NAHN Statement on the RaDonda Vaught Verdict and Sentencing

The National Association of Hispanic Nurses issues a statement on the RaDonda Vaught verdict and sentencing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - May 25, 2022 - PRLog -- Nurse Vaught was convicted of impaired felony abuse and acquitted of reckless homicide, in connection with a 2017 medical error that was associated with a patient's death at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  This verdict will have a lasting effect on our health care workforce. Nursing has worked diligently with other health care professions to create a "just culture" to reduce patient safety incidents, including medication errors. A "just culture" seeks to address the various root causes for (medication) errors and create an environment of psychological safety for health care staff to speak up and report near miss and patient safety incidents in real time. Research has shown errors are committed in systems fraught with staffing, communication, morale, and ethical issues. A "just culture" supports nurses and all health care providers to report medication errors for unbiased root cause analysis so that systems can develop action plans to prevent further errors.

As we continue to promote a culture of continuous improvement within our health care systems, the May 13th, 2022 non-criminal sentence of three years' probation for Nurse Vaught reduces the fear that nurses face when reporting errors in the workplace. There is still much work ahead to reduce the psychological and physical burden that health care workers face in working within health care systems that are prone to medical errors, but nursing leaders can lessen the burden by ensuring facility level policies are current and based on the most recent evidence. NAHN calls on health care leaders to review the improvements made at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (, to glean on how to improve their own internal policies and procedures related to medication administration.


About the National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Since 1975, NAHN has been the nation's leading professional society for Latino nurses. With a growing membership of more than 40 local chapters, NAHN represents the voices of over 220,000 Latino nurses throughout the United States. NAHN is devoted to promoting safe, quality health care delivery to Latino communities and recognizing excellence among Latino nurses. To learn more, visit
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