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Should you defend yourself at a nursing license board hearing?

When your nursing license is in jeopardy, many things may race through your head. All the stress and frustration can get in the way of good judgment, but one thing you should never do is defend yourself at a nursing license board hearing. Here is a look at a few reasons why.

Making the problem worse

Sometimes, a nurse may try to represent her or himself at first only to bring in an attorney when the problem has worsened. And why did the problem worsen? Perhaps the nurse was not aware of a key deadline or failed to do something that would be obvious to an attorney, such as subpoena patient records, that can uncover misrepresentations. Attorneys appear before medical boards often and specialize in helping nurses keep their licenses.

Dragging out an investigation

An attorney might be able to put an end to your license stress sooner rather than later with a phone call, meeting and/or letter. Meanwhile, if you represent yourself, you risk missing key deadlines and may not have the connections needed to nip allegations in the bud before they go further. For example, perhaps you recently moved from another state and did not know about a state law that handles an aspect of recordkeeping differently. Your attorney could explain you will take a continuing medical education class to remedy the issue, and the case will be closed.

It is important to note that nursing boards and other medical boards generally do not want to punish those in the medical profession; they have nothing personal against you. Rather, they are looking out for the well-being of the public when they investigate you or other medical personnel. If your attorney can present a solution that ensures public safety, the board is likely to take it seriously.

Hurting yourself

Are you your own worst enemy? Hopefully not, but people do tend to get emotional from time to time. An attorney can help ensure you are calm, courteous and professional at the hearing. An outburst could net you probation and marks on your license.

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