Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Darned if you do, Darned if you don’t!


Beverly Ann Bratcher was an LPN working in Michigan at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans in December 2020 when she became aware that 2 incorrect medication doses had been administered to one specific patient.  Ms. Bratcher failed to report this error to her supervisor and now faces a criminal charge of second degree vulnerable adult abuse.  [Story]

I took the opportunity to look up her Michigan license and it is still active despite the outstanding criminal charges.  What is interesting is that RaDonda Vaught, who I have mentioned in earlier reports as the Tennessee nurse who mistakenly gave the wrong medication to a patient resulting in the latter’s death and for which she was convicted and sentenced to 3 years of supervised probation, was completely honest and up front about her medical mistake.  Yet, she was criminally charged and convicted. However, Ms. Bratcher is facing criminal charges for not reporting the medications mix up in her situation and wound-up facing criminal charges. 

This is a sad state we live in where nurses are expected to report medication errors and then get criminal charges and when a nurse does not report, she gets criminal charges. Many healthcare facilities claim to have just culture and the purpose is for full disclosure so that when mistakes are made, the facility can do a root cause analysis to figure out the source.  Unfortunately, either way, when medication errors are reported, a nurse could be subject to criminal charges and when a medication error is not reported the nurse can also be subject to criminal charges. 

This is unfortunate and scary for every nurse because who knew that you could go to jail for just for doing your job.  Things need to change in nursing.  It is no wonder that there is a nursing shortage.  Hopefully, things will change. 

I soundly suggest that facilities that really believe in just culture will let their nursing staff know that they will not be reported for telling the truth and doing the right thing. 



1 Comment

  1. Nursey

    Wouldn’t the hospital rather the nurse come forward and tell them about the medication error so they can act if need be than to not say anything out of fear of being arrested and lose their career ? OF course the BON says , if the nurse admitted it and tried to correct an error is a deciding factor in their decision. Read too many nursing cases to know this is a out right lie on the BON part , but they can lie all the time, call themselves leaders and it’s ok ? And call / charge the nurse with ‘unprofessional” conduct . Figured out a long time ago , it’s not what you do in nursing it is who you are when you do it.
    Only one hospital used ‘just culture’ and did a root cause , and that was Dart-Mouth Hitchcock NH . The nurse will never make that mistake again and is a better nurse for it . Every nurse makes med errors . Abuse of a vulnerable adult? , desperate prosecutor there !

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