Hundreds gather in support of former VUMC nurse RaDonda Vaught ahead of sentencing

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 11:35 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nurses from across the country know RaDonda Vaught’s story.

Many made the trip today to Nashville in support of her.

They gathered at Public Square Park in downtown Friday morning ahead of her sentencing hearing.

The rally started with a moment of silence for Charlene Murphey, the patient who died RaDonda Vaught’s care.

“The best we can hope for is to try to learn from the mistakes that were made and to fix the errors in the system that allowed them,” said rally organizer Tina Vinsant. “Obviously something tragic happened but we’re also here to support our sister nurse.”

Vaught was fond guilty of criminally negligent homicide after giving Murphy the wrong medication back in 2017.

Nurses at Friday’s rally believe it’s a wrongful conviction.

Lindsey Cummings, a fellow nurse said, “We’re angry. It’s scary. We don’t want to be a nurse when we’re not protected. We don’t want to be a nurse when it means we’re a sacrificial lamb.”

A spokesperson with the Institute of safe medication practices, the non-profit dedicated to the prevention of medication errors, says error reporting is critical for the benefit of public health.

Jennifer Gold worries Radonda’s conviction may stop other nurse from reporting mistakes.

“No one is 100% immune from making errors. We are all human and unfortunately we are all fallible,” Gold said.

Other nurses say criminalizing a medical error sets a dangerous precedent for everyone in the profession.

“No one is saying that she didn’t do anything wrong because she did and it ended in a patients life being taken and she will have to live with that the rest of her life, but she does not deserve to go to prison for an honest mistake,” said Madison Bailey, a nurse from Alabama.

The nurses want to push for legislation in Tennessee that would protect healthcare providers from being criminally prosecuted for making a mistake while doing their job.

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