Weak regulations may allow convicted nurses to cross state lines for work. Without tougher regulations, requiring hospitals and medical providers to report criminal activity of nurses, nurses will continue to slip into other states to find work, threatening the health and safety of others.
Under the headline "Bad Nurses Able To Keep Working In Other States," USA Today (7/15, Weber, Ornstein) carries an article and interactive map by the independent reporting organization ProPublica that explain how nurses can slip from one state to another for work even if they have felony drug convictions. The report opens with the case of a nurse who "was fired from a hospital in Wausau, Wis., in 2007 after stealing the powerful painkiller Dilaudid." The nurse was convicted of felony drug charges and later managed to "get a job as a traveling nurse at a hospital 1,200 miles away in New Bern, N.C." According to ProPublica, this case "illustrates significant gaps in regulatory efforts nationwide" to keep track of nurses’ misconduct. The report examines applicable licensing issues and agreements that it says perpetuate the problem.
I have represented many patients of hospitals who had their pain medication siphoned away by drug-addicted nurses. The people I represented were coming out of radical medical procedure. The absence of drugs caused them unimaginable pain and further medical complications. As a result of my claims, I am happy to report that additional practices and procedures are now taking place in area hospitals, but more needs to be done locally and nationally.
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Mr. Zambri is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledged him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims. Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine (2010)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.
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