TBI Investigating Legislators in Reversing Nurse Licensing Revocation

The TBI is reportedly investigating several state legislators and the state Department of Health about possible “official misconduct and false reporting charges” in the cases of three nurse practitioners whose licenses were revoked for overprescribing drugs, then later reinstated.
WSMV-TV mentions state Reps. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, and Dale Ford, R-Jonesborough, in its report and quotes from a Kingsport Times-News article that appeared in May. WTFF and The Tennessean also had short stories reporting the TBI is investigating legislators, but did not name any of lawmakers.
From the WSMV story:
TBI spokeswoman Kristen Helm said the agency is “investigating the facts surrounding the nurses licenses being reinstated to determine if there was any misconduct that rises to a criminal level.”
Tennessee Department of Health spokeswoman Andrea Turner said the department is cooperating fully with the TBI investigation.
“We are providing information and responding to requests as needed to assist in this matter,” said Turner. “It is inappropriate for the department to offer further comment at this time.”
The Channel 4 I-Team spoke with Shipley, who confirmed the TBI is coming to interview him, but he does not think he’s done anything wrong and that the nursing board made the decision to reinstate the nurses’ licenses on their own.
The Channel 4 I-Team has not identified the other lawmakers being interviewed by the TBI.
According to Tennessee Department Health records, the Board of Nursing disciplined registered nurses Bobby Reynolds II, David Stout Jr. and Tina Killebrew last year based on allegations that they had provided substandard care that “caused patients harm, and in the cases of patients T.H. and A.B. contributed to their deaths.” At the time, the three nurses were employed as nurse practitioners at Appalachian Medical Center, 3010 Bristol Highway, Johnson City, according to the Times News.
During a May phone interview with The Times News, Shipley recalled he and state Rep. Dale Ford, R-Jonesborough, were “red-faced furious” with the Board of Nursing upon learning of the situation in late May or early June of last year.
According to the newspaper report, summary suspension orders put them out of a job effective March 11, 2010. Stout and Killebrew’s suspension orders were later set aside in favor of probation, according to minutes from a September 2010 meeting. Terms of their probation included signing of Tennessee Professional Assistance Program monitoring agreements, completion of certain education requirements and payment of costs and fines.
In October 2010, the board affirmed a two-year suspension of Reynolds’ advanced practice certification, voided his multi-state practice privileges and ordered his registered nursing license to be placed on probation pending a Tennessee Professional Assistance Program evaluation. If no monitoring contract was deemed necessary, the order stated probation was not required.
On May 5 of this year, the board finally agreed to retract all disciplinary action taken against the nurses and to restore their licenses to the blemish-free state that existed prior to March 11, 2010. The decision immediately followed the trio’s presentation of petitions citing new evidence concerning the two deceased patients and certain individuals whose testimony factored into the board’s decision to take action against them.

One thought on “TBI Investigating Legislators in Reversing Nurse Licensing Revocation

  1. Elmer Gantry

    TN nursing board under scrutiny over discipline case
    EXCERPT: “… The board had suspended their licenses last year for “engaging in a pattern of deceptive, substandard care and gross malpractice.” The nurses all worked at Appalachian Medical Center in Johnson City. The consent orders accused the nurses of prescribing pain medicine to five patients even though law enforcement advised them that the patients were selling drugs.
    The consent orders, which have since been rescinded, alleged that “these substandard practices contributed” to the deaths of two of the patients. The patients were identified only by the initials “T.H.” and “A.B.”
    Helm said the TBI has turned over its case against the three nurses to District Attorney Tony Clark in East Tennessee.”

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