Nurses raise thousands of dollars for RaDonda Vaught to pay his state legal costs

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

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

“I didn’t know about it,” says Tina Vinsant, a nurse in Knoxville who supports Vaught. “I think it was a shock to everyone.”

Vaught was convicted of criminally negligent homicide after killing patient Charlene Murphey. The fi s are from the Tennessee Board of Nursing. $3,000 civil fine; the rest are legal fees. Because Vaught was found guilty, the state can charge him for the hearing and court costs. That could be a lot for someone who is no longer a nurse.

“You have taken away their ability to earn money,” says Vinsant. “You took away their career, their job; they have to completely reinvent themselves 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 the nurses discovered that she had to pay these fees, they increased them in two days.

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

“Just wanted to let you know that we left Facebook and made a pledge for the past two days. And in less than 48 hours, here’s a check for $38,967.04 payable to the State of Tennessee,” Ray explains in the video. “So much love for you.” That’s the exact amount,” says Vaught.

“We did, and it’s gone now,” Ray said.

“Thank you,” Vaught replies, hugging Ray.

Vaught plans to deliver the check to the Tennessee Board of Nursing on Wednesday morning. Every dollar has been donated by those who have rallied around her from the start.

“They are amazing,” says Vinsant. “It only took a few days to pool their resources to find every penny of those fines.”

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

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