Friday, July 11, 2008

Minor Criminal Crimes and the BON

At the January 2008 full Board meeting, the Board staff presented a list of one-time only crimes that the Board staff had chosen as those that the explanation for the conduct had no relation to patient care and thus, no action would be taken by the Board. This issue is being revisited at the July 17-18, 2008 Board meeting. This is because the Board members had recommendations and comments when the report was presented at the January meeting:

After review of this report, Staff was instructed to revisit the propriety of declining (by policy) whether to investigate or take action on these crimes. For example, it was noted by Board members that DUI/DWI crimes and Public Intoxication Crimes, even if isolated, should be examined to determine whether a person is safe to practice given this nature of the criminal behavior and it potential impact on nursing practice. Similarly, isolated crime involving domestic/family violence may justify further scrutiny before a person is licensed without stipulations.

The revised recommendation to the Board by staff is now as follows:

Staff’s Recommendation:
As a result of the discussions, Staff has reviewed its processes and intends to implement the following procedures for single incident criminal behavior. Each positive hit for criminal behavior will not be closed until such time as the applicant/petitioner has provided a copy of the underlying court documents or an explanation as to why the documents are not available. The applicant/petitioner must provide a letter of explanation regarding the criminal charge along with any other material to verify the minor nature of the conduct or the lack of nexus to nursing practice. Before a matter is closed without further investigation or action, Staff will review the documents, information and explanation. From a cumulative review, the matter will not be closed unless it is established;
1. There appear to be no material omissions or misrepresentations.
2. The incident is isolated or minor
3. No recency of conduct or other evidence of failure to rehabilitate; and
4. No reasonable basis to conclude the behavior will effect applicant’s ability to practice nursing safely.

What this will ultimately mean is further delays in processing these types of cases and further increase in workload for the Board. Furthermore, nurses will have to be very careful to provide all required information to the Board in order to show "the minor nature of the conduct or the lack of nexus to nursing practice." Seems like for every step forward, there are 3 steps back.

No comments: