Few things can turn a nurse’s life upside down like a disciplinary proceeding. Nurses work extremely hard to get their careers going, and to know that it is all in jeopardy can be almost too much to bear.
The good news is that nurses do not have to face disciplinary proceedings alone, and, in fact, they shouldn’t.
Today we are going to discuss why it is important for nurses facing disciplinary action to be represented by an experienced attorney through the process. But first, we are going to go over what a nurse can expect after a complaint has been filed against him or her.
What to expect during the disciplinary process
Complaint: A complaint can be filed against a nurse alleging any type of misconduct such as failing to adequately keep patient records, failing to maintain the proper standard of care, drug or alcohol-related allegations, criminal convictions, or other unprofessional conduct-related allegations.
Investigation: After the complaint is filed an investigation takes place. Sometimes the State Board for the profession is consulted. If there is substantial evidence of misconduct, then a disciplinary action will take place.
Final action: Typically, the investigation takes less than nine months from start to finish. Then it can take several additional weeks, months or even years before a final action is reached, depending on how complex the situation is and if it is settled through negotiations.
Consequences: If the misconduct was only minor, then it may be resolved through a confidential advisory letter or administrative warning that is issued by the Office of the Professions. More serious misconduct can result in penalties ranging from a fine to license revocation. A probationary period may also be ordered.
How a lawyer can help defend your livelihood
A nurse who is contacted by an agency investigator should call a lawyer immediately to make sure that his or her rights and future are protected. Having an attorney on your side can mean the difference between keeping your license and losing it.
Rivas Goldstein, LLP, has years of experience defending the licenses of nurse practitioners (NPs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered professional nurses (RNs). We understand what is at stake and we do everything in our power to reach the best possible outcome.
In many cases, we are able to show that the allegations against our clients are incorrect or lacking in evidence, or we are able to present mitigating evidence that results in lesser penalties for our clients. Keep reading for more information on how we help nurses facing disciplinary matters.