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ANN MARIE RAFFERTY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/06/84)

decided: March 6, 1984.

ANN MARIE RAFFERTY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE BOARD OF NURSE EXAMINERS, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Board of Nurse Examiners in case of In the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of License No. RN-221306-L, issued November 16, 1977, to Ann Marie Rafferty, dated December 28, 1981.

COUNSEL

Daniel L. Thistle, Beasley, Hewson, Casey, Colleran, Erbstein & Thistle, for petitioner.

Mary S. Wyatte, Assistant Counsel, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, with her David F. Phifer, Chief Counsel, Department of State, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Doyle and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Crumlish

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 604]

Ann Marie Rafferty petitions for review of a State Board of Nurse Examiners order revoking her license. We reverse.

While Nurse Rafferty was on duty in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, a comatose patient under her care died.*fn1 She was charged with violations of various Board

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 605]

    regulations.*fn2 Following a hearing, the Board found that Rafferty's violations under The Professional Nursing Law*fn3 were sufficient to revoke her professional license.

This Court must affirm the decision of a Commonwealth agency unless there has been an error of law, a violation of constitutional rights or the decision is not supported by substantial evidence. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 704.

The Board derived its authority from Section 14(3) of the Nursing Law,*fn4 which provides that a

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 606]

    nurse who willfully or repeatedly violates the nursing regulations may have her license suspended or revoked. For the Board to revoke Rafferty's license, it must adduce that she was guilty ...


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