Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 410-10-.03 - Definition of Unprofessional Conduct

(1) Nursing conduct failing to meet the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing nursing practice, which could jeopardize the health, safety, and welfare of the public, shall constitute unprofessional conduct. This conduct shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(2) Practice
(a) Using inappropriate or unsafe judgment, technical skill or interpersonal behaviors in providing nursing care;
(b) Performing any nursing technique or procedure for which the nurse is unprepared by education or experience;
(c) Disregarding a patient/client's dignity, right to privacy or right to confidentiality;
(d) Failing to provide nursing care because of diagnosis, age, gender, race, creed, color or sexual orientation;
(e) Abandoning or knowingly neglecting patients/clients requiring nursing care;
(f) Continuing to practice after the expiration date of the license.
(g) Failing to take appropriate action to safeguard a patient's welfare;
(h) Failing to take action in a health care setting to protect a patient whose safety or welfare is at risk from incompetent health care practice, or to report the incompetent health care practice to employment or licensing authorities;
(i) Failing to report to the Board a licensed nurse whose work history includes conduct, or a pattern of conduct, that leads to or may lead to an adverse patient outcome;
(j) Assuming patient care responsibilities that the nurse lacks the education to perform, for which the nurse has failed to maintain nursing competence, or that are outside the scope of practice of the nurse;
(k) Accepting the assignment of nursing functions or a prescribed health function when the acceptance of the assignment could be reasonably expected to result in unsafe or ineffective client care;
(l) Failure of a clinical nursing instructor to adequately supervise or to assure adequate supervision of student experiences.
(m) Failure to practice within a modified scope of practice or with the required accommodations, as specified by the Board in granting a limited license or any agreement with the Board.
(n) Causing or permitting physical, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse or injury or neglect to the client, or failing to report same to the employer, appropriate legal authority and/or the Board;
(o) Providing information which was false, deceptive, or misleading in connection with the practice of nursing;
(p) Knowingly aiding, assisting, advising, or allowing an unlicensed person to engage in the unlawful practice of practical, registered or advanced practice nursing;
(q) Violating an order of the Board, or carelessly or repetitively violating a state or federal law relating to the practice of practical, registered or advanced practice nursing, or violating a state or federal narcotics or controlled substance law;
(r) Knowingly aiding, assisting, advising, or allowing a nurse under Board Order to violate the conditions set forth in the Order; or
(s) Failing to report violations of the Nursing Practice Act and/or the Board's rules and regulations.
(3) Documentation
(a) Failing to maintain a patient record that accurately reflects the nursing assessment, care, treatment, and other nursing services provided to the patient;
(b) Falsifying, omitting or making a materially incorrect, inconsistent, or unintelligible entry in any record:
1.Regarding a patient at a health care facility, school, institution, or other work place location; or
2.Pertaining to obtaining, possessing, administering, wasting or returning any controlled substance as defined in the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., or Georgia's Controlled Substances Act;
(c) Falsifying reports, client documentation, agency records or other documents; or
(d) Falsifying, omitting or destroying documentation of nursing actions on the official patient/client record.
(4) Investigations
(a) Failing to timely respond to an investigative subpoena issued by the Board;
(b) Failing to cooperate with a lawful investigation conducted by the Board; or
(c) Making a written false or inaccurate statement to the Board or the Board's designee in the course of an investigation
(5) Delegation
(a) Failing to supervise a person to whom nursing functions are delegated;
(b) Delegating services that require nursing judgment to an unauthorized person;
(c) Delegating or assigning nursing functions or a prescribed health function when the delegation or assignment could reasonably be expected to result in unsafe or ineffective client care; or
(d) Delegating nursing care, functions, tasks or responsibility to others when the nurse knows or should know that such delegation is to the detriment of patient safety;
(6) Drugs
(a) Removing, without authorization, a narcotic, drug, controlled substance, supply, equipment, or medical record from any health care facility, school, institution, or other work place location;
(b) Obtaining, possessing, administering, or using any narcotic, controlled substance, or illegal drug in violation of any federal or state criminal law, or in violation of the policy of any health care facility, school, institution, or other work location at which the nurse practices;
(c) Providing or administering any controlled substance or prescription-only drug for other than accepted therapeutic or research purposes;
(d) Failing to follow the policy and procedure in place for the wastage of medications at the facility where the nurse was employed or working at the time of the incident(s);
(e) A positive drug screen for which there is no lawful prescription;
(f) Obtaining or attempting to obtain or deliver medication(s) through means of misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and/or subterfuge;
(g) Failing to practice nursing in accordance with prevailing nursing standards due to physical, psychological or chemical impairment; or
(h) Failing to report to the Board within 30 days of becoming unable to practice nursing with reasonable skill and safety by result of mental or physical condition or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material.
(7) Boundaries
(a) Failing to maintain professional boundaries or engaging in a dual relationship with a patient, resident, or any family member of a patient or resident;
(b) Removing, without authorization, any money, property, or personal possessions, or requesting payment for services not performed from a patient, employer, co-worker, or member of the public;
(c) Violating professional boundaries of the nurse/client relationship including but not limited to physical, sexual, emotional or financial exploitation of the client or the client's significant other(s);
(d) Engaging in sexual conduct with a client, touching a client in a sexual manner, requesting or offering sexual favors, or language or behavior suggestive of the same;
(e) Threatening or violent behavior in the workplace; or
(f) Misappropriating, in connection with the practice of nursing, anything of value or benefit, including but not limited to, any property, real or personal of the client, employer, or any other person or entity, or failing to take precautions to prevent such misappropriation.
(8) Fraud
(a) Engaging in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit in taking a licensing examination or on an initial or renewal application for a license or certificate;
(b) Impersonating a nurse licensed under this O.C.G.A. § 43-26;
(c) Advertising the practice of nursing with untruthful or misleading statements;
(d) Practicing nursing without a current license or while the license is suspended;
(e) Providing one's license/temporary permit to another individual for any reason; or
(f) Providing false or misleading documents related to applications, renewals or continuing competency requirements.
(9) Employment
(a) Making a false or misleading statement on a nursing or health care related employment or credential application concerning previous employment, employment experience, education, or credentials;
(b) Failing to answer specific questions or providing false or misleading answers that would have affected the decision to license, employ, certify or otherwise utilize a nurse; or
(c) Providing a false, deceptive or misleading statement(s) as a nursing expert.
(10) Arrests and Convictions
(a) Failing to notify the Board, in writing, of a conviction for a felony or an undesignated offense within 10 days of the conviction. The nurse or applicant shall include the following in the notification:
1.Name, address, telephone number, email address, social security number, and license number, if applicable;
2.Date of the conviction; and
3.Nature of the offense.


Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 410-10-.03
O.C.G.A. §§ 43-1-25, 43-1-27, 43-26-2, 43-26-3, 43-26-5, 43-26-10, 43-26-11, 43-26-40, 43-26-42, and 43-26-51.
Original Rule entitled "Definition of Unprofessional Conduct" adopted. F. Aug. 24, 2015; eff. Sep. 13, 2015

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