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Introduction

The current health care sector in the US has regulatory policies concerning healthcare professionals. They are based on the key assumption that the healthcare services fail, because there is a lack of proper and readily available information for the consumers concerning the quality of services provided by the professionals. This has contributed to the exploitation of consumers by the health care providers by giving low level services. Lack of a proper control may cause some health care professionals to produce poor quality services at exorbitant rates to uninformed consumers. It is necessary to regulate health care professionals in order to improve the quality of health services, in order to protect the interest of uniformed consumers. In the US, each state has a responsibility to regulate health care professionals’ policy. The health professionals’ regulations act as statutory laws by establishing licensing or providing regulatory agencies or boards assisting in generating rules to regulate medical practice. The state licensing statutes have the mandate to establish a minimum education level and the required experience for an individual to practice. These regulations also specify legally permissible boundaries of practice in healthcare or the allowed limit of healthcare professionals practice; in addition, they also specify allowed business practices of health care practitioners.

Empirical literature

In most states in the United States of America (USA), medical professionals are under a regulation committee board. In this paper, the issues of discussion are relevant to the regulation of health professionals in Nevada State. These include processes of studying and determination of the case the processes involved while filling criminal charges.

All the above stated issues have processes used among them. This paper will also focus on the civil complaint process. In the healthcare profession, there are state boards that always get administered in health related profession, in state of Nevada. There are good reasons to put boards in place. The responsibilities of these boards include but, not limited to, monitoring of regulations associated to health care profession, making sure that all the medical practitioners have appropriate licenses and certificates. Hence, they handle the application through the board against a particular medical practitioner looking at it closely. Furthermore, the boards have a role in deal with arising complaints from patients and are particularly significant in dealing with the acceptance and the underlying processes of the civil complaint. Patients may have many grievances that may need to be filed. In case a licensed professional is found guilty of an offence in his or her practice, then he or she is likely face affirmative action. For instance, if a submitted complaint should be filed against a nurse and submitted to the board office. The case passes through the Board of Registered Nurses for comprehensive examination. Thus, if deemed necessary, disciplinary action against the nurse should be taken and the complaint filed for a further investigation. Should the nurse be acquitted, the case is shelved, but the nurse is kept under the watchful eye of the board. 

There are quite a number of rules and regulations that are required in order to achieve the right to administer medication. For instance, a nurse’s credentials such as licenses and certificates show that an individual has appropriate qualifications to advise and prescribe medication. Hence, credentialing is a broad term that encompasses licensure and other mechanisms used to monitor professional practice such as nursing. It also includes separate processes that a nursing organization uses to verify that individuals have attained appropriate training and skills, as well as, practice standards. As with health care professions in Nevada, licensure of nurses takes place at the state level.

On the other hand, regulations, licenses or other credentials such as certificates do not guarantee safe effective treatment from any provider. Credentialing refers to the process of establishing the ability of a practitioner for providing services to patients. Other mechanisms used by the regulatory board to guide nursing profession and protect consumers include mandatory licensure, under this provision, the government prohibits unlicensed nurses from practising. Nevada State has made it mandatory for practitioners to meet certain requirements in order to obtain specific professional title (Cohen, 1998).

Registration is another option essentially used in regulating; it involves registering a profession and ensuring disclosure of the necessary information concerning education and experience to a state consumer protection agency. Professional nursing organizations in Nevada only recognize practitioners who meet the minimum education, skills and experience to practice. Thus, certification done by professional organizations entirely depends on state licensing efforts.

In the US, the federal government does not control or license nursing practice; hence, it is the sole responsibility of individual states like Nevada to have the right as part of the American constitutional mandate used in the regulation of health safety. These regulations require a form of licensure that requires individuals to complete a form of training and to pass written examination that incorporates practical exam. Hence, there will be only one who is considered to have met the right education standards to be awarded a license by the regulatory body.

Areas of potential criminal liability

In the state Nevada, Registered Nursing Programs last for a maximum of four years and usually offered in recognized hospitals, vocational nursing institutions, technical schools, community colleges, as well as in the state universities (Cohen, M. H. (1998). There are programs of licensure that ensures the public the qualification of a nurse to practice by assuming the duties of a nursing practitioner. A criminal conviction may prevent an individual from Nurses Credentialing Center based on the requirements of nursing education, practice, as well as, testing criteria. These include nursing administration or oncology nursing. A criminal conviction of a registered nurse must be formal and submitted to the Nevada State Board of Nursing. The board work towards protecting the welfare of the public by regulating the practice (Nevada State Board of Nursing, 2007, p.1). In a situation where the board receives a complaint that a licensed nurse may have acted against the law, the board will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the facts. Consequently, upon receiving the application, after a period of 10 days, the board will address the complainant, a written notification of receipt of the complaints. These claims include but not limited to; negligence, or abuse which receives priority when investigated by the department of consumer affairs Division and the Board of Registered Nurses consultants, and must be followed without any violation.

Civil complaint process for patients or consumers

A civil complaint process constitutes direct referrals, which are cases derived from other agencies based on criminal conviction or an administrative violation. These may include cases such as criminal convictions for Medicaid fraud or findings of misconduct by health commissioners in various criminal proceedings. These activities involve misconduct as a diversion of controlled substances. There are also hearing panel recommendations in case the licensee disagrees with a consent resolution. This makes the case to be directed to a panel of state professional board. There are also consents and surrenders, restorations, which are determinations by the board to make petitions for the restoration of revoked or surrendered licenses. This is a process by which a licensee may petition health practitioners to have their licenses restored. The process of victimization may include summary suspension to remove a licensee from professional career while proper disciplinary actions take place. It is the responsibility of the Office of Professionals to make applications for a summary suspension, if believed that public health care, safety and protection requires an urgent action. The summary suspension is issued in response complaints of the most serious acts or misconduct in the professional practice. These activities may lead to patient harm causing a potential threat to the patient safety; it may also include certain egregious misconduct. Finally, the board has a responsibility to determine if applicants of licensure are of considerable moral conducts, indicated during the licensure application, if there is an existence of a moral character (Nevada State Board of Nursing, 2011).

Conclusion

In the State of Nevada, nurses who practice their professional career in which he or she is not professionally qualified, may face consequences which included, both professional and financial losses. The law in Nevada requires nurses to be competent in their duties. Thus, the regulations accorded to nurses make them highly proficient in practicing and executing their duties. The regulatory and credential requirements are overriding factors considered in recruitment of registered nurses in the field of healthcare. The criminal case concerning nursing profession is to ensure that the community is protected through obtaining standard services.  Credentialing is the course of enquiring, assessing the education levels and validating skills of a nurse to provide treatment and patient care for a medical institution or facility. Hence, the nursing profession should continue to develop field documentation and ensure advanced practical responsibilities in the way of authenticating the ongoing skills of registered nurses.

No medical practitioner should be forced to perform any duty of which he or she is not qualified to perform. Hence, it is necessary for Registered Nurses to be qualified superbly and perform a task.

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