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The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving the practice of professional nursing in Texas. Any RN or LVN found guilty for violating the state laws and regulations may be subjected to a disciplinary case if not properly defended by a nurse attorney.

One of the examples where a client failed to hire the right nurse attorney will be discussed in this case.

On or about July 22, 2016, an LVN from Austin allegedly failed to document risk-benefit analysis and rationale for prescribing medications to a patient, including Deplin, a folic acid supplement, and Topamax, a seizure medication. Her conduct resulted in an incomplete medical record and exposed the patient to a risk of harm in that subsequent providers would not have complete information to provide further care.

On or about August 25, 2016, while employed in the same medical facility in Austin, the LVN discontinued Zoloft, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, for the aforementioned patient, and failed to instruct and/or document the patient on tapering off of the medication, which is necessary to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Additionally, she started the patient on a new SSRI medication, Viibryd, at the same time, without providing and/or documenting instructions on how to switch between the medications. Her conduct resulted in an incomplete medical record and exposed the patient to a risk of harm from antidepressant discontinuation syndrome or medication interactions including serotonin syndrome.

This issue was filed as a complaint and sent to the Texas Board of Nursing. The Texas Board of Nursing has full jurisdiction in all cases that may affect the status of an RN or LVN’s license in the future. But they advise nurses to attend a hearing first before placing the sentence, which the LVN attended for her career’s security.

During the hearing, the LVN states that overall there were aspects of her care that were not adequately documented in the medical record, and some portions of the medical record were not salvageable after transitioning between different electronic health record programs. She states that she prescribed Topamax to the patient to reduce medication associated with weight gain, which is a recognized off-label use, and Deplin was prescribed for additional anxiety control. The LVN states that she instructed the patient to taper off Zoloft by reducing the dose to 50 mg for one week, then stop it completely the second week.

The LVN adds that the Viibryd sample pack included graphics easy to follow instructions on starting the medication. She states that, though it is not documented, she stressed to the patient the importance of contacting the office or emergency services if she experienced any adverse side effects.

The LVN failed to properly present and defend her case against the court. She was disciplined warning to a suspension of her LVN license by violating the Texas Board of Nursing regulation.

Avoid a similar thing from happening on your end. Make sure to find the right nurse attorney in case a complaint will be filed against you before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).

Consult with Texas nurse attorney Yong J. An today if you have any questions about your disciplinary process by calling or texting him at (832) 428-5679 day, night or weekends.