AONL Press Releases

AONL Statement in Response to the Sentencing of Nurse RaDonda Vaught

Press Release

Chicago (May 13, 2022)

Robyn Begley, DNP, RN

Chief nursing officer of the American Hospital Association & CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership

We are pleased that the judge showed leniency in the sentencing of a health care professional who made a medical error. Tragic incidents that result from medical errors should not be criminalized. When errors happen hospitals and health systems need open lines of communication to identify and understand the series of events so they can update patient safety systems to further prevent errors. Criminal prosecutions will discourage health caregivers from coming forward with their mistakes and will complicate efforts to retain and recruit more people into nursing and other health care professions that are already understaffed.

About the American Organization for Nursing Leadership

As the national professional organization of more than 12,000 nurse leaders, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) is the voice of nursing leadership. Our membership encompasses nurse leaders working in hospitals, health systems, academia and other care settings across the care continuum. Since 1967, the organization has led the field of nursing leadership through professional development, advocacy and research that advances nursing leadership practice and patient care. AONL is an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. For more information, visit