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Adherence to established protocols and timely interventions are paramount in the nursing profession, especially during critical situations that require immediate medical attention. Failure to verify a patient’s code status and initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when necessary, can have serious implications for patient outcomes and raise concerns about the nurse’s ability to respond appropriately in emergencies. Such incidents may lead to questions about the RN’s readiness to handle emergencies and may prompt inquiries into the RN’s adherence to professional standards. To navigate these complex legal matters and safeguard the RN’s rights, seeking the support of a nurse attorney can prove instrumental in ensuring a fair evaluation of the situation and advocating for the RN’s best interests throughout the process.

At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Plano, Texas, and had been in that position for three (3) days.

On or about May 25, 2020, while employed as an RN at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Plano, Texas, and finishing her assigned shift as the night Charge Nurse, RN failed to verify the code status of, and initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for a resident after a CNA reported that the resident was cold, pale, and unresponsive. Approximately thirty (30) minutes later, it was discovered that the resident did not have a DNR (do not resuscitate) in place and CPR was initiated by an LVN. The patient was pronounced deceased shortly after by EMS.

In response, RN states that she was working the night shift (6p-6a) beginning 5/24/20. RN states that the day RN was ready to take over as Charge Nurse by 0545 and the day LVN was running late. RN states that during shift change and while discussing the residents with the day RN, the day shift CNA came to inform them that the patient was dead. RN states she and the day RN took immediate action to determine the current status of the resident. RN states after careful assessment, the day RN determined the resident was dead and asked RN to call the physician for an order to pronounce. Physician’s Order was received. RN states that since the day RN was now in charge, she followed her order. RN states that upon further investigation of the resident’s chart, it was determined that there was not a DNR order in place. RN states that the day RN   ordered the LVN to start CPR, after she had already pronounced the resident dead. RN states she was instructed to call EMS, and when EMS arrived, they confirmed the patient had passed away.

The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13) Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A),(1)(B),(1)(M)&(3) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12(1)(A), (1)(B)&(4).

As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing decided to place her RN license under disciplinary action. It’s too bad that she failed to hire a nurse attorney for assistance, knowing that she had every reason to defend herself in the first place. Her defense would have gotten better if she sought legal consultation from a Texas nurse attorney as well.

So, if you’re facing a complaint from the Board, it’s best to seek legal advice first. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. He is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for the past 16 years and represented over 300 nurses before the Texas BON. To contact him, please dial (832)-428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.