Brian Kemp vs. the Georgia Board of Nurses

August 1, 2018

Georgia Board of Nurses Criticizes Kemp For “Putting Patients At Risk” In Replacing Effective, Powerful Executive Director

Secretary of State, Brian Kemp angered Georgia nurses when he proposed to replace state Nursing Board Executive Director, Jim Cleghorn with Andrew Turnage, head of the State Cosmetology Board. This decision would thereby remove Cleghorn from his post on the Board of Directors for a national nursing organization where he is an important voice, according to several nursing leaders. Gleghorn is largely credited with improving issues concerning the reporting and processing of nursing violations. State Senator and nurse, Renee Unterman who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said the disagreement with Kemp’s office further bolsters a sentiment of the board to be removed from the Secretary of State’s authority. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/30/2016][The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 7/1/2016] EVENT DATE: June/July 2016

Attorney General Sam Olens Sides With Nurses Against Brian Kemp

Attorney General Sam Olens sided with the Georgia Board of Nursing by agreeing that the board has the authority to accept or reject the new Executive Director proposed to them by Secretary of State, Brian Kemp.  [The Atlanta Journal Constitution 9/2/16]

Nurses Board Sets Plan In Motion To Be Removed From Brian Kemp’s Control

In January 2017, after a long-standing disagreement with the Secretary of State’s office, the Nurses Board expressed interest in lobbying legislators to remove them from Kemp’s control. Kemp cites cross-training as the reason for replacing Jim Cleghorn with Andrew Turnage. A few state lawmakers privately told a reporter that Kemp’s move smells of sexism since the nursing profession is overwhelmingly female. [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 7/28/2016]

Boards of Dentistry and Pharmacy Removed from Brian Kemp’s Control

In 2013, the Boards of Dentistry and Pharmacy left the Secretary of State’s office and became independent agencies. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 7/28/2016]

Under Brian Kemp’s Watch, Nursing Board Takes Years To Clear Cases of Nurses In Violation Of Professional Standards.

In order to prevent bad nurses from practicing elsewhere, a law was passed in 2012 that required employers to report nursing violations to the Nurses Board, resulting in double the number of complaints submitted. A review of records in 2012 and 2013 showed that due to lack of resources and poor record keeping there were thousands of unresolved cases and an estimated turnaround time of 15 months. Though Kemp alleges he secured more resources for the board, nurses cite that Executive Director, Jim Cleghorn was the reason for progress in clearing cases. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution 7/28/16] and [The Atlanta Journal Constitution 7/13/2013]

In 2013, Poor Record Keeping Software Was Roadblock In Resolving Nursing Violations

Nursing violations were prevented from being resolved because the 2013 software was unable to distinguish between nursing violations that involved malpractice or the use of narcotics. Additionally, the software could not distinguish between a nurse who might endanger a patient and a nurse with paperwork problems like an expired license. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 7/13/2013]

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