thinking about starting your own business. [Read Full Article]
Curiosity Killed the Cat and Got 50 Hospital Employees Fired
They slip, you fall: Have policy and procedures for hazards to avoid accidents, legal grief
“If I were the risk manager, I’d be putting procedures in place” to prevent foreseeable injuries, says Lorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JD, founder of the Brown Law Office P.C. in Indianapolis. “Policies and procedures set the standard of care. Without that, there’s no standard. It helps everybody to do the same thing. If you follow the rules and follow the policy, and the standards are reasonable, and are followed, no jury will find you guilty of negligence. If you don’t, it’s a breach of your duty of care.” [Read Full Article]
Get to Know Nursing Leader, Lorie Brown
“Lorie Brown is a published author and founder of the Empowered Nurses (ENO) organization, whose career has taken her from practicing nurse to nurse attorney. Learn more about how her legal practice has allowed her to help nurses and other health professionals in need.” [Read Full Article]
Three things you need to do to keep your nursing license safe: An interview with Lorie Brown, RN, MN, JD
Protect Your Nursing License From Board Action, License Disputes, and Revocation!
Undoubtedly, you worked hard to obtain your nursing license. Depending on what type of nurse you are, you may have spent up to 6-8 years, and tens of thousands of dollars, obtaining the necessary education, training, and certifications to become a licensed, practicing nurse. And yet, one split-second mistake, bad decision, or momentary lapse of judgment could cause you to lose your license — and perhaps your career — indefinitely. [Read Full Article]
Wearing Many Hats
“I have a very unique law practice. I am a registered nurse as well as an attorney and am able to combine both professions into one.” She has created a niche market for herself and in doing so, her practice has grown by leaps and bounds… [Read Full Article]
Leadership Is Service
As a registered nurse, Lorie Brown cared for her patients. Now, as an attorney, she cares for her clients, including her attorney clients. As a mother of three children, she cares for her children. Caring is a way of life for Lorie, whether it be in the community, city, state or the world…[Read Full Article]
Five Steps to Avoid Malpractice Claims
Protecting Your License
A license to practice nursing in the State of Indiana is a privilege, and not a right. To qualify for and practice as a professional nurse an individual must complete specific educational requirements and successfully pass a national licensing examination. A nursing license is required to practice nursing and must be valued and protected.…[entire article ]
Risky business: Nurses must be aware of social networking pitfalls
How Nurses Can Advocate for Their Patients
“Advocating for patients is within [nursing’s] mission,” according to Susan Perkins, MSN, a nurse practice consultant who teaches in the nursing program at the University of Phoenix® Main Campus. She stresses that nurses should ask patients open questions to help determine their specific needs, and then go to bat for them when necessary. But sometimes, circumstances can make patient advocacy difficult, says Lorie Brown, JD, a registered nurse and practicing attorney specializing in health … [Read Full Article]
5 Tools to Protect Your Nursing License and Your Livelihood
Over the past 20 years, I’ve represented more than 300healthcare providers before the various licensing boards. I’ve seen nurses accused of practicing medicine without a license for misunderstanding the dosage, nurses accused of neglect for failing to answer another nurse’s patient’s alarm like when the other nurse said she would answer it, and nurses accused of abuse for removing a patient’s hand off a foley catheter as the patient was trying to yank it out.…[entire article ]
MTV’s Scrubbing “Hurts Perception of Nursing”
You play the role of the nurturing caretaker and fearless problem-solver in your everyday life. Whether it’s with your children, your coworkers, or your friends, people often turn to you for both advice and for comfort. You’regret at putting the needs of others above your own…[Read Full Article]
How to Get a Nurse Job After Being Fired
“Absolutely you can get another job,” says Lorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JD, an Indianapolis nurse and attorney who represents nurses before state licensing boards. “It’s all how you present yourself as a conscientious professional and being proactive.”…[Read Full Article]
Nurses-turned-attorneys have unique insight
“Attorney Lorie Brown says nurses may not understand the many rules that affect their licenses. A mistake on the job or failure to disclose a prior disciplinary action – even something as innocuous as a reprimand for being tardy – could lead to suspension or revocation of their licenses.” [Read Full Article]
Doctor Fights for Wages
The Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that, according to attorneys on both sides, could potentially affect every wage earner in Indiana. Debate in St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc. v. Robert J. Steele, 4A02-0005-CV-294 centers around Indiana’s wage payment statutes, as well as a complex series of cases that combine to set a conflicting precedent. [Read Full Article]
Court of Appeals Sides With Kokomo Doctor in Compensation Suit
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently upheld a Howard Circuit Court decision in favor of a Kokomo Oncologist seeking compensation from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, for nonpayment of wages. Brown Law Office in Indianapolis,which represented Dr. Robert Steele, Kokomo, issued a news release Saturday on the Court of Appeals decision, which was handed down Wednesday…[Read Full Article]
Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy Podcast with Jason A. Duprat
Lorie Brown, RN, MN, JD, speaks with Jason A. Duprat, Entrepreneur, Healthcare Practitioner and host of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy Podcast. Lorie speaks with Jason about how to protect your license and livelihood as a healthcare practitioner. [Listen to Interview]
Protecting Your Nursing License with Lorie Brown, Nurse Attorney, The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 196
Protecting Your Nursing License with Lorie Brown, Nurse Attorney. On episode 196 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing career podcast, we have an enlightening conversation with Lorie Brown, RN, MN, JD, a highly experienced nurse attorney who has plenty of legal advice for nurses who want to protect their license, practice within their scope of practice, and stay out of trouble. [Listen to Interview]
Legal Tips for Nurses in Business, NursePreneurs with Catie Harris, PhD, MBA, RN
Lorie Brown speaks with Catie Harris, PhD, MBA, RN about some legal tips for Nurses in Business. She talks about how she got into law from nursing, tips on getting started in a business, which legal entity she recommends, and the basic services every nurse needs before starting a business. [Listen to Interview]
Law & Order for Nurse Practitioners, NPBusiness.org with Barbara C. Phillips, APRN, GNP, FNP-BC, FAANP
Your Next Shift: A Nursing Career Podcast with Elizabeth Scala, EPS 022: Lorie Brown
“In today’s episode we talk not only with an empowered registered nurse- we visit with a distinguished lawyer. And get this… what type of law does she practice? Why, she helps nurses with practice and license issues! Talk about giving back to the nursing profession.” [Listen to Interview]
Lorie Brown – RN FM Radio Interview
“Lorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JD is a nurse attorney with over 30 years of combined experience as a Registered Nurse and attorney. She combines her specialties with a practice of medical-legal consulting and representing nurses before the Licensing Board.” [Listen to Interview]