Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Defense - Hawaii

Turn to the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team If Your CRNA Is in Jeopardy.

As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Hawaii, you are able to provide a wide range of anesthesia and pain management services to your patients. Your additional responsibilities place extra demands on your job, and it's imperative you conduct yourself with the utmost professionalism and integrity.

Although you have always prided yourself on delivering exceptional care and services to your patients, you have received notice from the Hawaii Board of Nursing that someone filed a complaint against you. You could also be in a situation where the Board has already taken disciplinary action against you, and you want to explore your options for defending yourself and reinstating your license.

Regardless of the Hawaii CRNA licensure issues you face, you need an attorney on your side with extensive experience defending CRNAs and other registered nurses in the state.

The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help you obtain the best results possible for your Hawaii CRNA licensing problems. Contact us today at 888.535.3686 to speak with a highly knowledgeable and experienced CRNA license defense attorney about your situation and find out how we can help.

Legal Authority the Hawaii Board of Nursing Has Over You

Hawaii Revised Statutes §457-12 grant authority to the Hawaii Board of Nursing to discipline nurses when necessary. To become a CRNA in Hawaii, you must hold an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) certification, and any complaints against you could jeopardize both your APRN license as well as your registered nursing license.

Some of the actions the Board may take against you include:

  • Formally or informally reprimanding you
  • Making you enter consent agreements
  • Suspending or revoking your license
  • Charging you fines or other administrative penalties

The severity of administrative actions depends largely on the nature of the offense. However, you shouldn't have to face harsh disciplinary action for a simple mistake or momentary lapse in judgment. Whether you work in Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua, or some other city in Hawaii, you have rights, and you need an attorney to help you assert those rights and improve your odds of getting a successful outcome.

Allegations That Could Jeopardize Your Hawaii CRNA

According to the Hawaii Revised Statutes, any of the following allegations could result in disciplinary action against your CRNA license:

  • Fraud or deceit in trying to obtain or renew your license, such as misrepresenting your credentials
  • Addition or dependence on alcohol and drugs
  • Gross immorality and unprofessional conduct
  • Mental incompetence
  • Conviction or no contest plea to serious criminal charges
  • Suspension, revocation, or other serious disciplinary action of your nursing license in another state
  • Failure to report any disciplinary actions previously taken against you
  • Negligence or incompetence with your duties
  • Patient abuse
  • Violating any terms, conditions, or limitations of your license

Several terms listed in the Hawaii Revised Statutes are subjective and open to interpretation, such as gross immorality and mental incompetence. Because they're so broad, the Board may have a high standard of proof before imposing administrative penalties on you. You need an attorney to argue that your actions do not constitute an offense, and thus, you should receive no punishment.

If someone lodged a complaint against you or you fear your Hawaii CRNA license is in danger for any reason, you should contact the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm right away.

What's the CRNA License Disciplinary Process in Hawaii?

The disciplinary process against CRNA licensees and other registered nurses begins when the Hawaii Board of Nursing receives a complaint or information you have conducted wrongdoing. This can come from:

  • A formal complaint submitted by a patient or another concerned party
  • A co-worker or superior who witnesses or perceives you engaging in unprofessional conduct
  • A licensing board employee who discovers a potential issue with your licensing application, such as a suspicious background check or criminal history

The Board must then investigate the complaint to ensure its validity. Parties may submit complaints anonymously, so you may never know who lodged a complaint against you.

Any complaints against a registered nurse in Hawaii go through the Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO). Anyone may submit an unlicensed activity tip, a formal complaint, or a self-help letter. A self-help letter allows a complainant to address the issue directly with the offending licensee before escalating the issue to RICO. RICO prefers complainants to use self-help letters whenever possible since they can offer a quicker remedy than a formal complaint.

RICO's Consumer Resource Center screens complaints and determines whether they should be investigated. The department's Field Investigation section investigates the complaint by collecting evidence, which can include subpoenaing documents and interviewing witnesses. It may then forward the matter to RICO's Legal Section, which will determine if disciplinary actions are warranted and what consequences to impose.

Keep in mind that if the Board believes you are practicing without a nursing license or have endangered the health, safety, or welfare of your patients, it can take your license immediately and get an injunction from the state's Attorney General to prevent you from practicing nursing.

Consent Orders

In many cases, the Hawaii Board of Nursing may offer consent agreements to licensees found to be in violation of their license terms. A consent order is a legally binding agreement where you admit the complaint is valid and agree to any imposed penalties.

A consent could contain any of the following:

  • Formal reprimand
  • Probation
  • License suspension or revocation

As a nurse, you're under no obligation to accept the Consent Order, and you may work with an attorney to negotiate its terms. If you violate any of the terms of the Consent Order, the Board may suspend your license immediately.

Hawaii Board of Nursing Hearings and Appeals

The Hawaii Board of Nursing must have ample evidence against you to impose sanctions or other disciplinary actions. It must offer you due process and allow you the opportunity to answer the allegations. You may also request a hearing if you have already received sanctions from the Board concerning your license but don't agree with them or think they are too harsh. You must submit your request for a hearing within two weeks of the disciplinary actions against you.

The hearing works similarly to a trial in that both sides can present their arguments and submit evidence to support their claim. But a hearing has very distinct differences. One of the most important differences is that the same standards of evidence do not apply as they do in a court of law. The Board needs only a preponderance of evidence of your guilt to impose sanctions.

If the Board's ruling is not in your favor, you may still appeal the Board's decision to the appropriate circuit court in your area.

The circuit court may find just cause to reverse the adverse action against you, including:

  • Violation of constitutional or statutory provisions
  • RICO or the Board of Nursing exceeded their authority or jurisdiction when rendering the decision
  • Unlawful procedures occurred, or an official conducted an abuse of authority
  • Exculpatory evidence was not considered or has since come to light

During either the hearing or the appeals process, you must have an attorney on your side to present a solid case on your behalf.

How the Nurse Licensure Compact Can Affect Your Hawaii CRNA License

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows registered nurses to practice in participating states where they do not hold a license without having to first obtain a nursing license in that state. Thirty-nine states participate in the NLC; Hawaii is not one of them. This means any administrative actions against your Hawaii CRNA will apply only in Hawaii.

Regardless, this does not mean that past licensure troubles you experienced in another state can't still haunt you if you try to obtain a CRNA license in Hawaii. The NLC maintains a database called Nursys that contains important information regarding a nurse's licensure.

Hospital administrators, Board of Nursing licensing personnel, and others can search Nursys and discover information about you that includes your current license status and your disciplinary record. If you have a mark on your disciplinary record, it could adversely affect your chances of receiving a CRNA license in Hawaii.

Why You Need a CRNA License Defense Attorney in Hawaii

You may believe that since you've done nothing wrong, the truth will come out in the investigation process, and you have nothing to worry about. It's naïve to think that way. The Board may have some degree of bias against any nurse who is facing sanctions, and they typically approach cases in a “guilty until proven innocent” manner instead of the other way around.

As stated, any number of procedural, ethical, or judicial errors could cause the Board to reach the wrong conclusion about your guilt. False accusations are also a real threat, and it can be hard to defend yourself against baseless allegations in some instances.

You must also remember to take any notices you receive from the Board or RICO regarding your CRNA license or any complaints against you seriously. If you do nothing and default on your response, the Board could take that as an admission of guilt, and it could be very challenging to try and address the issue later.

It's vital you retain the services of an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can review the complaint and advise you of your rights and the best options for handling the situation. Your attorney can also help you collect evidence and develop a prudent strategy to refute the allegations.

How the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Can Help

With extensive knowledge of Hawaii's nursing license laws and many years of experience defending CRNAs and other registered nurses in Hawaii, the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team offers the best chance you have of answering the allegations against you and obtaining the most favorable outcome.

Our team will begin by thoroughly investigating your case and collecting facts and evidence that could help exonerate you. We can identify and depose witnesses to get their testimony along with expert testimony from industry specialists to aid in your defense.

After we've helped you build a strong and compelling case, we can represent you during investigations, interrogations, and interviews, as well as during hearings and appeals.

Our goal is to achieve the best results for you and avoid an appeal altogether, if possible. We can serve as your trusted advisor and confidants in an extremely stressful and uncertain time and offer emotional support and peace of mind.

We Serve Nurses Throughout Hawaii

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team serves CRNAs throughout Hawaii, including Honolulu, Hilo, Kula, Lanai City, and Kealakekua. We defend CRNAs and other registered nurses who work for some of the largest healthcare providers in the state, including:

  • Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center
  • Queen's Medical Center
  • Straub Medical Center
  • Kuakini Medical Center
  • Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children
  • Leahi Hospital
  • Adventis Health Castle
  • Hale Ho'ola Hamakua Hospital
  • Hilo Medical Center
  • Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital
  • Kahuku Medical Center
  • Hawaii State Hospital (Kaneohe)
  • Ka'u Hospital
  • Kohala Hospital
  • Maui Memorial Medical Center
  • Molokai General Hospital

No matter where you work in Hawaii, you can call on the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm for help if your nursing license is in jeopardy.

Contact the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team for Your Hawaii CRNA License Issues Today

You invested considerable time and resources into getting your CRNA, and you depend on your license for your career and livelihood. Do not let baseless allegations jeopardize your license, and do not sit idly by while the Hawaii Board of Nursing imposes harsh sanctions on you for what may have been an honest mistake.

Regardless of the issues you face with your Hawaii CRNA license, you need an experienced and dedicated attorney beside you to help you achieve the best possible outcomes.

Contact the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense today at 888.535.3686 to request a confidential consultation. We have helped many CRNAs and other registered nurses in Hawaii, and we are here to help you protect your rights and future.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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