Nurse gets 3 years’ probation for fatal medication error

The following is an excerpt from Becker’s Hospital Review.

RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse convicted of a fatal medication error, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation May 13.

She received a deferred sentence, meaning charges could be wiped from her record pending successful completion of probation. 

Ms. Vaught, 38, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult for a fatal medication error she made in December 2017 after overriding an electronic medical cabinet as a nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Ms. Vaught faced up to eight years in prison. 

Davidson County criminal court Judge Jennifer Smith said the court in its sentencing considered Ms. Vaught’s offense was not motivated by any intent to violate the law, and that she will “never again be in a position to repeat this fatal error.”

“She has been stripped of her nursing license and started a new livelihood outside of healthcare,” Ms. Smith said. “She immediately and consistently accepted responsibility for her actions and credibly expressed remorse in court.” 

Ms. Vaught’s case has spurred a national outcry from nurses who argued the ruling sets a dangerous precedent for the profession and could discourage nurses from speaking up about errors.

Images shared by WSMV reporter Ryan Breslin show hundreds of nurses gathered outside the courthouse on the morning of May 13 to show their support for Ms. Vaught. 

In remarks shared with the court during her sentencing proceeding, Ms. Vaught expressed deep remorse for the medical error. 

“I have lost far more than just my nursing license and a career,” she said. “I will never be the same person. When Ms. Murphey died, a part of me died with her. … Words alone will never fully express the remorse and sorrow for my actions. I am forever haunted by my role in her untimely passing.” (Continued)

Link to full article here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 thoughts on “Nurse gets 3 years’ probation for fatal medication error”

  1. She should lose her license. Her “mistake” should have been found as manslaughter.
    If they’re going to let her keep working, she should be made to wear a sign “I was negligent in my medical duties and someone died. You have a right to refuse my services and ask for a different nurse”

    1. First, she did lose her license. Second, her mistake does not qualify as manslaughter.
      And lastly, they aren’t going to let her keep working. You obviously know nothing about this case or the ;law.

      1. She won’t be employed in the medical field. Your answer makes it sound as though she is completely unemployable in any field. That is not the case.

        1. “She won’t be employed in the medical field.” -Robert

          Isn’t that what we are talking about here? My answer was specifically worded to address the OP’s comments.

Scroll to Top