Nurse Advocacy

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The New Mexico Board of Nursing, the licensing and regulation body for Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (NPs, CNSs, and CRNAs) meets every two months. At every single board meeting, they send out Notices of Contemplated Action (charging documents) to nurses who have not responded to notices of CE audits. The NM BON audits 1% of each month's license renewals to make sure the nurses have met the CE requirements required by law, and they request copies of CE certificates to meet that requirement.

If you receive such a letter of audit, gather your certificates, make the copies and mail them by certified mail to the Board of Nursing as quickly as you can. If you have lost some certificates or don't have enough, get on the internet and take some online classes and get the number you need to legally renew your license, even if they are late. You may have to pay a fine, but you won't be in serious trouble. Whatever you do, do NOT ignore the letter of audit. If you do not respond by sending CE certificates in, they will revoke your license, and the fines and penalties will be MUCH higher, plus you'll have to either appear before them or enter in to a legal contract called a Settlement Agreement that includes fines and additional continuing education requirements. 



Do you have professional liability insurance? Do not believe your colleagues who tell you that only those nurses with insurance are sued.... when there is a bad outcome, the patient doesn't ask each nurse involved in caring for a patient whether they have insurance-- they sue everyone! More and more we are seeing hospitals throwing their staff "under the bus" in order to stay on the good side of their physician (who admit patients, thus keeping the hospitals in business). Having professional liability insurance is "sleep insurance"-- it lets you sleep at night (or day) because if something happens, you are provided with an attorney whose sole purpose is to protect you and your license. The attorney can help you at the Board of Nursing hearing, at depositions and in court for a law suit. At a little of $100/ year, it is worth it!  You can get ANA/NMNA approved insurance at: 

http://www.proliability.com/professional-liability-insurance/nurses

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