Nurses raise thousands for RaDonda Vaught to pay her state legal expenses


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Nurses nationwide are once again rallying behind former Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda Vaught.

When Vaught was sentenced to three years of probation, nurses rejoiced. But what many didn’t know at that time is Vaught faced nearly $40,000 in fines and penalties.

“I wasn’t aware of it,” says Tina Vinsant, a nurse in Knoxville who supports Vaught. “I think it came as a shock to everyone.”

Vaught was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide after she killed patient Charlene Murphey. The fi s are from the Tennessee Board of Nursing. $3,000 a civil penalty; the rest are legal expenses. Because Vaught was found guilty, the state can charge her for the costs of the hearings and proceedings. That could be a lot for someone who is no longer a nurse.

“You’ve taken away their ability to make money,” says Vinsant. “You’ve taken away their career, their job; they have to reinvent themselves completely and figure out what to do to make money, and yet you’re going to charge them almost as much as a nurse would make in a year.”

Vaught has two years to pay $38,967.04. When nurses found out she had to pay those fees, they raised it in two days.

In a Facebook video, Becca Francis Ray, a friend of Vaught’s, presented her with the check.

“I just wanted to let you know that we went off Facebook and did a pledge over the last two days. And in less than 48 hours, here’s a check for $38,967.04 to pay the state of Tennessee,” says Ray in the video. “So much love for you.” This is the exact amount,” says Vaught.

“This is what we did, and it’s gone now,” says Ray.

“Thanks,” replies Vaught, who hugs Ray.

Vaught plans to take the check to the Tennessee Board of Nursing Wednesday morning. Every dollar was donated by those who rallied behind her from the beginning.

“They are unbelievable,” says Vinsant. “It took just a couple of days to pool their resources to come up with every penny of those fines.”

Nurses are also working to pass legislation for all nurses. They want to give a law to protect nurses who make medical errors.

Copyright 2022 WSMV. All rights reserved.

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