Tennessee Nurses Association
545 Mainstream Drive, Suite 405
Nashville, TN 37228-129
NASHVILLE, TN– Recent renewed media coverage of the “Roc Doc” incident in Jackson, TN has generated a lot of negative press related to APRN opioid prescribing practices. This nurse practitioner was part of a sting operation in West Tennessee that saw several professionals accused of illegally prescribing millions of opioids and other medications. The ANA Code of Ethics, in part states, “The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice, makes decisions, and takes action consistent with the obligation to provide optimal care.” This is a very unfortunate incident and we are always saddened when a nurse violates the ANA Code of Ethics, the law, and patient trust. As a profession, we support appropriate discipline and corrective action to keep the public safe, while supporting the role of APRNs in healthcare and the prescribing of opioids for appropriate patient care needs. In summary, the Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) supports and believes that:
- Nurses are the most trusted professionals and the trust the public places in our profession is to be revered and all efforts made to maintain that trust.
- Nurses have an ethical and moral obligation to adhere to the ANA Code of Ethics, the state nurse practice act, and appropriate statutes, rules, and regulations regarding appropriate care and prescribing practices.
- Due process and corrective action are needed to protect the public and ensure that isolated incidents such as this do not occur in the future.
TNA does NOT support the generalization that APRNs need more oversight or physician control over their practice due to this specific incident. The opioid crisis in Tennessee and across the country is a multi-faceted issue that needs careful and thoughtful intervention by all involved.
TNA will carefully follow this specific case and may make additional public comments as necessary.
# # #
Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA), established in 1905 is a constituent of the American Nurses Association. TNA promotes and protects the registered nurse and advances the practice of nursing in order to assure a healthier Tennessee. TNA advocates for nurses and the profession of nursing through legislative action, policy development, excellence in nursing continuing education and coalition building.