“Unprofessional Conduct” as defined by the Florida Board of Nursing.
Section 464.018(1)(h), Florida Statutes states that "unprofessional conduct, as defined by board rule” is grounds for discipline against a Florida nurse’s license. But, what exactly does the Board consider to be “unprofessional”?
Section 64B9-8.005, Florida Administrative Code states that:
Unprofessional conduct shall include:
(1) Inaccurate recording;
(2) Misappropriating drugs, supplies or equipment;
(3) Leaving a nursing assignment without advising licensed nursing personnel;
(4) Stealing from a patient;
(5) Violating the integrity of a medication administration system or an information technology system;
(6) Falsifying or altering of patient records or nursing progress records, employment applications or time records;
(7) Violating the confidentiality of information or knowledge concerning a patient;
(8) Discriminating on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex, age or national origin, in the rendering of nursing services as it relates to human rights and dignity of the individuals;
(9) Engaging in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit in taking the licensing examination;
(10) Impersonating another licensed practitioner, or permitting another person to use his certificate for the purpose of practicing nursing;
(11) Providing false or incorrect information to the employer regarding the status of the license;
(12) Practicing beyond the scope of the licensee’s license, educational preparation or nursing experience;
(13) Using force against a patient, striking a patient, or throwing objects at a patient;
(14) Using abusive, threatening or foul language in front of a patient or directing such language toward a patient;
(15) Accepting a gift from a patient the value of which exceeds the employer’s policy regarding gifts;
(16) Knowingly obtaining or using or attempting to obtain or use a patient’s property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the patient of the use, benefit or possession of the funds, assets or property, or to benefit someone other than the patient;
(17) Delegating the performance of professional responsibilities to a person who the licensee knows, or has reason to know, is not qualified by training, experience, or authorization to perform them.
Rulemaking Authority 464.006, 464.018(1)(h) FS. Law Implemented 464.018(1)(h) FS. History–New 11-28-79, Amended 3-16-81, 10-8-81, 9-11-83, Formerly 21O-10.05, Amended 4-21-86, 2-5-87, 8-2-90, 3-12-91, 9-16-91, 4-8-92, 9-29-92, Formerly 21O-10.005, Amended 9-7-93, Formerly 61F7-8.005, Amended 11-6-94, 5-1-95, 11-16-95, Formerly 59S-8.005, Amended 2-18-98, 3-23-00, 2-17-02, 7-5-06, 12-11-06, 4-28-09, 4-9-14, 11-1-17, 1-25-21.
While the Board of Nursing considers each of the above actions as “unprofessional conduct”, the possible penalties vary depending on which specific action the licensee is alleged to have committed.
Section 64B9-8.006(3)(f), Florida Administrative Code contains the following disciplinary guidelines:
1. Subsections 64B9-8.005(1), (3), (6), (7), (8), (11), (12), (13), (14), (16), and (17), F.A.C.:
|FIRST OFFENSE||Reprimand, $250 fine, and continuing education||$500 fine, and probation|
|SECOND OFFENSE||$750 fine, suspension||Revocation|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS||Reprimand||Suspension with corrective action plan|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS||Suspension with corrective action plan||Revocation|
2. Subsections 64B9-8.005(2) and (5), F.A.C.:
|FIRST OFFENSE||Reprimand, $500 fine and continuing education||Suspension with IPN evaluation|
|SECOND OFFENSE||$1,000 fine, suspension with IPN evaluation||Revocation|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS||Reprimand||Revocation|
3. Subsections 64B9-8.005(3), (8) and (14), F.A.C.:
|FIRST OFFENSE||Reprimand, $250 fine, and continuing education||$500 fine and probation|
|SECOND OFFENSE||$750 fine, suspension or probation||Revocation|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS FIRST OFFENSE||Reprimand||Suspension with corrective action plan|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS SECOND OFFENSE||Suspension with corrective action plan||Revocation|
4. Subsection 64B9-8.005(4), (9), (10), F.A.C.:
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS||Revocation|
5. Subsection 64B9-8.005(15), F.A.C.:
|FIRST OFFENSE||$5,000 fine||Revocation|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS||Reprimand to suspension with corrective action plan||Revocation|
What should you do if the Department of Health accuses you of Unprofessional Conduct?
If you are a nurse accused of unprofessional conduct, it is highly advisable for you to seek the counsel of an experienced healthcare attorney. As described above, there is a wide range of available penalties that depends on the nurse’s specific actions.
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