Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are critical to our healthcare system. If your CRNA license is on the line, you deserve every opportunity to defend it. At the Lento Law Firm, our Professional License Defense Team is on your side. We are waiting to assist – call 888.535.3686 or complete our contact form to arrange a meeting.
Regulation of CRNAs in Colorado
CRNAs are heavily regulated in Colorado. This is unsurprising, given the level of responsibility they hold. CRNAs must comply with various laws and regulations, including the Nurse Practice Act and HIPAA. They must also comply with internal rules and regulations issued by the medical center they work in. Furthermore, they're expected to perform their duties with a “reasonable” standard of care. A failure to meet these standards, whether due to an ethical breach of duty or medical negligence, may result in disciplinary action.
State Board of Nursing
In CO, the State Board of Nursing oversees nurses of all specialties across the state. The Board is responsible for issuing licenses, processing and investigating complaints, and imposing sanctions. The rules for licensing nursing professionals in Colorado can be found in the Code of Colorado Regulations.
If the Board sanctions your license in any way – whether it's with probation, restricted duties, or suspension – you will have an “encumbered” license. Your license will remain encumbered until the disciplinary sanction expires. However, even once disciplinary action expires, you could still have a mark on your record. This may negatively affect your career prospects down the line.
Your license is precious. You have worked for years to secure it. Don't let it go without doing everything possible to preserve it. Get the support you need from the Lento Law Firm.
Grounds for Investigating CO Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
The Board will not investigate every complaint against a CRNA. There are not always grounds to discipline a CRNA, even if the patient and/or family members feel aggrieved in some way. However, there are many reasons why the Board may investigate CRNAs. The most common grounds for investigations include:
- Breaching patient confidentiality.
- Documentation errors.
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse at work.
- Failure to provide the expected level of care.
- Lack of communication.
- Medication errors.
- Patient monitoring issues.
- Pre-procedural or post-procedural negligence.
In most cases, complaints are administrative or civil in nature. This means there are no criminal charges applicable, although your disciplinary record will be affected if the Board finds a violation occurred. Some complaints do, however, result in criminal charges. These cases are more complex, and you need immediate legal advice. Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
The State Board of Nursing Investigation Process
License complaints are all complaints against a professional and may result in sanctions. As such, every complaint against a CRNA in Colorado proceeds through the same steps.
- The Board considers the complaint. If there are grounds to show that a violation may have occurred, the complaint is processed. Otherwise, it's dismissed at this stage.
- Probable violations are processed by the Board. They conduct preliminary investigations and may resolve matters internally. Otherwise, the complaint is referred to the Office of Investigations.
- If your case proceeds to a more formal investigation, you will be notified in writing. The Office aims to conclude their investigations – which may include subpoenaing documents and interviewing witnesses – within 180 days.
Options for Disposing of an Allegation
There are four ways to resolve a complaint against CRNAs in Colorado after formal investigations conclude.
- Dismiss the complaint: This means that there's no evidence to suggest that a violation occurred. The complaint goes no further.
- Issue a Confidential Letter of Concern: If there's no evidence a violation occurred, but the Board still finds cause for concern, they may issue a formal letter to this effect.
- Conclude a settlement: If there's evidence that a violation occurred, and disciplinary action is deemed necessary, the case goes to the Office of Expedited Settlement. The CRNA may agree to disciplinary sanctions or refuse to accept the proposed sanctions and proceed to a formal hearing.
- Proceed to a hearing: A hearing is a CRNA's chance to explain their side of the story. They may call witnesses and present evidence. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) makes a decision and passes judgment. The case may still be dismissed at this stage.
Disciplinary Sanctions Against Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
The Board can impose a range of sanctions on CRNAs, including:
- Letters of reprimand
- Mandatory drug and/or alcohol counseling
- Restricted duties
The most serious sanctions are, of course, suspension and revocation.
A suspension means you can't practice as a CRNA in the state for a specific period. You will likely need to demonstrate certain proficiencies before you can resume duties.
A revocation means losing your CRNA license entirely. There is no guarantee you will ever be able to get it back, meaning you may lose the career you've worked so hard for.
Consequences of Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary sanctions have significant consequences for CRNAs across the US. Not only could you lose your right to practice nursing, but you may feel alienated and isolated from your peers. You could face financial hardship if you are unable to find suitable alternative employment. And you will have a permanent mark on your professional record, which could make it challenging to find work in any healthcare setting.
Contact our firm to explore your options for defending your license from suspension or revocation.
How to Appeal CRNA License Suspension or Revocation
If you are unhappy with the outcome of a hearing, you may have scope to appeal the decision. You can only appeal if there are legal grounds, e.g., the Board did not fully consider all relevant facts. An appeal is not a “second chance” to make your case.
Appeals can be complex, but our attorneys can explain your rights to appeal and if you have sufficient grounds.
Reapplying for a CRNA License in Colorado
If your license is suspended, it may be possible to have your license reinstated once the relevant suspension period elapses. However, you may be required to apply for a new license. This means meeting all the current competency requirements as specified by the Board.
If your license is revoked, you must reapply for a new license. However, you will be unable to do this right away. You will be expected to demonstrate that any alleged deficiencies have been corrected before the Board considers your application.
The best course of action is to avoid losing your license. Our attorneys can explain how to improve your chances of retaining your CRNA license in Colorado.
The Benefits of Legal Advice
You are not required to instruct an attorney. However, there are many benefits to hiring our Professional License Defense Team.
- The State Nursing Board has its own legal representatives. These attorneys understand the law and how to be strategic in building a case against you. Should you not hire an attorney, you're already at a disadvantage.
- The Board has significant financial resources at its disposal. Board members will not hesitate to impose sanctions against you. You deserve lawyers who will fight your corner with the same conviction.
- Disciplinary proceedings are daunting and stressful. After all, your career is on the line. Our team will help you keep everything in perspective so the process feels more manageable.
Contrary to what some may believe, it does not make you look guilty if you hire a lawyer. Instead, it shows you are prepared and that you take your license seriously. Don't leave anything to chance – not when you've worked so hard to become a CRNA in Colorado.
How Our Professional License Defense Team Can Help
It's not enough to simply hire an attorney to represent you during the disciplinary process. You need attorneys with experience in defending nursing professionals against license revocation and suspension. And this is what sets our Professional License Defense Team apart. If you retain our services, here is what you can expect from us.
- Commitment: We are committed to every client. We don't just help you defend your license – we stand by your side. We guide you through the challenges and help you navigate the legal process with ease. As your attorneys, we are in your corner. And we're committed to providing you with bespoke legal advice based on your unique situation.
- Compassion: Although we can't fully understand what you're going through, we do know that you deserve a fair shot at defending your license. Our team will treat you with the compassion and dignity you deserve, no matter what you stand accused of, or what license sanctions you face.
- Diligence: We are diligent in our approach to building a case. Our team will gather all relevant evidence and determine the best strategy for moving forward. We will fully explain your options, the pros and cons of proceeding in a certain way, and help you present the most compelling case in your favor.
- Experience: We have represented numerous nurses and healthcare practitioners in license proceedings across the US. We will use our experience to provide you with the reassurance you deserve and the confidence you need to make informed, empowered decisions regarding your defense.
- Knowledge: Due to our experience, we understand how State Nursing Board disciplinary processes work. We're familiar with the intricacies of nursing rules and regulations, how they affect CRNAs, and how the disciplinary process should proceed. We endeavor to use this knowledge to a client's advantage.
- Tenacity: Our attorneys are persistent in their pursuit of justice and fairness for our clients. Should you hire the Lento Law Firm Team, we will approach your individual case with the same vigor. While we will do everything possible to negotiate a favorable outcome in the least formal way, if required, we will advocate on your behalf in a courtroom setting.
We understand that hiring a lawyer can be daunting. That's why our team is on hand to answer any questions you have about the process before you retain us.
Championing the Rights of CRNAs Across the US to Defend Their Licenses
At the Lento Law Firm, we believe that every CRNA should have the chance to explain what happened. They deserve to be heard and to have their legal and procedural rights respected. That's where our attorneys come in. As a national law firm, we work across the US to serve CRNAs where they need us. No matter how long you've been qualified, or what you are accused of, we want to assist. We serve CRNAs in every part of Colorado, including:
- Colorado Springs
- Fort Collins
We can help CRNAs at all levels of qualification and experience in any healthcare setting. And whether you're facing an administrative complaint or concerned about possible criminal charges, we are standing by, waiting to assist.
Contact the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm
As a healthcare professional, you play a vital part in keeping patients safe in hospital facilities across Colorado. And you've worked too hard for your license to leave anything to chance. You deserve diligent, experienced legal representation to help you navigate any disciplinary issue – no matter how minor it may seem. And the Lento Law Firm is here to offer that invaluable support when you need it most.
Our Professional License Defense Team serves CRNAs across the US, defending them against disciplinary action, and protecting their legal rights to due process. Should you retain our services, our team will work just as tirelessly on your behalf. Whether you're facing minor disciplinary sanctions or possible criminal charges, we're on your side. We will listen, explain your options, and help you make empowered decisions moving forward.
When your license is on the line, time is of the essence. Do not hesitate to contact the Lento Law Firm to arrange a meeting with our experienced Professional License Defense Team. Reach us at 888.535.3686 or complete our contact form to get started.