Those who enter the nursing field generally do so because they want to help. They are often empathetic and caring individuals. Although this empathy is a huge benefit when it comes to the practice of nursing, it can lead to one of the top mistakes when called in for a hearing before the state nursing board. This empathy, this need to help, can lead to a desire to overexplain the situation in an attempt to help the board see the reasons for the decision that led to the hearing.
Other top mistakes that nurses make in these hearings include:
- Not making an objection. Not knowing how or when to object during the hearing can mean the board has inaccurate information when making their decision.
- Not presenting enough evidence. A nurse may not know which evidence is important to defend their case. This can include evidence that establishes you provide quality care.
- Not understanding a settlement. The board may offer a settlement option that seems reasonable but has deeper repercussions then you may realize. If, for example, the board proposes a probation it is important to know that this also generally results in an official report to the National Practitioner Databank. This means that it follows you no matter which state you practice.
It is also important to note that board orders are part of the public record.
How can I mitigate the risk of these errors?
These errors are common so do not feel frustrated if you read through this list and picture yourself making the same mistake. If you look closely through the paperwork sent to you from the board, you will notice that you are allowed to have legal counsel.
You do not need to go through this alone.
Legal counsel experienced in this niche area of the law can advocate for your rights and better protect the integrity of that nursing license you worked so hard to get.
Is there anything else I should know?
Because board orders are part of the public record those who are in this situation should push to include not just the negative, but the positive actions as part of the official board order as well. This can help balance out an isolated error and better ensure the order also shows that the nurse provides quality healthcare.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication