The Tennessean, July 20, 2011

The independence of the Board of Nursing to regulate the profession is under question as state investigators probe whether strong-arm tactics by lawmakers caused the board to rescind disciplinary actions. At least two lawmakers, Rep. Tony Shipley and Rep. Dale Ford, pressed for the board to reconsider the suspension of three nurse practitioners accused of over-prescribing narcotics. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into these actions, which occurred when the Board of Nursing's right to exist as a regulatory body was up for renewal by the legislature. Sharon Adkins, executive director of the Tennessee Nurses Association, said the profession is closely watching the case. "It is absolutely unacceptable for special interests to put undue pressure on the board to reverse their judgments," Adkins said.

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