Glossary of terms used in Nursing Board actions

  • Article by: BRANDON STAHL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2013 - 10:08 PM

Active license: A person has a license to practice nursing in Minnesota.

Corrective Action: The nurse agrees to take specific actions to improve his or her practice. A complaint is dismissed following completion of the corrective action, and is not considered disciplinary.

Conditional license: A disciplinary action that can be taken by the board that allows a nurse to keep a license if that nurse meets specific requirements, such as taking courses or abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

Dilute screen: A drug screen that cannot be tested and considered invalid because the creatinine level in the urine is too low. This is often caused by drinking too much fluid before the test.

Diversion: Theft of medication from patients, a health care facility, or both, by a health care professional.

Discharge: To be released from the HPSP after failing to abide by the provisions of the monitoring program, such as failing a drug test.

Expired: The individual is not allowed to practice nursing in Minnesota because his or her license has been suspended or revoked by the board or the individual has chosen not to renew it.

HPSP: Health Professionals Service Program, a state-funded program that monitors health care professionals who are going through substance abuse or mental illness treatment. The HPSP was created in 1994 as an alternative to board discipline and is used by all state licensing boards.

License limitations: The nurse’s practice is restricted in some manner, such as not being allowed to work with certain medications, or being required to work under direct supervision.

LPN: Licensed practical nurse, the lower of two nursing classifications in the state.

Narcotic discrepancy: A difference in the amount of narcotics a facility or nurse should have, and the amount they actually have. Once discovered, a discrepancy often indicates theft of narcotics by a health care professional.

Maltreatment: A finding either by a county or state human services or health agency that a person has abused or neglected a vulnerable adult or child.

Neglect finding: A finding either by a county or state human services or health agency that a person has neglected a vulnerable adult or child.

Stipulation to cease practicing: The nurse agrees not to practice nursing for a period of time, often due to pending criminal allegations.

Stayed suspension: A nurse’s license is suspended but he or she is allowed to continue to practice so long as that person follows certain requirements.

Suspension: An action taken by the nursing board that removes a nurse’s ability to practice and puts his or her license into expired status.

Reprimand: The nurse was censured or admonished for particular conduct.

Revocation: The nursing board takes away the nurse's authorization to practice nursing in the state of Minnesota, with subsequent relicensing not anticipated.

RN: Registered nurse, the higher of two classifications, allowing the nurse to take on more responsibilities and perform additional nursing tasks.

Alleged unsafe practice or patient harm: The board’s action report included accusations that the nurse harmed patients, or practiced in an unsafe manner. Examples include: being fired for substandard practice, medication errors, failing to provide or document treatments, practicing while impaired, stealing narcotics and medications from patients, inappropriately accessing a patient’s medical record or taking money from a patient.

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