As discussed in the previous post, complaints against nurses in Ohio have skyrocketed in recent years, which has led to a huge backlog of disciplinary investigations for the Ohio Board of Nursing. The backlog has grown as complaints for abusive or substandard nursing care have continued to rise.
According to the Dayton Daily News, figures released by the state show that complaints are on pace for a double-digit increase over a two-year period. In 2011, the Board received 6,880 complaints against nurses.
Also contributing to the backlog is the nurse’s right to a proper and formal investigation which requires the gathering of evidence and interviewing of witnesses. The board must weigh all information in order to make the most appropriate decision, as most allegations are serious in nature. In the meantime nurses facing disciplinary action can continue to practice nursing for a year or more while they wait for their hearing.
No matter the reason for the delay, allowing nurses who have harmed patients or acted in a manner not befitting their profession to continue to work for as long as they do before a disciplinary hearing is unacceptable.
Patient care and well-being is of the utmost importance, and nurses who do not or cannot recognize that fact must face the proper consequences in a timely manner before they harm additional vulnerable people.
Source: Dayton Daily News, “Complaint backlog allows nurses to keep working,” Josh Sweigart and Doug Page, Feb. 24, 2012