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4 Michigan Nursing Board Cases

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

While consulting with a nurse attorney is critical to winning compensation in nursing malpractice cases, the Michigan Board of Nursing provides another avenue for holding registered nurses and other medical professionals accountable. The Board is made up of licensed nurses and other professionals with decades of experience in their field and has the power to deal with violations of the state’s complex regulations for nurses.

The Board of Nursing can issue a number of punishments, depending on the severity of the case. While some cases end in mere reprimands, fines and probation are much more common. Repeat offenses or severe cases may result in suspension or permanent revocation of a nurse’s license.

In most cases, licensed nurses in Michigan are required to report misconduct by other nurses. However, they cannot be sued by outside parties for failure to report that misconduct. Only the Board can hold them responsible for that.

Here are four of the most common nursing board case types in Michigan.

1. Impaired Condition, Conduct, or Practice

This type of negligence case usually involves a nurse having a substance abuse problem. Though health care professionals are generally obligated to report suspected impairment of nurses, impairment is not always obvious, and sometimes is not caught until harm has been done to a patient.

In some cases, there could be something else causing the impaired practice, such as early-onset dementia. Even when the impaired conduct is more subjective, the BPL may still decide to put a nurse on probation or suspend their license until the problem is resolved.

A related nursing board charge is known as Mental or Physical Inability to Practice. This sometimes occurs at the same time as impaired practice but can also be brought about by physical handicaps that can result in substandard care.

2. Incompetence

This is the second type of negligence complaint that the Board hears. If a nurse is generally incapable of doing their job correctly, then probation or suspension can result. While patients can file this complaint about minor issues, the Board will typically only uphold the charges in cases that show substandard care.

Repeated incompetence allegations can result in permanent revocation of a license. Since it can be difficult for nurses to be fired due to union protections, complaints are often the fastest way to make sure an incompetent nurse can be removed from their job before a patient is seriously harmed.

incompetence allegations

3. Practice Outside Scope of License

Just like other medical practitioners, nurses have strict rules about what types of procedures they are allowed to perform. For example, nurses in Michigan can only prescribe medication under the supervision of a practicing physician.

It can be hard for patients to know when a nurse is practicing outside the scope of their license. Often, this allegation comes to light throughout a malpractice lawsuit or other complaint.

4. Sexual Misconduct

Medical professionals are held to high moral standards, and great lengths must be taken to protect patients from abuses of power. State licensing boards across the country have begun to re-examine how they handle sexual misconduct cases.

Nurses are forbidden from having romantic relationships with patients, as it raises serious ethical questions and can result in compromised care. In Michigan, standard practice is for nurses’ licenses to be suspended while sexual misconduct allegations are investigated by the Bureau of Professional Licensing.

Limitations to Board Complaints

In Michigan, the Board of Nursing and its affiliated agencies can levy fines, revoke or impose restrictions upon a license, and take other actions against a nurse. However, these actions do little to enforce the rights of patients harmed by that nurse.

If you have experienced medical malpractice at the hands of a nurse, your best option may be to file a lawsuit. Since the statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits in Michigan is two years, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at our law firm as soon as possible.

At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we specialize in medical malpractice and can set you up with a medical attorney team that meets your needs. Nurse attorney Eileen E. Kroll can help you get the compensation you need, so call today on 866-MICH-LAW to set up a no obligation consultation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers' compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.



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