As an agency nurse practicing in Georgia, you know the opportunities and advantages you have for an exciting and varied statewide nursing practice. Georgia's large population centers in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, South Fulton, Macon, Athens, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek, Warner Robins, and other Georgia locations, and its fine nurse staffing agencies like Insight Global, Rep-Lite, Avery Partners, Assurgent Medical Staffing, ProLink Staffing, Clinical Resources, LocumPhysicians, ATC Healthcare, Favorite Healthcare Staffing, Maxim Healthcare Services, and CareerStaff Unlimited, provide you with abundant rewarding placement opportunities. The state's good roads, good weather, and safe and attractive communities add to the rewards. But you must maintain your Georgia nursing license in good standing to enjoy those rewards. If you face Georgia nursing license disciplinary charges in any statewide location, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team for your skilled and experienced agency nurse defense. Call 888.535.3686 or complete this contact form now.
Advantages to Georgia Staffing Agency Nurse Employment
You doubtless had good reason to begin, continue, or resume your Georgia nursing employment through a staffing agency rather than through direct employment with a healthcare facility. You may not have been able to find direct employment jobs. Or you may not have wanted to commit to a single, permanent healthcare facility employer until you were sure that the facility, nursing field, nursing supervisors and colleagues, and city or town were conducive to your meaningful nursing. You may have wanted to use your staffing agency employment to try out healthcare facilities, nursing fields, and cities or towns. You may even just like moving from assignment to assignment while meeting new people, learning new skills, and exploring new towns. Whether you chose staffing agency employment or it chose you, you have enjoyed the benefits of its assignments, security, compensation, and benefits. Don't let disciplinary charges spoil your staffing agency employment. Let us help defend and defeat those charges.
Challenges to Georgia Staffing Agency Nursing Assignments
Staffing agency employment, as rewarding, secure, and interesting as it can be, also has its issues and challenges. You've probably seen how healthcare facilities treat their “permanent” employees, meaning those whom they directly employ, from their “temporary” or “temp” workers, meaning those whom they accept on assignment from a staffing agency employer. In many things, like job expectations, you may see no difference between temps and permanent employees. You likely have to work just as hard to meet the same standards. But in privileges, benefits, and protections, you've probably noticed an unfortunate difference.
Your healthcare facility may be less willing to defend its agency nurses and more willing to protect and defend its permanent nurses. Your healthcare facility may assign you to the more difficult patients and residents, exposing you to their complaints, delusions, and unfair retaliation. You may see yourself taking the blame for errors or omissions that other permanent nurses or permanent staff committed when your healthcare facility treats you as expendable. Let's hope not, but different treatment can happen. Your healthcare facility's policies may also deny you access to dispute resolution procedures that permanent employees use to preserve their records, reputations, and assignments. Don't be surprised if you face these very problems when a patient or other person alleges your nursing misconduct. Let us help invoke your healthcare facility's protective procedures if possible and advocate with your facility on your behalf.
Challenges to Georgia Staffing Agency Nurse Employment
Your staffing agency may treat you much better than your healthcare facility treats you when you face misconduct allegations. You may have earned their trust, respect, and loyalty. Your staffing agency may even simply plan to reassign you to another healthcare facility client, leaving the misconduct allegations behind. But then again, your staffing agency might not afford you any of those accommodations. Indeed, your staffing agency may treat you in the same way your healthcare facility treated you, writing you off as expendable to be rid of misconduct issues, whether you committed the alleged wrongs or not. If your staffing agency has protective procedures through which to investigate and resolve misconduct allegations, and it affords you access to those procedures, then we can help you invoke and deploy them to your best advantage. But we are still here for you if your staffing agency does not help defend and protect you and does not let you defend and protect yourself.
Georgia Board of Nursing Disciplinary Charges
The Georgia Board of Nursing licenses nurses registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and certified nurse midwives (CNMs). Georgia's Nurse Practice Act, codified at O.C.G.A. Section 43-26, prohibits nursing practice in any of these fields without a license in good standing. The Nurse Practice Act further authorizes the Board of Nursing to establish nursing standards in the state and to enforce those standards through disciplinary actions and sanctions. Section 42-26-11 of the Act, for instance, authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline registered nurses on certain grounds. Other sections authorize disciplines against licensed nurses in other nursing fields.
Georgia Board of Nursing Disciplinary Impacts
The impact of the Georgia Board of Nursing discipline can be severe on your agency nurse employment and career, as well as on your income, benefits, family, and community. As an agency nurse, you have every reason to take Georgia Board of Nursing disciplinary charges most seriously, retaining our premier Professional License Defense Team to defend those charges for your best outcome. If you lose your nursing license to disciplinary charges, you will lose your agency employment and assignment and the compensation, benefits, and privileges that go with them. You know the value of your nursing education, employment, and career. Don't throw that value away by ignoring disciplinary charges. Let us help you preserve your most important asset, which is your ability to earn a nursing income.
Georgia Agency Nurse Disciplinary Sanctions
Section 11 of the Georgia Nurse Practice Act gives the Board of Nursing the authority to “refuse to grant a license to an applicant, to revoke the license of a licensee, or to discipline a licensee” whom the Board finds committed one of the specified grounds for discipline. Because you must have a license to practice nursing, the Board's refusal to grant a license or its revocation of an already granted license ends your nursing practice in the state. But the above authority to discipline a nurse otherwise gives the Board other available sanctions. The Board does not list those other sanctions in its administrative rules. But common sanctions include warnings, reprimands, license limitations such as practice in only certain facilities or fields or under supervision, and license conditions such as submitting to substance abuse and mental health assessment and treatment. Lesser sanctions may cause your staffing agency to terminate your employment. But lesser sanctions may, on the other hand, be an alternative you'd wisely accept in lieu of license suspension or revocation. We can help you evaluate and negotiate resolution terms.
Georgia Board of Nursing Disciplinary Actions
If you suffer Georgia Board of Nursing discipline, you won't be able to hide that discipline from your staffing agency employer, healthcare facility, patients, family members, friends, or the public. The Board of Nursing publishes online the names, license numbers, and forms of discipline for nurses whom it punishes based on findings of misconduct. Even if your staffing agency employer and healthcare facility does not regularly search the online database and does not receive the Board of Nursing's notice of discipline, you would likely have the contractual and regulatory obligation to share your discipline with them. Don't expect to run and hide from discipline or to hide discipline results. Instead, deal with disciplinary charges responsibly by hiring our premier Professional License Defense Team to defend the charges for your best disciplinary outcome.
Special Agency Nurse Impacts from Disciplinary Sanctions
The problem for an agency nurse suffering disciplinary sanctions, even a minor reprimand or other minor or moderate form of discipline that does not suspend your license, is that your healthcare facility will regard your status as temporary. It need not give you any benefit of the doubt. It has not invested its own resources in your recruitment, continuing education, and training. It can simply request another agency nurse who has not suffered discipline. Your staffing agency knows that to be the case, too. Once having suffered discipline, it may regard you as damaged goods and not attempt to assign you to its valuable healthcare facility clients. You are on thin ice not only with your healthcare facility but also with your staffing agency employer when suffering any form of disciplinary sanction. Defend the charges with our help. Don't consent to discipline without our evaluation and advocacy.
Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 11 of Georgia's Nurse Practice Act defines only limited grounds on which to discipline nurses whom the Board of Nursing has licensed. Those general grounds include conviction of a felony crime or crime of moral turpitude, or displaying an inability to practice nursing safely due to illness, alcohol, drugs, or mental or physical conditions. However, the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03 expands those grounds to include many others. Consider the following administrative grounds for your discipline and how we may be able to help you defend those charges.
Inappropriate Practice as a Ground for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Inappropriate practice is the first ground for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. The rule lists many different forms of inappropriate practice, including things like unsafe judgment and skills, abandoning or neglecting patients, unqualified nursing practice, abusing or permitting abuse of patients, providing false patient information, or assisting unlicensed practice. Agency nurses may be especially susceptible to these charges because of unfamiliar assignments, erroneous assignments, unfamiliarity with facility practices, and even scapegoating of the agency nurse for wrongs others commit. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these charges by showing that you did not commit the alleged wrong, your actions were within acceptable practice, or you followed a physician's reasonable orders and instructions.
Documentation Wrongs as Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Documentation wrongs are the second grounds for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. The rule includes in its list of documentation wrong things like your failure to maintain required records, false entries in required records, false reports drawn from records, and altering accurate records to conceal and falsify conditions. Agency nurses may be especially susceptible to documentation charges because of unfamiliarity with a facility's documentation requirements, customs, and practices, confusion of responsibility for documentation, and blaming for documentation errors made by protected permanent employees. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these documentation charges by showing that you did not make any erroneous entry, that any mistaken entries were innocent rather than deliberate, that any errors were not material to any required reporting, that others were responsible for the documentation failure or errors, or that you documented according to the reasonable instructions and directions of supervisors.
Improper Delegation as Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Improper delegation is another ground for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. Improper delegation may include delegating assigned nursing duties to unqualified persons by training outside the scope of any license, delegating when knowing that the delegation risks patient health or safety, or failing to reasonably supervise the person to whom you delegate nursing duties. Agency nurses may be especially susceptible to these charges because of unfamiliarity with the facility's personnel and their licensure and qualifications. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these charges by showing that you were not assigned the disputed duties, you did not delegate those duties, you instead performed those duties yourself according to standards, your delegation was to a qualified person, and you adequately supervised the person to whom you delegated duties.
Drug Offenses as Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Drug offenses are other grounds for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. The listed drug offenses include removing narcotics without authorization, obtaining or administering narcotics illegally, providing drugs for other than therapeutic use, positive drug tests for illegal narcotics, committing fraud to obtain drugs, practicing nursing while drug-impaired, or failing to report a disabling drug addiction. Agency nurses may be especially susceptible to these charges when facility personnel are unfamiliar with the agency nurse's presentation and mental and medical conditions, which may appear to indicate drug impairment. Facility personnel may also scapegoat agency nurses for drug theft committed by others. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these charges by showing that you did not possess or use unlawful narcotics, you did not practice while impaired, and that any impairment was due to innocent conditions like medication changes and promptly corrected without the likelihood of a repeat.
Boundary Issues as Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Boundary issues are other grounds for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. Boundary issues can include forming a dual business or personal relationship with a nursing patient, removing a patient's money or property without consent, exploiting a patient to obtain access to money or property, engaging in sexual conduct with a patient, or misappropriating anything of value from a patient. Agency nurses may be especially susceptible to these charges as scapegoats for wrongs committed by others, when unfamiliar with facility practices for securing property, or when following reasonable patient instructions as to which a later dispute arises. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these charges by showing that you did not cross the alleged boundaries, that you had patient informed consent and request for any action you took regarding patient property or contact, or that you followed the reasonable instructions of supervisors.
Fraud as Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Fraud is another ground for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. The listed fraud grounds include credentials fraud in seeking a license or renewal, impersonating a licensed nurse, false or misleading advertising for nursing services, or letting another use your license. Agency nurses may be especially susceptible to these charges because of their different staffing agency roles, complicating their work history and varied assignments, potentially leading to omissions or inaccuracies on license disclosures. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these charges by showing that your license applications were accurate, any inaccuracy was unintentional and not material to your qualifications, and any omissions were not with the intent to defraud.
Criminal Convictions as Grounds for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
Criminal convictions are the last ground for agency nurse discipline under the Georgia Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 410-10-03. The rule lists failure to timely report a conviction as grounds for discipline without identifying the convictions one must report or which convictions would disqualify. The statute, Section 11 of the Nurse Practice Act, in this instance, defines the disqualifying crimes to include “any felony, crime involving moral turpitude, or crime violating a federal or state law relating to controlled substances or dangerous drugs….” Disqualifying convictions may include violent crimes like homicide and assault or sexual assault, crimes of dishonesty like theft, criminal fraud, and embezzlement, and crimes of immorality like child pornography and indecent exposure. Our attorneys may be able to help defend these charges by showing that you did not suffer the alleged conviction, the criminal court expunged or threw out your conviction, an appellate court reversed your conviction, the governor pardoned your conviction, or your conviction was not one listed above related to your fitness to practice nursing.
Procedures for Georgia Agency Nurse Discipline
You have a constitutional right not to have the state deprive you of your property and liberty interest in your nursing license without due process of law. Due process means protective procedures, particularly fair notice of the charges and a fair hearing before an impartial decision maker. To satisfy those rights, Georgia Board of Nursing Administrative Rule 410-14-.01 adopts the state's general administrative procedures for resolving contested administrative agency matters. Those general procedures guarantee you a hearing before an independent administrative law judge (ALJ) not connected with your disciplinary investigation. Our attorneys can help you invoke your right to a hearing, cross-examine the Board of Nursing's witnesses against you at that hearing, and present your own witnesses and documentary evidence explaining your side of the story. We can also help you acquire that evidence. Our attorneys are also skilled and experienced in administrative appeals from the ALJ to the Board of Nursing for review of any adverse decision and taking the matter to court if necessary.
Georgia Board of Nursing Alternative Discipline Program
If your disciplinary charges relate to a substance abuse issue, then you may have an opportunity to accept a referral to an alternative discipline program the Georgia Board of Nursing operates in partnership with the Georgia Nurses Association. The program is called the Georgia Nurses Association Peer Assistance Program (GNA-PAP). Beware of accepting referrals, though, without our attorneys' review and advice. The terms for your referral may require you to give up your license or limit your license in ways that cause you to lose your employment or critical income. The conditions for your license reinstatement or retention may also include obligations you cannot readily meet, meaning you'd lose your license anyway, despite the referral.
Defending Georgia Agency Nurse Misconduct Charges
The above discussion should have shown you the value of retaining our Professional License Defense Team to address misconduct allegations the moment they arise, even before disciplinary charges, and to help you defend any such charges that you may face. We also help with facility and employer proceedings. If you have already lost all hearings, we can also help with appeals. If you are an agency nurse facing misconduct allegations in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, South Fulton, Macon, Athens, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek, Warner Robins, or any other Georgia location, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team for your best defense. Call 888.535.3686 or complete this contact form now.