Agency nurses working in Tennessee have great advantages in the state's large population spread across a beautiful natural environment in attractive, economically vibrant, and safe communities. Nashville, Davidson, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, Johnson City, Jackson, Hendersonville, and other Tennessee cities and towns offer substantial nursing opportunities. Nurse staffing agencies like Maxim Healthcare Services, ATC Healthcare, Hospitality Staffing Solutions, CareerStaff Unlimited, Favorite Healthcare Staffing, Consolidated Medical Staffing, and HealthTrust Workforce Solutions have many rewarding assignments in which to place you. Don't let misconduct allegations ruin your valuable Tennessee agency nursing. Call 888.535.3686 or complete this contact form now to retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team. Get the skills and experience you need to preserve your Tennessee agency nursing.
Tennessee Staffing Agency Nurse Employment Advantages
Appreciate all that you've earned and secured in your Tennessee agency nurse job and career. You have the flexibility to explore different Tennessee cities, towns, and communities until you find the place where you want to settle down. Through your agency employment, you have the flexibility to explore different nursing fields until you find one that best suits your ambitions and interests. Your staffing agency placements can also help you find a facility and workforce where you have reasonable supervisors and supportive colleagues.
You may have chosen agency nursing for all of those reasons, waiting to find your permanent nursing home or simply enjoying making periodic changes. Or your agency nursing may have been your only practical option while you seek permanent employment. In either case, you have already enjoyed the rewards and advantages of staffing agency employment. Don't let misconduct allegations at your assignment destroy those advantages. Let us help defend misconduct charges.
Tennessee Staffing Agency Nursing Assignment Challenges
While Tennessee staffing agency nursing has the above advantages, agency nursing can also bring distinct challenges that permanent nurses in direct employment at a healthcare facility do not necessarily face. Healthcare facilities and their permanent workforces regard staffing agency nurses as temporary workers, also called temps, and not always in a respectful manner. Temporary workers don't always get the same respect and may even get the short end of the stick in many situations. Healthcare facilities invest in recruitment, orientation, training, continuing education, compensation, and benefits for their permanent nurses. Facilities thus often protect those nurses at the expense of agency nurses in economic downturns, layoffs, or RIFs, and even in job disputes, personality conflicts, and other management issues involving the workforce.
Tennessee Agency Nurse Misconduct Disparate Treatment
The difference in treatment between permanent nurses and your temporary status as an agency nurse can become acute when misconduct allegations arise in the workplace. The Tennessee healthcare facility in which you work may well have a grievance or dispute-resolution procedure for its permanent nurses, through which those nurses can tell their side of the story when a patient, patient family member, supervisor, colleague, or subordinate accuses them of misconduct. That procedure may protect the permanent nurse.
However, your healthcare facility may not afford you access to the same procedure. As a temp, you may instead get promptly shown the door, even when the misconduct allegations are false, unfair, or exaggerated, or you have exonerating evidence or mitigating circumstances. The facility may find it easier to manage and more efficient simply to terminate your temp assignment and have your staffing agency or another agency send a replacement. When you hear of misconduct allegations, don't wait for the other shoe to fall. Contact us so that our attorneys can help you head off an assignment termination, if at all possible.
Tennessee Staffing Agency Nurse Employment Challenges
The risk you face with misconduct allegations goes beyond losing your Tennessee healthcare facility assignment. You could lose your staffing agency employment, too. You might believe that your staffing agency will just assign you to another healthcare facility if your current facility terminates your assignment. You may have earned that trust, respect, and loyalty. However, your staffing agency may see your assignment to another one of its healthcare facility clients as a risk, depending on the nature of the misconduct allegations. Your staffing agency may have substantially more invested in its healthcare facility client relationships than in its relationship with you. You may be more expendable than one of its facility clients.
If you face misconduct allegations that threaten your staffing agency employment, our attorneys may well be able to help you save that employment. Your staffing agency may have its own grievance or dispute-resolution procedure, one that it is happy to afford you access to because of the trust and loyalty you have earned. We may be able to help you invoke that agency procedure to present your exonerating evidence and mitigating circumstances. Better to beat the misconduct allegations at the earliest stage before they cause you more problems.
Tennessee Board of Nursing Disciplinary Charges
If you don't successfully defend and defeat misconduct allegations at your healthcare facility placement or at your staffing agency, then you may face disciplinary charges against your Tennessee Board of Nursing license. Disciplinary charges at the Board of Nursing can be far more serious than misconduct allegations at your healthcare facility or staffing agency employer. Misconduct allegations at your facility may mean losing the assignment and having to take another assignment. Allegations at your staffing agency may mean losing your employment and having to find another staffing agency employer. But losing your Board of Nursing license means not working in Tennessee as a nurse at any facility or for any agency employer.
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-101 asserts that Tennessee's Nurse Practice Act has the purpose “to safeguard life and health by requiring each person who is practicing or is offering to practice nursing … to be licensed as provided in this chapter.” You must have a Tennessee Board of Nursing license to practice agency nursing in the state. Tennessee Administrative Code Section 1000-01-.04(4)(a) carries out that legislative mandate by declaring that the Board of Nursing “has the power to deny, revoke, or suspend any certificate or license to practice nursing” that the Board issues. Don't doubt the Board of Nursing's authority to discipline your license. Get our help to defend and defeat disciplinary charges.
Tennessee Board of Nursing Disciplinary Impacts
Losing your Tennessee nursing license may mean much more than losing your Tennessee healthcare facility placement and staffing agency employment. You could also lose nursing licenses you hold in other states and, whether you hold other licenses or not, lose the ability to license in other states. You may not be able to practice as an agency nurse elsewhere in the U.S. if you fail to defend and defeat your Tennessee Board of Nursing disciplinary charges. Losing your nursing license and job can also mean losing your ability to pay for housing, transportation, health insurance, and other necessities, not only for you but also for your dependent family members. Don't minimize the risks. Instead, evaluate them soberly and retain our skilled and experienced attorneys for your best disciplinary outcome. Your agency nurse job and career are worth defending.
Tennessee Agency Nurse Disciplinary Sanctions
Section 63-7-115 of Tennessee's Nurse Practice Act authorizes the Board of Nursing to “deny, revoke or suspend any certificate or license to practice nursing or to otherwise discipline a licensee” on proof of a disciplinary violation. License revocation or suspension means stopping your nursing practice immediately, thus losing your staff agency employment. But the Act's authorization for the Board of Nursing to “otherwise discipline” gives the Board's disciplinary officials broad latitude to impose a range of lesser sanctions.
Our attorneys may be able to invoke that discretion to argue for remedial relief from your disciplinary charges. The disciplinary officials may accept your further education or training, your referral for evaluation or treatment, or reasonable limitations on your practice to certain facilities or services. Private warning, reprimand, or probation may be other alternatives that we may be able to negotiate to relieve you from the loss of your license.
Tennessee Board of Nursing Disciplinary Actions
If you suffer license discipline at the hands of the Tennessee Board of Nursing, you won't be able to hide that discipline from your facility, staffing agency employer, or others like your family members, prospective employers, and community. The Board of Nursing disciplines dozens of nurses from month to month. Under the Tennessee Nurse Practice Act, the Tennessee Department of Health publishes those disciplinary actions online in monthly reports, disclosing your name, license number, date of discipline, nature of discipline, and disciplinary grounds. Even if you could hide discipline, which you can't, given the published reports, you would generally have a duty to disclose your discipline to workplaces, employers, and licensing officials in other states. Don't run and hide from disciplinary charges. Retain us to help you defend and defeat them.
Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 63-7-115 of Tennessee's Nursing Practice Act lists seven primary grounds on which to discipline agency nurses and other nurses who violate Board of Nursing standards. Board of Nursing disciplinary officials are not supposed to just make up charges as they go along. Instead, they must specify the statutory grounds. Those grounds, though, are broad enough to reach virtually any form of nursing misconduct outside of accepted professional standards. Consider the following statutory grounds and how our attorneys may be able to help defend you against those charges.
Credential Fraud as Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-115 authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline your nursing license with any of the above sanctions if you commit credential fraud, which the Board defines as being “guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing….” Common forms of credential fraud include cheating on the nurse licensing exam, cheating in your nursing education program, misrepresenting your education or experience on your license application, or hiding a criminal conviction or other disqualifying circumstance on your license renewal.
Agency nurses can more easily face these charges when attempting to document their complex work history. We may be able to help defend and defeat credential fraud charges by showing that you did not cheat, made no knowing misrepresentations on any application, made no material misrepresentations, omitted no material information, and did not intend to induce the Board's reliance on any inaccurate statements of material omissions.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-115 also authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline your nursing license if you are “guilty of a crime.” While the Act's language refers broadly to any crime, disciplinary officials may instead limit by administrative rule and practice the forms of disqualifying crimes to those that may affect your nursing practice. Examples would include violent crimes like homicide and assault, sexual crimes like rape and gross indecency, crimes of dishonesty like theft, embezzlement, and insurance fraud, and crimes of moral turpitude like indecent exposure and child pornography.
Our attorneys may be able to defend you against these charges by showing that you suffered no conviction, that any conviction you suffered was not of a disqualifying crime likely to affect your nursing practice, that the court overturned or expunged the conviction, or that you have rehabilitated yourself from the conviction over a reasonable time.
Incompetence as Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-115 also authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline your nursing license if you are “unfit or incompetent by reason of negligence, habits, or other cause.” Unfitness implies an issue with your character, such as a propensity to violence, emotional instability or delusion, psychopathy and manipulation, endangering patients or colleagues, or disrupting the workplace. Incompetence implies an issue with your education, training, or experience, leading to substandard care. Violating or ignoring physician orders, and failing to observe, document, and respond to patient conditions indicating the need for competent care, are examples.
Agency nurses may face these charges more commonly than permanent nurses because of misunderstandings over their roles and assignments in a new facility or in coordination with permanent nurses. Agency nurses may also face scapegoating for the wrongs of others. We may be able to help you defend and defeat these charges by showing that you were at all times fit, that you did nothing outside of the nursing standard of care, that others were responsible for the wrongs for which they have blamed you, or that you followed reasonable physician or supervisor instructions.
Substance Abuse as Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-115 also authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline your nursing license for substance abuse issues, defined as when “addicted to alcohol or drugs to the degree of interfering with nursing duties.” Substance abuse allegations may arise when patients or colleagues claim to smell alcohol on you, observe your glassy eyes, slurred speech, or unstable gait, see alcohol receptacles or drugs or paraphernalia in your possession, or hear rumors of your substance abuse on or off facility grounds.
Agency nurses may especially face substance abuse allegations when facility personnel are unfamiliar with their presentation and demeanor and misconstrue ordinary demeanor or temporary medication reactions such as alcohol intoxication or drug impairment. We may be able to help you defend and defeat these charges by showing that you were not intoxicated, you have no substance use or abuse issues, your appearance was due to innocent circumstances like a medication change and unexpected reaction, or you have already addressed your substance use in a manner that indicates no likelihood of repetition and patient endangerment.
Incompetence as Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-115 also authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline your nursing license when “mentally incompetent.” The statute does not require a formal court adjudication of mental incompetence. Misconduct allegations relating to mental incompetence may arise from the appearance that you are forgetful, absent-minded, distracted, non-responsive to verbal or visual stimuli, or otherwise cognitively impaired while at work or that you suffer from paranoia, delusions, anxiety, severe depression, or other psychiatric or psychological illness or distress.
Agency nurses may especially face allegations of mental incompetence when permanent facility personnel are unfamiliar with the agency nurse's normal presentation and reliable work history and mistake sleeplessness, fatigue, or other ordinary symptoms as mental incompetence. We may be able to help you show that you are fully competent, that you suffer from no mental illness or other condition affecting your cognitive abilities, that you threatened no patient's safety in whatever condition you reflected, that your condition was temporary due to innocent circumstances like a medication reaction, or that you have addressed your mental health issues and can document your evaluation and treatment.
Unprofessionalism as Grounds for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Tennessee Code Section 63-7-115 also authorizes the Board of Nursing to discipline your nursing license when “guilty of unprofessional conduct.” While the statute does not define what constitutes unprofessionalism, Tennessee's Board of Nursing adopted Administrative Code Section 1000-01-.13(1), defining unprofessional conduct to include patient injury, inaccurate recordkeeping, false recordkeeping, patient abandonment or neglect, drug misuse, intoxication or drug impairment in the workplace, boundary issues with patients, ignoring emergency patient conditions, breaching confidentiality, and acts of dishonesty.
Agency nurses may especially face unprofessionalism charges because of unfamiliarity with the facility's standard practices and when scapegoated for the wrongs of others. We may be able to help you defend and defeat these charges by showing you did not commit the alleged wrongs, that others were responsible, or that you followed reasonable physician or supervisor instructions.
Procedures for Tennessee Agency Nurse Discipline
Your constitutional due process rights guarantee you certain protections against disciplinary charges affecting your property and liberty interests in your nursing license. The Tennessee Board of Nursing cannot deprive you of your license without due process of law, provided that you invoke its protective procedures, which you can best do by retaining our Professional License Defense Team. Tennessee Code Section 63-7-116 requires the Board of Nursing to provide you with the following protective procedures, which we can invoke for your best disciplinary outcome:
- complaints to the Board trigger an investigation in which disciplinary officials may contact you, giving us the opportunity to help you supply exonerating evidence and mitigating circumstances with the goal of avoiding charges;
- the Board may enter into consent agreements that we can help you negotiate, permitting you to show the Board that you are no risk to patients or the public and that remedial education or training, evaluation and treatment, or other measures are sufficient without a license suspension or other discipline;
- if the Board determines to proceed against your license, the Board must offer you a formal hearing before an impartial hearing panel composed of no fewer than three Board members, at which we can present your evidence while cross-examing adverse witnesses and challenging adverse evidence;
- if the Board determines to discipline you, we can appeal its determination and challenge its final ruling in court under the state's administrative procedures, giving you an independent review to correct bias, conflicts of interest, and material errors.
Tennessee Board of Nursing Alternative Discipline Program
If your disciplinary charges relate to substance addiction or a related psychological disorder, the Tennessee Board of Nursing may permit you to enter the Tennessee Professional Assistance Program (TnPAP) as an alternative to a discipline program. While referral may be appropriate and could even be your best choice, the Board of Nursing requires that TnPAP consent agreements must “contain language that provides for revocation/suspension of licensure upon non-compliance with the order.” Your referral risks loss of your license if you are unable to meet the terms and conditions of your referral. Let us help you evaluate. Don't lose your license through the referral process.
Tennessee Agency Nurse Misconduct Defense
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available to defend agency nurses in Nashville, Davidson, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, Johnson City, Jackson, Hendersonville, or any other Tennessee location. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of nurses and other professionals with disciplinary charges. Our skilled and experienced defense representation can lead to your best outcome. Call 888.535.3686 or complete this contact form now.