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Texas nurse found not guilty

A Texas jury returned a not guilty verdict after less than an hour of deliberation in a case many nurses say never should have gone to trial.

Anne Mitchell, RN and her co-worker, Vicki Galle, RN, were fired from their jobs at Winkler County Memorial Hospital and charged with misuse of official information after reporting concerns about local physician Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr. to the Texas Medical Board.  The charges against Ms. Galle were dropped Feb. 1; Ms. Mitchell’s trail began Monday Feb. 8 and ended Feb. 11.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) and Texas Nurses Association (TNA) — along with RNs all across the country — are thrilled by the not guilty verdict.  Susy Sportsman, PhD, RN, president of the TNA said, “If anything was to be gained from this criminal trial, it is the reaffirmation that a nurse’s duty to advocate for the health and safety of patients supersedes all else.”

ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, RN, MSN, CNOR agreed that the “verdict is a resounding win of behalf of patient safety in the US.  Nurses play a critical, duty-bound role in acting as patient safety watch guards in our nation’s health care system.”

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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