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Taralynn R. Mackay

Attorney at Law

Direct Line: 512-281-5999
Private Fax: 512-281-9559
Email: Mackay@healthlicensedefense.com

Attorney Bio

Taralynn R. Mackay, RN, JD, is a founding partner in the law firm of McDonald, Mackay & Weitz, LLP where her practice focus since 1997 has been administrative/regulatory law, health care law, and professional licensing issues with a primary focus on representing nurses before the Texas Board of Nursing (formally known as the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners). Ms. Mackay is Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations and she has practiced Administrative Law since 1994.

Prior to starting a private practice Ms. Mackay worked as an Assistant General Counsel and Staff Attorney for the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and the Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners. After gaining invaluable insight into the functioning of regulatory boards in areas such as litigation, hearings, mediation and negotiation, Ms. Mackay became a partner in the law firm of McDonald, Mackay and Weitz and turned her focus to the representation of licensed professionals in disciplinary proceedings before their respective licensing boards and administrative agencies.

Ms. Mackay received her BSN with Honors from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Ms. Mackay practiced nursing in the following areas: ICU, CCU, Transplant ICU, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Ms. Mackay received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law. Ms. Mackay is Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations. Ms. Mackay is a frequent national speaker and author on health care issues, risk management, regulatory issues, nursing and medical law. Her entertaining and engaging speaking style make her a much sought after speaker.

Areas of Practice

  • Administrative Law
  • Professional Licensure Issues for Health Care Providers
  • Disciplinary Defense & Licensure Issues for Nurses and other Health Care Professionals
  • Chemical Dependence, Impairment & Recovery
  • Professional Licensure Issues for Health Care Providers
  • Peer Review

Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Texas Medical Branch, BSN

Certifications

  • Board Certified-Administrative Law-Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2005 Recertified, Administrative Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2010 Recertified, Administrative Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Memberships

  • Travis County Bar Association:
    • Administrative Law Section
    • Health Law Section
  • State Bar of Texas:
    • Administrative Law Section
    • Health Law Section

Associations, Honors

  • American Association of Nurse Attorneys-National 2011 Outstanding Advocate Award
  • Journal of Nursing Law, Practical Practice Editor, 2010 - present
  • American Association of Nurse Attorneys-Texas, member 1997-present; President 1999, 2008, 2009, 2012; President-elect 1998, 2011
  • American Association of Nurse Attorneys-National Chapter member 1997-2000, 2007-present; Chair of President's Council 2010, 2012
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association
  • Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (TPAPN)-Employer Liability Task Force Member, 2005-2008
  • Interviewed in RN Magazine, Vol. 70, No.1, January 2007, "4 nurse attorneys tell you How to stay out of legal hot water."
  • Contributor, RN Magazine, Legally Speaking section, 2004 - 2008 in print and presently in online archives
  • Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners-Nursing Practice Advisory Committee, 2000-2002
  • Healthweek Nursing Excellence Award, 2000, Advancing the Profession Finalist
  • Junior M. Ator Legal Improvement Award nominee, 2002

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Publications:
    • "The Collateral Damage to Nursing Licenses Causedby Nursing Board Actions," Journal of Nursing Law, Co-authored with Jon E. Porter, JD [Awaiting Publication]
    • The American Association of Nurse Attorneys:  Law and Nursing.  Chapter Author, Nursing Practice Acts.  [Awaiting publication]
    • "Insuring Your Future: Protect Yourself From Liability By Knowing Your Resources," Advance for Nurses, Annual Issue for New Graduates and Seniors, September 18, 2008, p.35.
    • "Protecting Yourself:  What to Watch For If the Board of Nursing Comes Knocking," Advance for Nurses, December 24, 2007, Vol.5, No.27, p.20.
    • "The Nurse Police," Advance for Nurses, Annual Issue for New Graduates and Seniors, 2007, pp. 31-33. 
    • Contributor, RN Magazine, Legally Speaking section, beginning in 2004
    • "The Texas Medical Board: Advocate For The Physician? Or A Lurking Danger For The Unwary?," Bexar County Medical Association Newsletter, Spring 2006.
    • "Protocols," Texas Osteopathic Medical Association Newsletter, Spring 2002.
    • "The Nuts and Bolts of PA Practice," Texas Academy of Physician Assistants Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2002.
    • Nursing Practice and the Law: Avoiding Malpractice and Other Legal Risks. Chapter Author of Informed Consent. Chapter Co-author of Advanced Practice Nurses, September 2000.
    • "The Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners," Texas Nursing: Texas Nurse Association Magazine, August 1999.
    • "What to do when a complaint is filed with the Board," The Nurse's Headliner: The Official Publication of the Licensed Vocational Nurses Association of Texas, August/September 1998.
    • "It's Your License, It's Your Responsibility," Texas Academy of Physician Assistants Newsletter, November/December 1997.
    • "Licensure Made Easy," Texas Academy of Physician Assistants Newsletter, May/June 1997.
  • Representative Presentations:
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your APRN License - 2011, presentation to graduate nurses, Austin, Texas, April 2, 2012.
    • Nursing Documentation, Law & Ethics, Healthcare Enrichment Institute, Houston, Texas, March 5, 6, & 19, 2012.
    • Nursing Documentation, Law & Ethics, Healthcare Enrichment Institute, Collinsville, Illinois, December 9, 2011.
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your APRN License - 2011, presentation to graduate nurses, Austin, Texas, October 24, 2011.
    • Nursing Ethics and Professionalism,, Professional Boundaries, Inc., Sacramento, California, October 12 and 13, 2011.
    • Nursing Documentation, Law & Ethics, Healthcare Enrichment Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 28, 2011.
    • Nursing Documentation, Law & Ethics, Healthcare Enrichment Institute, Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 27, 2011.
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your License in 2011, Cook Children's Medical Center Nursing Grand Rounds, Dallas, Texas, June 27, 2011.
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your APRN License - 2011, presentation to graduate nurses, Austin, Texas, April 18, 2011.
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your License in 2010,presentation to graduate nurses, Austin, Texas, November 15, 2010.
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your License in 2010, 17th Annual CHAT Pediatric Nursing Conference, Austin, Texas, November 15, 2010.
    • Legal Concerns in Today's Nursing Practice:  How To Protect Your License in 2009, 12th Annual Neurosymposium, Central Texas Chapter American Association of Neuroscience, Austin, Texas, November 13, 2009.
    • Avoiding Litigation:The CYA Guide, GrayCat Education Foundation, TNA District 5, Austin, Texas, April 4, 2009.
    • What Every Nurse Should Know, Critical Care Consortium, Fort Worth, Texas, September 23, 2008.
    • Documentation:  A Little Can Save A Lot, Gentiva Health Care Services, Austin, Texas, May 17, 2007.
    • What the Board of Nursing Can't or Won't Tell You, But Every Nurse Should Know, Medical Education Services, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi, April 27, 2007.
    • What the Board of Nursing Can't or Won't Tell You, But Every Nurse Should Know, Medical Education Services, Inc., Tupelo, Mississippi, April 26, 2007.
    • What the Board of Nursing Can't or Won't Tell You, But Every Nurse Should Know, Medical Education Services, Inc., Austin, Texas April 20, 2007.
    • What the Board of Nursing Can't or Won't Tell You, But Every Nurse Should Know, Medical Education Services, Inc., Tyler, Texas, April 19, 2007.
    • The Ultimate CYA: Practical Hints and Information for Getting a License and Keeping It, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, November 20, 2006.
    • How To Get Into Trouble, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, October 18, 2005.
    • What Every Nurse Should Know, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, March 8, 2005.
    • Documentation: Your Protection and Defense, Gentiva Health Care Services, Austin, Texas, February 8, 2005.
    • What Every Nurse Should Know, Medical Education Services, Inc., El Paso, Texas, February 21, 2003.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Macon, Georgia, December 6, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, December 5, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Augusta, Georgia, December 4, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon, November 21, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Salem, Oregon, November 20, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Eugene, Oregon, November 19, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 11, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Oshkosh, Wisconsin, October 10, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, October 9, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Charleston, South Carolina, September 27, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina, September 26, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina, September 25, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Nashua, NH, June 7, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Warwick, RI, June 6, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Raliegh, NC, May 3, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC, May 2, 2002.
    • Nursing Practice: What Every Nurse Should Know, Medical Education Services, Inc., McAllen, Texas, March 15, 2002.
    • Nuts and Bolts of PA Practice, Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, Fort Worth, Texas, February 16, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Mercy Hospital, Roseburg, Oregon, February 11, 12, 28 and March 1, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Austin, Texas, February 8, 2002.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, February 7, 2002.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Dallas, Texas, December 15, 2001.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, December 14, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Skokie, Illinois, November 9, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Oak Lawn, Illinois, November 8, 2001.
    • Regulation, Risk Management and Ethics for PTs and PTAs. Texas Physical Therapy Assocation Annual Conference, Arlington, Texas, October 15, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon, October 5, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Eugene, Oregon, October 4, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona, September 7, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Tucson, Arizona, September 6, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., El Paso, Texas, August 23, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, August 3, 2001.
    • There is More to Know Than Just the Medicine, Texas Tech Physician Assistant Program, Midland, Texas, July 26, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, June 22, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska, June 21, 2001.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, Corpus Christi, Texas, May 5, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Alburque, New Mexico, March 30, 2001.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, March 29, 2001.
    • Ten Stupid Things PAs Do To Mess Up Their Careers, Texas Association of Physician Assistants, Arlington, Texas, February 10, 2001.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, San Angelo, Texas, December 7, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, Austin, Texas, December 5, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, El Paso, Texas, December 1, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, El Paso, Texas, November 30,2000.
    • Legal Issues in Documentation, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas, November 29, 2000
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, Brownsville, Texas, November 16, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, McAllen, Texas, November 15, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, Austin, Texas, November 10, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, Killeen, Texas, October 2, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, Victoria, Texas, October 1, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, College Station, Texas, October 10, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, San Antonio, Texas, September 14, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, San Antonio, Texas, September 15, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, Waco, Texas, October 6, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, Midland, Texas, October 5, 2000.
    • Legal Aspects of Documentation, Medical Legal Resources, Corpus Christi, Texas, September 8, 2000.
    • When Bad Things Happen To Good Nurses: Jurisprudence, Ethics and Risk Management for Texas Nurses, Medical Legal Resources, Laredo, Texas, September 7, 2000.
    • Nursing Liability: Understanding and Intervening, Valley Baptist Medical Center, Harlingen, Texas, August 31, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Legal Resources, Fort Worth Texas, August 25, 2000.
    • Nursing Liability: Understanding and Intervening, All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas, August 24, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Waco, Texas, June 9, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Arlington, Texas, June 8, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Midland, Texas, May 20, 2000.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., El Paso, Texas, May 19, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Lubbock, Texas, May 13, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Amarillo, Texas, May 12, 2000.
    • Nursing Liability: Understanding and Intervening, All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas, May 4, 2000
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Victoria, Texas, April 29, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, April 28, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Dallas, Texas, March 31, 2000.
    • Nursing Liability:Understanding and Intervening, Hendrick Medical Center Education Department, Abilene, Texas, March 24, 2000.
    • An Owner's Manual For The Physician Assistant Licensing Act, Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, Arlington, Texas, March 4, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Houston, Texas, February 26, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Corpus Christi, Texas, February 25, 2000.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Sherman, Texas, February 12, 2000.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, February 11, 2000.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Austin, Texas, January 22, 2000.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., College Station, Texas, January 21, 2000.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Longview, Texas, December 3, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Longview, Texas, December 2, 1999.
    • Documentation Dangers, Medical Education Services, Inc., Abilene, Texas, November 16, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Lubbock, Texas, November 15, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., McAllen, Texas, November 5, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Laredo, Texas, November 4, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Waco, Texas, October 22, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Beaumont, Texas, October 21, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Amarillo, Texas, October 9, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Wichita Falls, Texas, October 8, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Odessa, Texas, June 18, 1999.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical Education Services, Inc., Abilene, Texas, June 17, 1999.
    • Nursing Jurisprudence, MEDCO Associates, Inc., Waco, Texas, February 5, 1999.
    • Working With Physician Assistants Under Texas Laws, Greater Houston Critical Care Association, Houston, Texas, January 19, 1999.
    • Confidentiality of Medical Records, Medical Educational Services, Inc., Austin, December 10, 1998.
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical/Legal Resources, Austin, Texas, May 9, 1998,
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical/Legal Resources, Austin, Texas, April 4, 1998,
    • It's Your License, Keep It! A Risk Management Seminar for Nurses, Medical/Legal Resources, Austin, Texas, July 18, 1997.
    • Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners, Texas Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, May 1997.
    • Advanced Practice Nurses - The Impact of Regulation on Practice, Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners, Advance Practice Nurse Workshop, Dallas, Texas, April 13,1997.
    • Advanced Practice Nurses - The Impact of Regulation on Practice, Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners, Advance Practice Nurse Workshop, Austin, Texas, September 1996.
    • Physician Assistants, Greater Houston Society for Medical Staff Services, Houston, Texas, May 1996.