Virginia is home to more than 1,700 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who provide anesthesia in all types of healthcare facilities. Although these CRNAs have either a master's or doctorate in their field, as well as a great deal of experience, they often face sanctions that threaten their ability to do their jobs.
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team understands how challenging it is to be a CRNA. You worked for many years to get your degree and certification, and medical facilities throughout the state of Virginia rely on your expertise. When you get accused of professional misconduct, or a misunderstanding puts your credentials at risk, it can feel overwhelming.
Unfortunately, CRNAs find themselves facing disciplinary or administrative sanctions all the time in Virginia. If you're subject to an investigation that may result in you losing your license or having it suspended, you should take action. You must fight these allegations with every resource at your disposal if you want to increase the chances that you hold onto your license.
The most effective way to fight for your CRNA license is with help from the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. We can create a defense strategy and work with you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Call our team today at 888-535-3686 or submit a contact form, and we'll reach out to you.
Administrative Actions the Virginia Board of Nursing Can Take Concerning Licenses
The Virginia Board of Nursing is part of the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP), and it's responsible for regulating licensing for all nurses, including CRNAs, in Virginia. Whenever a complaint is made about a CRNA—which any member of the public can do via the complaint portal—either DHP or the Department of Health's Office of Licensure and Certification will investigate.
The Virginia Board of Nursing has the right to take any of the following actions concerning your license:
- Dismiss the case and exonerate you
- Modify a previous order regarding your license
- Approve your initial licensure application with conditions
- Deny your license application
- Reinstate your license with conditions
- Deny your license reinstatement
- Place you on probation
- Impose a monetary penalty
- Suspend your license
- Revoke your license
Once the board takes an action concerning your license, it becomes part of the public record. Anyone can use DHP's license lookup tool to find the status of your license and any actions taken against you. The lookup tool has license data going back to the year 2000, and any license that has been suspended or revoked and not reinstated will remain posted on the lookup tool for 50 years.
The Truth Is Not Enough to Protect You
Many CRNAs who find themselves with disciplinary or other allegations against their license think they can simply tell the truth. Unfortunately, presenting the truth is not sufficient to get the accusations dismissed. Rather than assume that the Virginia Board of Nursing will give you a fair and rational disciplinary process, you should work with our Professional License Defense Team.
The truth isn't always enough to disprove allegations against a CRNA because nursing boards often make mistakes during the adjudication process. It can lead to unfair and inaccurate rulings for several reasons:
- The nursing board doesn't conduct due diligence during the investigation, leaving out relevant facts, testimony, and evidence.
- The board is biased in favor of the accuser and wants to demonstrate that it takes complaints seriously.
- The nursing board doesn't consider some evidence or testimony without a legitimate reason, excluding important or exonerating facts from the case.
- The board doesn't reach an appropriate conclusion that logically follows from the available information.
The Virginia Board of Nursing doesn't hesitate to issue discipline to CRNAs. A great deal of CRNAs who have received sanctions have been innocent of the allegations against them or merited less severe sanctions. When it comes to your CRNA licensing issue, don't assume anything. Let the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm uncover and present all the facts so you have the best chance for a positive outcome.
Grounds for Sanctions Against CRNAs
The Virginia Board of Nursing has the authority to take disciplinary action against CRNA licenses. It can refuse to issue, suspend, revoke, censure, reprimand, or place on probation any license, certificate, or registration for the following reasons:
- Fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license, certificate, or registration
- Unprofessional conduct
- Willful or repeated violations of the regulations concerning nursing
- Conviction of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
- Practicing in a manner contrary to the standards of ethics
- Practicing in a manner that poses a danger to the health and welfare of patients or the public
- Use of alcohol and drugs to the extent that it makes you unsafe to practice
- Any mental or physical illness that renders you unsafe to practice
- The denial, revocation, suspension, or restriction of a license, certificate, registration, or multistate licensure privilege to practice in another state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. possession or territory
- Abuse, negligent practice, or misappropriation of a patient's property
The Adjudication Process for CRNAs Licensing Issues in Virginia
When a CRNA is accused of misconduct or behavior that could jeopardize their license, the board follows an adjudication process to determine if the accusation is valid and what action should be taken. This process has three phases.
Phase 1: Investigation
DHP does an investigation of the complaint and sets either an informal conference or notice of a formal hearing. You'll receive this notice from the board and should try your best to attend or have it rescheduled. If you don't attend, you won't have the right to appeal later if it's an informal conference.
Phase 2: Informal Conference or Formal Administrative Hearing
At the conference or hearing, you're allowed to have an attorney with you who can represent you. At an informal conference, you'll have the chance to speak with a board member one-on-one to respond to the allegations. The board members present can also ask you questions. No witnesses are allowed to testify, however.
At a formal hearing, the board has the Virginia Assistant Attorney General serving as a prosecutor, and the process more closely resembles a courtroom trial. You can make opening statements, question witnesses, present evidence, etc.
Whether you have an informal conference or a formal hearing, the board reaches a decision at the end and mails you the decision.
Phase 3: Appeal
After an informal conference, the board's decision doesn't take effect for 33 days. During this time, you can submit an appeal, and the board will schedule an appeal hearing.
After a formal administrative hearing, the decision of the board goes into effect once the board signs the order. There is a deadline for the appeal. If you want to appeal it, you must do so in the circuit court. If the deadline passes and you miss it, you can no longer appeal.
Why Hire a Professional License Defense Attorney?
If you are a CRNA facing possible sanctions from the Virginia Board of Nursing, you might be wondering if it's really necessary to hire an attorney. It's not a legal matter, so you should be able to handle it yourself, shouldn't you? Unfortunately, CRNA licensing and disciplinary matters are extremely complex. If you aren't familiar with how the process works or don't have experience representing yourself in front of the board, then you may quickly get overwhelmed. The Lento Law Firm Team can step in and handle things for you.
Some of the primary reasons you should consider working with our Professional License Defense Team are:
- The sanctions threshold for nurses is low. Rather than “innocent until proven guilty,” like in a court of law, you may have the burden of disproving the allegations against you. That means you'll need a proactive defense strategy with solid arguments in your favor. Our team can build that strategy for you.
- The Virginia Board of Nursing has more resources than you. As an individual CRNA, you likely don't have all the legal and administrative resources that the nursing board does. They have legal experts, licensing specialists, and much more experience with disciplinary sanctions than you likely do. You can level the playing field by hiring the Lento Law Firm.
- You have little or no experience in license defense proceedings. If this is your first time dealing with an allegation that threatens your CRNA license, you probably have no idea what to expect. Our team can walk you through each step and ensure you're prepared for every meeting or hearing with the board.
- We have a track record for defending CRNAs. We've helped many CRNAs and other medical professionals in Virginia and nationwide with their disciplinary licensing matters. We won't rest until we've resolved your case.
As you're dealing with the allegations against you, you still have to show up for work and do your job. It can be tough to focus on daily life and regular responsibilities when you have potential sanctions hanging over your head. Our team can manage every aspect of your case so that you can focus on your work and life.
How the Lento Law Firm Can Help You
Our number one goal is clearing your name and helping you avoid sanctions for your CRNA licensing issue. If sanctions are inevitable, we'll work to make them as minor as possible. To pursue these goals, you can expect our team to do the following work on your case:
- Target the ideal outcome for your case: For some matters, CRNAs are accused of actions they aren't even aware they committed. In others, a small error or momentary lapse in professional composure led to accusations. These case details will help us identify what the ideal outcome of your case is and what you can reasonably expect to happen if we reach that outcome.
- Gather relevant testimony and evidence: We won't rely solely on the Virginia Board of Nursing's investigation. We'll complete our own as well. Our team will work diligently to verify all the facts of your case and use them to build a solid argument in your favor. The right evidence and witness testimony can make a huge difference.
- Explore solutions outside of the adjudication procedure: We may be able to open informal negotiations with the board to settle the case without the formal adjudication process. Often, negotiating directly with the board's attorneys or counsel representing the board can make the whole case go more smoothly.
- Go with you to adjudication proceedings: If your case does have to go through the formal channels, we'll be with you at every step. One of our team members will always accompany you to meetings, hearings, and any other proceedings that are part of your adjudication process. We'll be there to guide you, help you present your arguments, and ensure you're prepared before every proceeding that takes place.
- Take further action: If it becomes necessary, we can also help you file a lawsuit concerning your CRNA license. We can discuss the legal options with you as they come up, and we'll provide you with guidance on how to proceed.
Our nationwide team has experience dealing with professional licensing boards and their attorneys. We consider each client's unique case and circumstances to develop a defense strategy that is most likely to result in success.
We Serve CRNAs Throughout Virginia
No matter where you're working in Virginia, sanctions on your CRNA license have a devastating impact on your career. We help CRNAs throughout Virginia, including in:
- Newport Neves
- Dale City
Even if you don't see your city listed above, you can still call our team for assistance with your CRNA license defense matter. We're ready to discuss your case with you.
Call the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team Today
When your CRNA license is in jeopardy, you should put all your effort into defending it. The loss of your livelihood is at stake. Our team is ready to help you hold on to your license. We'll help you prepare for interviews, hearings, and appeals and guide you through the legal processes.