Verdict: Vaught Trial & What You Can Do


On March 25, 2022- after 6 hours of deliberation- the jury found former nurse Radonda Vaught guilt of criminally negligent homicide (1-6 year sentence) and gross neglect of an impaired adult. She was acquitted of reckless homicide. I am still wrapping my head around this verdict and I will write a follow up post to go over my thoughts and what this could mean for the future of nursing. If you don’t know about this case, read my recent blog post.I will say I have recieved many messages today from nurses scared and grieving the nursing profession. To them, this feels like the final nail in the coffin after a very tragic year. We all agree she made a grave mistake, but she did not deserve criminal charges. Nurses are worried about the precedent this could set for the future of nursing and healthcare.

Contact the Judge & DA

The verdict has been reached but the sentencing is not scheduled until May 13 (the day after nurses week, may I add). We still have time to reach out and advocate for Radonda Vaught to not serve jail time and to have a lenient sentence. We advocate for our patients all the time. Now, it’s time to advocate for one of our own. We need to let the Judge know the severe impact this is having on the nursing profession and the consequences a harsh sentence will have on the future of nursing, healthcare, and patient care.

The District Attorney, who is the one who chose to accept the case and allow it to go to court, can also be contacted. We can ask him to let us know how he plans to deal with future medical errors. We can also let him know the terrible impact this trial is having on nurses and the future of healthcare.

Vote & Donate This is our chance to really make a statement and a change. The District Attorney Glenn R. Funk is up for reelection in May. Davidson County, you can show up- and vote him out. You can make your voice heard, and help represent nurses and the future of healthcare.

Voter Registration

Make sure you are registered to vote if you live in Davidson County, Tenn using the website above. It’s free, it only takes a few minutes, REGISTER & VOTE!


Even if you don’t live in Davidson County, you can donate to the opponents of Funk. You can help get him out of office. Two women are running against Funk in the Davidson County election, Sara Beth Meyers & P. Danielle Nellis. Click on the name to donate to their campaigns and visit their official campaign site to learn more about their platform. I have 1200 instagram followers, 200 Facebook followers, and typically have at least 100 views on blog post within a few days. If everyone donated even $5-10, we could make a significant impact on the campaign.

Feel your feelings, and then act

I am not one to throw toxic positivity in your face. I already have seen it some on social media. The “get up and fight, don’t just complain” pep talks. And I don’t disagree. But we are allowed to be sad, angry, numb, shocked, whatever emotion you feel. It’s okay. Feel it. Sit with it. Grieve the fact nursing has greatly changed in the past two year. And if you decide bedside nursing is no longer for you, that’s okay too. You can read as much or as little trial information as you want. We have to protect our mental health. However, there are things we can do to advocate for the nursing profession. You don’t have to feel hopeless. We can make our voices heard. You can have feelings that aren’t positive, and make a difference.

Attorney Irnise F. Williams, Your Nurse Lawyer on IG focuses on business in healthcare but she has some great information on the trial and what we can do. Her videos helped me get started on this post and I appreciate everything she puts out there!

How are you feeling after the trial? Please reach out if you need a safe space to talk!

2 thoughts on “Verdict: Vaught Trial & What You Can Do”

Melissa Weaver

Excellent and very well written!

Joyce Batcheller

This decision is going to cause a lot of fear and hesitancy to report mistakes. Clinicians (nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists etc.) all all human and could have made a similar mistake. I am a nursing executive and have also served in a patient safety role. Just culture/high reliability organization principles are what organizations should be held responsible for. Vanderbilt leaders should be held responsible. This nurse should have been involved in determining how this happened and been involved with figuring out system issues to prevent this from happening again.
My first question is–why was that drug even an option? Anesthesiologists and CRNAs should be the only ones who have access to this medication.
Nurses are being pushed right now to take patient assignments that are higher than they are comfortable with to save money. They are scared. It is so unfortunate that this decision will set us back in terms of transparency and leadership accountability and commitments to work environments that are healthy.

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