NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A former Vanderbilt nurse convicted after a deadly drug error said she’s fighting to improve the healthcare system.  

RaDonda Vaught was back in court Tuesday hoping to appeal the Board of Nursing’s decision to revoke her license, but Vaught said her goal is not to practice nursing again.

“Until a job that’s not so labor intensive comes along, this is what I’ll continue to do,” Vaught laughed from her farm in Bethpage. 

Tucked deep in the rolling hills of Tennessee is where Vaught spends most of her time; operating tractors, feeding the chickens, manning the pastures on Hidden Holler Farms with her husband.

“It’s fun. You know from the farm to the farmer’s markets everyday is super busy, but it’s incredibly rewarding and I’m grateful this is something that I can do,” she explained. 

Nursing, her true passion, however, is something Vaught can no longer do.

“I might not be able to work in it, but it doesn’t mean I can’t try to make it better.”

Vaught was found guilty last year of two charges – criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult – after a medication error contributed to the death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey in 2017. Vaught was sentenced to three years probation for the deadly medication error.

“You know, someone lost their life in a really awful and tragic way because of a mistake that I made, but the mistake that I made wasn’t the only failure in the entirety of this event. A lot of things transpired after that that highlighted some places where we can improve,” said Vaught. 

That’s what she hopes to continue doing. In chancery court Tuesday, Vaught asked to reverse the Board of Nursing’s decision to revoke her license. 

“My goal ultimately is not to get my license back. I don’t have any interest in ever practicing nursing again. It’s not something I think I would be capable of doing and I don’t honestly believe that I would ever be able to receive my nursing license,” she said.

Her goal, however, is to highlight some of the issues surrounding the Board of Nursing’s decision, she explained after the board first concluded they wouldn’t take disciplinary action against her.

“I was honestly quite shock that there was no corrective action. There was no continuing education; there was no suspension or even probationary period on my license,” Vaught said.

Now wrapped in the legal system, Vaught plans to keep fighting for clarity in how her case was handled, with hopes to improve the system for other healthcare workers and patients.

| RaDonda Vaught Case: Continuing Coverage 

“If I can speak out and advocate for improvements in our systems and better working conditions and safer care for patients, then I have every intention of continuing to do that. I would hope for a little more clarity, some accountability from the people who work in healthcare and who will ultimately receive healthcare,” she said. “There needs to be some accountability there with the people who are making these decisions and the people who are tasked with responsibility of assuring that any licensed professional in this state practices safely and is held accountable in the appropriate way when an incident or a complaint occurs and is filed within those entities.”

A written decision will be issued on Tuesday’s hearing. If granted, then another hearing would have to be held.