A recent opinion of the US District Court for the District of Minnesota reviewed the legal issues in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by an LPN who was terminated from her job in a nursing home.
The director of nursing asked the night-shift LPN to review specified patient charts to make sure there were complete care plans, anticipating a possible state survey inspection.
After she was terminated for alleged absenteeism, medication errors and not getting the care plans done as she was told, the LPN was informed by LPN coworkers at her next job that responsibility for care planning is a function reserved to registered nurses by state nursing regulations in Minnesota. If she was asked to perform an illegal act, writing care plans on her own as an LPN, and was terminated for refusing, she would have grounds for a so-called whistleblower lawsuit.
The problem was, however, she did not know at the time that what she...