One of our main areas of focus is in the area of nursing. In our opinion, nursing is one of the most noble professions and our society doesn’t always treat nurses as they deserve. Unfortunately, if you look at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website you will see that nurses, LPN’s, RN’s, and APN’s are one of the most disciplined professionals in the last ten years.
It is our continued goal to make sure that each and every nurse we work with can rest assured that their livelihood is protected.
For the past five years, our firm has been a recognized entity in the Illinois Nursing Association newsletter and we commit ourselves to serving nurses throughout the State of Illinois. Whether you are a hospital nurse, a home health nurse, a long care facility nurse, or an agency nurse – our focus is to protect your license. We feel an obligation to help nurses out of school find jobs, defend them in termination proceedings, and we work with our clients to involve them as consultants in our own practice.
Why are there so many complaints against nurses?
Nursing is an industry where individual licensees have the majority of “hands on” care with patients but get most of the blame when something becomes of concern. If doctors, DON’s, and ADON’s are not blaming the nurse for patient issues, many nurses are blaming each other. This is why so many nurses have complaints at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The following are the majority of issues that nurses have with their licenses:
- Standard of care issues
- Diversion issues
- Previous criminal charges and convictions
- Abuse and neglect allegations
- State audits
- Record keeping issues
Unfortunately, the Department’s investigators don’t have the time and resources to meet each individual nurse as complaints come in. As a result, the Department can’t judge each case properly on its’ merit. This process is not acceptable to us, nor should it be to you. We make sure that each nurse is presented properly to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Unemployment Security for Nurses
As a result of representing nurses who become terminated we provide a unique and very cost effective service of helping throughout the stressful IDES process.
Unfortunately IDES denies more claims then they should especially when the employer is being less then forthcoming about the details of the termination. All forms to be filled out can be done online but we are glad to help.
In order to file you need a social security number and name as it appears on your card, a valid driver’s license or state ID, if claiming your spouse or a child as a dependent, the social security number, date of birth and name of dependent(s), employer’s name, mailing address, phone numbers, employment dates, and separation reason for all places of employment for the last 18 months.
Generally, to be eligible for unemployment you need to have lost your job through no fault of your own (or have fallen short of committing misconduct), have earned wages in insured employment, be available for new work and be actively seeking a new position. If unemployment is denied there is an appeal process. You must write a letter or complete an online form within 30 days of the date of determination was mailed to you, outlining why you disagree with the finding. If the reconsideration is denied, an appeal is automatically sent to the appeals division. At that point you will be given notice of date and time of your hearing.
Unfortunately too many applications are denied but our firm will prepare you and represent you at the hearing at a nominal cost since we know this is a difficult time in your life financially.
Refusal to Issue a Nurse License Based on Criminal Activity
68 IAC 1300.100
a) Criminal history record information is defined as information collected by criminal justice agencies on individuals consisting of identifiable descriptions and notation of arrests, detention, indictments, information or other formal criminal charges and any disposition arising from those actions, sentencing, correctional supervision and release
b) In determining whether an applicant for a nurse license is unfit for licensure because of criminal history record information, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall consider:
1. Whether the crime was one of armed violence (see 720 ILCS 5/Art. 33A) or moral turpitude Moral turpitude consists of:
- Crime involving dishonesty, false statement or some other element of deceit, untruthfulness or falsification
- Drug offenses including, but not limited to violations of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act
- Sex Offenses
2. Whether the crime is related to nursing
3. Whether more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of completion of imposed sentence
4. Whether the conviction was from a city ordinance violation or a conviction for which a jail sentence was not imposed
5. Whether the applicant has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall consider, but not be bound by, the following in considering whether an applicant has been presumed to be rehabilitated:
- Completion of probation
- Completion of Parole Supervision
- If no parole was granted, a period of 10 years has elapsed after final discharge or release from any term of imprisonment without any subsequent conviction
c) The following criminal history records shall not be considered in connection with application:
b. Arrests without convictions
c. Convictions overturned
d. Convictions pardoned
LPN Scope of Practice
Practice as a licensed practical nurse means a scope of basic nursing practice, with or without compensation, as delegated by a registered nurse or an advanced practice nurse or as directed by a physician assistant, physician, dentist, or podiatrist, and includes all of the following and other activities requiring a like skill level for which the LPN is properly trained:
i. Collecting data and collaborating in the assessment of the health status of patient
ii. Collaborating in the development and modification of the registered professional nurses or advanced practice nurses comprehensive nursing plan of care for all types of patients
iii. Implementing aspects of the plan care as delegated
iv. Participating in health teaching and counseling to promote, attain and maintain the optimum health level of patients, as delegated
v. Serving as an advocate for the patient by communicating and collaborating with other health service personnel
vi. Participating in the evaluation of patient responses for interventions
vii. Communicating and collaborating with the health care professionals, as delegated
viii. Providing input into the development of policies and procedures to support patient safety
Standards for Professional Conduct for LPNs
i. The licensed practical nurse shall, but is not limited to, upholding the following professional standards:
1. Practice in accordance with the Act and this Part;
2. Practice nursing only when in functional physical and mental health;
3. Be accountable for his or her own nursing actions and competencies;
4. Practice or offer to practice, including delegated nursing activities, only within the scope permitted by law and within the licensee’s own educational preparation and competencies;
5. Perform nursing activities as delegated;
6. Seek instruction from a registered professional nurse or advanced practice nurse when implementing new or unfamiliar nursing activities;
7. Report unsafe, unethical or illegal health care practice or conditions to appropriate authorities and to the Division;
8. Assume responsibility for continued growth and education to reflect knowledge and understanding of current nursing care practice.
ii. Violations of this Section may result in discipline as specified in Section 70-5 of the Act. All disciplinary hearings shall be conducted in accordance with 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1110.
APN Scope of Practice
a) Advanced practice nursing by certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, or clinical nurse specialists is based on knowledge and skills acquired throughout and advanced practice nurse’s nursing education, training and experience.
b) Practice as an advanced practice nurse means a scope of nursing practice, with or without compensation, and includes the registered nurse scope of practice.
c) The scope of practice of an advanced practice nurse includes but is not limited to, each of the following:
i. advanced nursing patient assessments and diagnosis.
ii. Ordering diagnostic and therapeutic tests and procedures when using health care equipment, and interpreting and using the results of diagnostic and therapeutic tests and procedures ordered by the advanced practice nurse or another health care professional.
iii. Ordering treatments, ordering or applying appropriate medical devices, and using nursing, medical, therapeutic, and corrective measures to treat illnesses and improve health status.
iv. Providing palliative and end of life care.
v. Providing advanced counseling, patient education, health education and patient advocacy.
vi. Prescriptive authority as defined by statute.
vii. Delegating selected nursing activities or tasks to a licensed practical nurse, a registered professional nurse, or other personnel.
APN Prescriptive Authority
A collaborating physician or podiatrist who delegates prescriptive authority to an APN shall include that delegation in the written collaborative agreement. This authority may include prescription of, selection of, orders for, administration of, storage of, acceptance of samples of, and dispensing over the counter medications, legend drugs, medical gases, and controlled substances categorized as Schedule III, III-N, IV or V controlled substances, as defined in Article II of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act, and other preparations, including but not limited to, botanical and herbal remedies. The collaborating physician or podiatrist must have a valid current Illinois controlled substance license and federal registration to delegate authority to prescribe delegated controlled substances.
Impaired Nurse − Disciplinary and Non-Disciplinary
i. Disciplinary and Non-Disciplinary Options for the Impaired Nurse. The Division shall establish by rule a program of care, counseling and treatment for the impaired nurse. This program shall allow an impaired nurse to self-refer to the program.
ii. Eligibility for consideration for a care, counseling and treatment agreement shall include but not be limited to the following:
1. licensee must self report to the Division before a complaint has been filed;
2. licensee must have no prior disciplinary action in any jurisdiction concerning practice issues related to substance abuse;
3. licensee has not been convicted criminally of any felony or drug-related misdemeanor, nor is any such criminal action pending;
4. licensee acknowledges addiction and/or chemical dependence; and
5. licensee has appeared for and submitted to an assessment by a physician who is a certified addictionist or an advanced practice nurse with specialty certification in addiction and has followed the recommendations of the assessment.
iii. Individual licensee health care records shall be privileged and confidential, unavailable for use in any proceeding, and not subject to disclosure. Nothing in this Section shall impair or prohibit the Division from taking disciplinary action based upon the grounds set forth in Section 70-5 of the Act.
Registered Nursing: Unethical or Professional Conduct
The Division may suspend or revoke a license, refuse to issue or renew a license or take other disciplinary action based upon its findings of unethical or unprofessional conduct (see Section 70-5(b)(7) of the Act), which is interpreted to include, but is not limited to, the following acts or practices:
- Engaging in conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public, or demonstrating a willful disregard for the health, welfare or safety of a patient. Actual injury need not be established.
- A departure from or failure to conform to the standards of professional or practical nursing as set forth in the Act or this Part. Actual injury to a patient need not be established.
- Engaging in behavior that crosses professional boundaries (such as signing wills or other documents not related to client health care).
- Engaging in sexual conduct with a patient, or conduct that may reasonably be interpreted by a patient as sexual, or in any verbal behavior that is sexually harassing to a patient.
- Demonstrating actual or potential inability to practice nursing with reasonable skill, safety or judgment by reason of illness, use of alcohol, drugs, chemicals or any other material, or as a result of any mental or physical condition.
The Division hereby incorporates by reference the “Code for Nurses with Interpretive Statements”, July 2001, American Nurses Association, 8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400, Silver Spring MD 20910, with no later amendments or editions.
The Division hereby incorporates by reference the “Standards of Practice and Educational Competencies of Graduates of Practical/Vocational Nursing Programs”, National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc., May 6, 2007, 1940 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria VA 22314, with no later amendments or editions.