North Carolina Board of Nursing

Discipline & Compliance

Employer Complaints

Should I Report?

Nursing Practice Act (North Carolina General Statute) N.C.G.S. 90-171.47 states:

Reports: immunity from suit. – Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect misconduct or incapacity of a licensee or who has reasonable cause to suspect that any person is in violation of this Article, including those actions specified in G.S. 90-171.37 (1) through (8), G.S. 90-171.43 and G.S. 90-171.44, shall report the relevant facts to the Board. Upon receipt of such charge or upon its own initiative, the Board may give notice of an administrative hearing or may, after diligent investigation, dismiss unfounded charges. Any person making a report pursuant to this section shall be immune from any criminal prosecution or civil liability resulting there from unless such person knew the report was false or acted in reckless disregard of whether the report was false.

The Board evaluates and reacts promptly, fairly and appropriately to ensure public protection. All allegations are evaluated with respect to jurisdiction, risk to the public and the circumstances leading to the reported incident/event.

Definitely Reportable Conduct Events

  • Fraud
  • Theft
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Mental/physical impairment
  • Inappropriate prescribing
  • Criminal charges/convictions (all misdemeanors, felonies and DWIs)
  • Drug abuse
  • Impairment on duty
  • Drug diversion
  • Positive drug screen
  • Fraudulent prescription for controlled or abusable substances

Employer Complaint Form (General) | Positive Drug Screen (Pre-Employment or Random)

The Board recognizes that minor deficits in practice or behavior may be appropriately addressed at the employment level. Minor deficits are those where the potential risks to the patient are very low, the incident is a one time occurrence with no pattern of poor practice, the nurse is accountable for her/his practice and the nurse appears to have knowledge and skills to practice safely.

Potential Reportable Events

  • Abandonment
  • Breech of Confidentiality
  • Inappropriate Delegation &/or Assignment
  • Failure to Maintain Accurate Documentation
  • Exceeding Scope of Practice
  • Failure to Maintain Standards of Care
  • Failure to Supervise
  • Inappropriate Interaction with Client (verbal/physical)
  • Neglect - includes sleeping on duty
  • Failure to Report Crucial Healthcare Information

The NCBON Complaint Evaluation Tool (CET) will assist you in determining the report-ability of these events.

Refer to Just Culture Overview

Common Non-reportable Events
(List is not all inclusive of non-reportable events)

  • No call-no show
  • Failure to complete a resignation notice or abrupt termination
  • Refusal to accept an assignment
  • Rudeness or non-threatening verbal interactions with patient or staff
  • "Nodding" or momentary unintentional falling asleep, unless this is a pattern of behavior, or results in patient neglect or risk
  • Falsification of employment application (except when falsification relates to licensure status)
  • Failure to follow agency policy (unless there is ALSO a violation of the Nursing Practice Act)
  • Information related to mental or physical conditions of a nurse, obtained while providing care for the nurse (protected information)
  • Systems Issues, including but not limited to:
    • Malfunctioning equipment
    • Staffing/work hour issues
    • Physician/nurse communication barriers
    • Outdated policies/procedures (does not reflect current evidence based practice)
    • Inappropriate assignment practices