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Guidelines for Reporting Practice Violations to the Board of Nursing

Board of Nursing Rule, Grounds for Discipline, IDAPA 23.01.01.100.05., specifies that nurses who are grossly negligent or reckless in performing nursing functions or who otherwise violate the Nursing Practice Act or Board of Nursing Rules shall be reported to the Board of Nursing.

Many minor incidents are reported with insufficient evidence to warrant disciplinary action but which take up time and valuable Board resources. The Board believes that protection of the public is not enhanced by investigating every reported minor incident. Therefore, the following guidelines are adopted to clarify what constitutes minor incidents that need not be reported to the Board when there are mechanisms in place in the employment setting to take corrective action and remediate deficits in practice.

“Minor incident” means conduct that does not indicate the nurse’s continuing to practice poses a risk of injury or harm to the patient or to another person. Minor incidents need not be reported to the Board of Nursing if all of the following factors are present:

  1. potential risk of physical, emotional or financial harm or injury to the patient due to the incident is very low; and
  2. the incident is a one-time minor event with no pattern of poor practice; and
  3. the nurse exhibits a conscientious approach to and accountability for his/her practice by following policies/procedures relative to the incident (i.e., notifying supervisor, calling physician, completing an incident report); and
  4. the nurse appears to have the knowledge and skills to practice safely.

The presence of contributing or mitigating circumstances may be taken into consideration.  The Board recommends that:

  1. An incident/variance report be completed for all minor incidents-to include a complete description of the incident, patient record number and witnesses; and
  2. the nurse manager maintain the records of minor incidents and document the action taken to correct or remediate the problem; and
  3. Three minor incidents in one year be evaluated by a peer review or administrative committee to determine if a report to the Board of Nursing is warranted.

Nothing in these Guidelines is intended to prevent or discourage direct reporting to the Board of Nursing.

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