In the news: Nursing associations applaud verdict in Texas whistleblower case

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, February 22, 2010

It took less than an hour for a jury to acquit Anne Mitchell, RN, a former administrative nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, TX, who was charged with “misuse of official information” after she anonymously reported a physician to the Texas Medical Board in April 2009, according to HealthLeaders Media. Mitchell had been charged with the third-degree felony and faced 10 years in prison.

"If anything was to be gained from the absurdity of this criminal trial, it is the reaffirmation that a nurse's duty to advocate for the health and safety of patients supersedes all else," said Susy Sportsman, RN, president of Texas Nurses Association, in a media release.

Mitchell, along with another nurse, had reported what they say was unsafe behavior exhibited by Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD, to hospital officials. However, they felt the hospital was not working quickly enough to resolve the situation, and reported six patient cases to the state medical board. Both nurses were fired in June 2009. (For more information about the case, read the blog post on

Various nurses associations have raised more than $45,000 for the defense.

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