Utah is home to more than 250 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who work in all types of healthcare facilities across the state. CRNAs are highly specialized, requiring either a master's or doctorate degree, as well as on-the-job experience. Despite being so highly qualified, many Utah CRNAs face sanctions that put their licenses in jeopardy.
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm is fully aware of the challenges associated with being a CRNA. Your journey to earning your degree and certification was extensive, and your skills are highly valued by medical institutions across Utah. Facing accusations of professional misconduct or experiencing misunderstandings that jeopardize your credentials can be incredibly stressful.
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for CRNAs in Utah to confront disciplinary or administrative actions. If you are under investigation, potentially facing the loss or suspension of your license, proactive measures are essential. To enhance the likelihood of retaining your license, it's crucial to counter these allegations with every resource you have.
Defending your CRNA license effectively requires the assistance of the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. We are equipped to develop a defense strategy tailored to your situation and work alongside you to secure the best possible outcome. Reach out to us today at 888-535-3686 or fill out our contact form, and we will get back to you.
Actions the Board Can Take Against You
In Utah, the state Department of Commerce's Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL) handles CRNA licensing issues. Anyone can file a complaint with DOPL concerning a CRNA in Utah using the DOPL website. They can also search for your name and license number to see if any disciplinary actions have previously been taken against you. If the board does end up sanctioning you, any member of the public (including potential employers and patients) will be able to see it.
If you are found in violation of the Utah Nurse Practice Act, you may face any of the following potential sanctions:
- Refusal to renew license
- License revocation
- License suspension
- License restriction
- Placing your license on probation
- Receiving a private or public reprimand
- Administrative fine of up to $10,000 or $2,000 per day of the ongoing violation
As a CRNA facing potential disciplinary actions from DOPL, you shouldn't take on your defense alone. If you want to avoid the sanctions listed above, you should retain the services of the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm.
Can't You Simply Tell the Truth?
Many CRNAs facing disciplinary or similar charges against their license believe that simply being honest is enough. However, just telling the truth often doesn't lead to the dismissal of such allegations. Instead of relying on DOPL for an unbiased and fair disciplinary procedure, it's better to seek assistance from our Professional License Defense Team.
The truth alone may not be sufficient to counteract allegations against a CRNA. Nursing boards can commit errors during the adjudication process, resulting in unfair and incorrect decisions. For example:
- The nursing board might not perform a thorough investigation, missing crucial facts, testimonies, and evidence.
- There can be a bias within the board towards the accuser, as they aim to show that they take complaints earnestly.
- Sometimes, the nursing board might dismiss certain evidence or testimonies without valid cause, excluding vital information that could clear the accused.
- The board may not come to a logical conclusion based on the evidence at hand.
Many CRNAs who have faced sanctions were either not guilty of the charges or deserved milder sanctions. In handling your CRNA licensing matter, it's important not to take anything for granted. Allow the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm to thoroughly investigate and present all relevant facts, enhancing your chances for a favorable outcome.
Conduct that Could Lead to Sanctions for CRNAs in Utah
In Utah, CRNAs can receive penalties or administrative actions for both unlawful and unprofessional conduct.
Unlawful conduct that can lead to penalties includes:
- Using a nursing title you are not registered or licensed to use
- Using a nursing title when you are not registered or licensed as a nurse at all
- Conducting a nursing education program that prepares individuals for licensure without getting the program approved
If you are guilty of any of the above actions, it may be a class A or B misdemeanor, or a third-degree felony.
Unprofessional conduct that can lead to penalties or administrative actions includes:
- Failure to safeguard a patient's right to privacy
- Failure to provide nursing services that demonstrate respect for human dignity and without regard to the patient's race, religion, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, age, or sex
- Engaging in sexual relations with a patient that is exploitative or while a professional relationship with the patient is ongoing
- Unlawfully obtaining, possessing, or using any prescription drug or illicit drug
- Unauthorized taking or personal use of nursing supplies from an employer
- Unauthorized taking or personal use of a patient's personal property
- Unlawful or inappropriate delegation of nursing care
- Failure to properly supervise persons providing patient care
- Employing or aiding and abetting the employment of an unqualified or unlicensed person to practice as a nurse
- Failure to file or record any medical report as required by law
- Breach of a statutory, common law, regulatory, or ethical requirement of confidentiality concerning a patient
- Failure to pay a penalty imposed by DOPL
- Violating medical practitioner dispensing requirements
- Engaging in practice you're not competent for
- Performing or inducing an abortion that violates the Nurse Practice Act
- Falsely making an entry in or altering a medical record
- Violating the requirements for cannabinoid research and medical cannabis
The Adjudication Process for CRNA License Disciplinary Matters in Utah
After DOPL receives a complaint about a CRNA, it starts an adjudication process to deal with it. This process typically has three steps: Investigation, hearing, and appeal.
Step 1: Investigation
After receiving a complaint, DOPL investigates to determine if it has merit. The division can gather evidence, documents, and even speak to potential witnesses as part of the investigation.
If the division believes that you indeed committed a violation of the Nurse Practice Act, it will either issue you a citation, attempt to negotiate a stipulated settlement, or ask you to appear at an adjudicative proceeding.
Step 2: Hearing
If you have a formal adjudicative proceeding, you will be allowed to present evidence and question witnesses during the hearing. You can also have counsel represent you at the hearing. Once the hearing is over, the presiding officer will issue an order with the finding.
Step 3: Appeal
After the hearing, you can appeal the DOPL decision using judicial review. You must file a petition with the Utah Supreme Court or Court of Appeal within 30 days of your hearing decision. The appellate court will hear your case and might grant you relief.
Should You Hire a Professional License Defense Attorney?
As a CRNA facing potential sanctions from DOPL, you may wonder if it's necessary to hire a lawyer, especially since it doesn't seem like a traditional legal issue. However, the complexity of CRNA licensing and disciplinary cases is often underestimated. Without a deep understanding of the process or experience in representing yourself before the board, the situation can quickly become overwhelming. This is where the Lento Law Firm Team can be invaluable.
Here are some key reasons to consider our Professional License Defense Team:
- The threshold for sanctions against nurses is quite low. In a court of law, you're innocent until proven guilty. Disciplinary matters for CRNAs don't work the same way. You may have to actively refute the allegations against you. This situation calls for a proactive defense with compelling arguments, which our team can provide.
- DOPL possesses more resources. The nursing board has more experts, licensing specialists, and extensive experience in disciplinary matters than you do as an individual CRNA. By engaging the Lento Law Firm, you can even level the playing field.
- Navigating license defense proceedings can be challenging. If it's your first time coming up against disciplinary allegations, it can seem even more overwhelming. Our team can guide you through every phase of the process, ensuring you're well-prepared for each interaction with the board.
- Our proven track record in defending CRNAs speaks volumes. We have supported numerous CRNAs and other medical professionals in Utah and across the country with their licensing issues and are committed to diligently resolving your case.
Dealing with allegations can be stressful, particularly when balancing work and personal responsibilities. The strain of potential sanctions can be distracting. Our team can handle all aspects of your case, allowing you to concentrate on your professional duties and personal life.
The Services Our Firm Can Provide You With
We'll work tirelessly to get the allegations dismissed and help you steer clear of any sanctions regarding your CRNA license. If sanctions are unavoidable, our focus will be on reducing their severity. To reach these goals, our team will do the following tasks for your case:
- Assess your case to determine the best possible result: In some cases, CRNAs are wrongfully accused of actions they didn't realize they committed. In others, minor mistakes or brief lapses in judgment have led to charges. We'll analyze these specifics to determine the most favorable outcome for your case and set realistic expectations for its resolution.
- Collect essential testimony and evidence: We don't just rely on the DOPL findings. We'll conduct our own thorough investigation, verifying every fact of your case to formulate a strong defense. The right evidence and testimonies can significantly impact the case.
- Seek alternative resolution methods: We might initiate informal discussions with the board to resolve your case without going through the formal adjudication process. Direct negotiations with the board's legal representatives often lead to solutions that are favorable to everyone.
- Support you in formal proceedings: If your case progresses through official channels, we will support you at every stage. A team member will be present at all meetings, hearings, and related proceedings to offer guidance, aid in argument presentation, and ensure you're fully prepared.
- Pursue additional legal actions if necessary: Should it be needed, we are also prepared to assist in filing a lawsuit related to your CRNA license. We will discuss legal options as they arise and advise you on the best course of action.
Our team, experienced in dealing with professional licensing boards and their legal teams across the nation, tailors defense strategies to each client's unique situation, aiming for the most favorable outcome.
The Lento Law Firm Helps CRNAs Throughout Utah
No matter where you practice as a CRNA in Utah, losing your license can seriously damage your career. Our Professional License Defense Team helps CRNAs throughout the state prepare a solid defense strategy and fight licensing issues. We help CRNAs located in the following areas:
- Salt Lake City
- West Valley City
- West Jordan
- St. George
- South Jordan
Even if you don't see your city listed above, don't worry—our team can still assist you with your CRNA licensing defense matter.
Contact our Professional License Defense Team Today
If your CRNA license is at risk, you should do all you can to defend it. Your career is on the line. Our team is ready to assist you in safeguarding your license. We'll support you in preparing for interviews, hearings, and appeals and steer you through the legal procedures.