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Investigation & Discipline Section

The mission of the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) is public protection and, as such, the Board is charged with investigating and acting upon complaints against nurses.

Complaints Against Nurses Process

Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state. The mandatory reporting requirement found in KRS 314.031(4) requires licensed nurses and licensure applicants to report to KBN any possible violations of KRS Chapter 314, as set forth in subsections (4)(a) through (4)(k).

HIPAA and KBN's Subpoena power?

In response to inquiries concerning HIPAA and KBN's subpoena power pursuant to KRS 314.091, it is the determination of the Board that pursuant to federal regulation 45 CFR 164.512 the Kentucky Board of Nursing is a Health Oversight Agency engaged in oversight activities authorized by law.  Consequently, the patient authorization requirements of HIPAA do not apply to KBN.

Furthermore, as a law enforcement agency engaged in law enforcement activities, a covered entity under HIPAA must comply with an administrative subpoena as issued by KBN, if the following assurances are made by the agency, which are typically given:

  1. The information is relevant and material to a legitimate enforcement inquiry;
  2. The request is specific and limited in scope to the extent reasonably practicable in light of the purpose for which the information is sought; and
  3. De-identified information could not reasonably be used.

KRS 314.031 makes reporting of complaints against nurses to KBN mandatory.  KRS 314.091(3) gives KBN the power and authority to issue subpoenas to compel the production of documents in the conduct of an investigation.  This subpoena is enforceable by the Circuit Court as for contempt.  Failure to comply with this subpoena will result in an action for contempt being filed in the Circuit Court.

Who Is Required To Report?

  • Any nurse, employer of nurses, or any person having knowledge of facts.

Who Files the Complaints?

  • Director of Health Care Agency
  • Co-Worker
  • Patient/Family
  • Self-report
  • KBN Internal/Administrative
  • Police Department
  • Other Board of Nursing
  • Anonymous
  • Other Administrative Agency

What Should Be Reported?

  • A licensee or applicant who is guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing.
  • A licensee or applicant who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor which involves drugs, alcohol, fraud, deceit, falsification of records, a breach of trust, physical harm or endangerment to others, or dishonesty, under the laws of any state or of the United States.  The record of conviction or a copy thereof, certified by the clerk of the court or by the judge who presided over the conviction, shall be conclusive evidence.  For the purposes of this section, “conviction” means but is not limited to pleading no contest, entering an Alford plea, or entry of a court order suspending the imposition of a criminal penalty to a crime.
  • A licensee or applicant who has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense under KRS Chapter 510 involving a patient, a felony offense under KRS Chapter 510, 530.064, or 531.310, or has been found by the Board to have had sexual contact with a patient was under the care of the nurse.
  • A licensee or applicant who has negligently or willfully acting in a manner inconsistent with the practice of nursing.
  • A licensee or applicant who is unfit or incompetent to practice nursing by reason of negligence or other causes including, but not limited to, being unable to practice nursing with reasonable skill or safety.
  • A licensee or applicant who has abused use of controlled substances, prescription medications, or alcohol.
  • A licensee or applicant who has misused or misappropriated any drugs placed in the custody of the nurse for administration, or for use of others.
  • A licensee or applicant who has falsified or in a negligent manner making incorrect entries or failed to make essential entries on essential records.
  • A licensee or applicant who has a license or credential to practice as a nurse denied, limited, suspended, probated, revoked, or otherwise disciplined in another jurisdiction on grounds sufficient to cause a license to be denied, limited, suspended, probated, revoked, or otherwise disciplined in this Commonwealth, including action by another jurisdiction for failure to repay a student loan.
  • A licensee or applicant who is suspected of violating any provisions of KRS 314.091.
  • A licensee or applicant who has violated any lawful order or directive previously entered by the Board.
  • A licensee or applicant who has violated any administrative regulation promulgated by the Board.
  • A licensee or applicant who has been listed on the nurse aide abuse registry with a substantiated finding of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property.

    ...more on Filing a Complaint

Complaints Against Someone Other Than a Nurse

If your complaint is against someone other than a licensed nurse, you may wish to contact the appropriate regulatory board. 

If your complaint is against a hospital or other health care facility, the complaint should be directed to the Division of Licensing and Regulation of the Cabinet for Health Services (502-564-2888).

If your complaint involves the rendering of nursing services by someone who you feel is not duly licensed, this information should be forwarded to KBN.

...Contact Us

 

Last Updated 5/21/2013
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