So, you are an agency nurse in Texas. You've enjoyed your agency nursing for all the flexibility, variety, income, and other benefits it provides. Texas's large population centers in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Lubbock, Laredo, Irving, Garland, Frisco, and other locations have provided you with substantial opportunities. The state's fine nurse staffing agencies like Advantage Medical Professionals, Medix, Oxford, The Judge Group, The Medicus Firm, Vista Staffing Solutions, Team1Medical, Supplemental Health Care, Consilium Staffing, Delta Healthcare Providers, Express Employment Professionals, IDR, and Beacon Hill Staffing Group are available to place you in rewarding assignments. But now you face or expect to face misconduct allegations, knowing that Texas nurse license discipline could end your agency nursing. The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is here to help you. Call 888.535.3686 or complete this contact form now to reach out to our skilled and experienced attorneys. Get the help you need to preserve your Texas agency nursing.
Texas Staffing Agency Nurse Employment Advantages
You have every reason to value your Texas agency nursing highly, protecting it with our defense services. You may well have had the chance for permanent employment as a direct employee of a healthcare facility but simply preferred the variety and flexibility of agency nursing. You may have chosen agency nursing because you want to test the waters, exploring different nursing fields, different kinds of healthcare facilities, or even different Texas cities and towns. You may also have chosen agency nursing to be able to move in and out of assignments, depending on how much you like working for certain supervisors or with certain colleagues, rather than being stuck in a workforce that doesn't value or respect you. Or you may have preferred direct employment in a healthcare facility but just found that agency staffing was your best option or only option. In any case, you should by now know the advantages of staffing agency nursing that you have already enjoyed. Don't give it up to misconduct allegations. Get our help.
Texas Staffing Agency Nursing Assignment Challenges
As rewarding as Texas staffing agency nursing can be for you, you probably already know that it isn't always a bed of roses. Your challenges can be especially acute around misconduct allegations. As an agency nurse, your healthcare facility likely regards you as a temporary worker or temp. Employers invest in their permanent or direct employees more than in their temporary workers. Employers must recruit, select, orient, train, and continually educate their permanent employees, while providing them with compensation and benefits worthy of retaining their services. Healthcare facilities may make few or none of those investments in their temporary workers. Your healthcare facility may thus regard you as expendable when it comes to budget shortfalls, reductions in force, layoffs, or morale and management issues.
When misconduct allegations arise, your healthcare facility's willingness to cut you loose, sending you back to your staffing agency, maybe even more acute. Not only may your healthcare facility decline to defend you against the complaint of a patient, patient's family member, supervisor, colleague, subordinate, vendor, or member of the public. Your healthcare facility may even blame you as a scapegoat for the misconduct of others or for institutional issues in which you play no significant part. While your healthcare facility would give its permanent employee a fair hearing and chance to prove the allegations false, the facility may not afford you the same privilege. Our skilled and experienced attorneys may be able to help you invoke your healthcare facility's procedures or prevail upon its human resources managers or other leaders to preserve your valued assignment. Let us help head off misconduct allegations before they do more damage to your agency nursing.
Texas Staffing Agency Nurse Employment Challenges
Your Texas staffing agency should value you, your loyalty, and the fees your placement earns the agency. You would ordinarily expect your staffing agency to stand behind you. But in the case of misconduct allegations at your healthcare facility, your staffing agency may not be as fair-minded and loyal to you as you'd think, especially once your Texas healthcare facility terminates your assignment. Your staffing agency may feel that the risk you now represent of further misconduct allegations at your next placement warrants terminating your agency relationship. You may find yourself out of a job, not just a placement. Your agency may even have a dispute-resolution or grievance procedure for you to invoke, ostensibly to protect you against unfair allegations. But depending on the allegations you face and the risk the agency perceives in continuing with your placement relationship, it may not offer you its protective procedures. Let us help advocate for you with your staffing agency. Your agency relationship is worth it.
Texas Board of Nursing Disciplinary Charges
Yes, you want to preserve your healthcare facility placement against misconduct allegations. And you want to preserve your staffing agency employment. But whether or not those two goals are achievable, you certainly want to preserve your Texas nursing license. If you lose an assignment, you may get another one, even a better one. If you lose your agency, another agency may serve you just as well or better. But if you lose your Texas nursing license to discipline, you won't practice as an agency nurse in Texas at any healthcare facility through any staffing agency. Section 301.251 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act requires a license to practice nursing in the state. The Nursing Practice Act establishes the state's Board of Nursing to issue those licenses according to its standards and to discipline nurses whose practice fails to meet those standards. Don't lose your license to disciplinary charges. Let our skilled and experienced attorneys help.
Texas Board of Nursing Disciplinary Impacts
You've already seen in the prior paragraph that losing your Texas nursing license means losing your Texas nursing placement and staffing agency employment. You have no way around it other than to defend and defeat the disciplinary charges if you wish to continue your agency nursing practice in the state. Losing your Texas nursing license could also cost you any nursing licenses you hold in other states and your ability to qualify for nursing practice in other states. And, of course, you know that losing your agency nurse job means losing your income and benefits, which may mean losing your ability to pay rent or a mortgage for your housing, losing your medical care and the medical care of family members insured through your coverage, and affecting your family relationships. Beware the collateral consequences of nursing license discipline. Let us help fight the charges.
Texas Agency Nurse Disciplinary Sanctions
When you face disciplinary charges as a Texas agency nurse, the Texas Board of Nursing has more options than just revoking your nursing license. Subchapter J of the state's Nursing Practice Act authorizes the Board of Nursing to impose a wide range of sanctions. Those sanctions include not only suspension or revocation of your nursing license but, in the alternative, probation with or without conditions, reprimands, license limitations as to the field or duties, license limitation to direct supervision, additional education or training, and mental or physical evaluation. Conditions for maintaining or regaining your license may include counseling and treatment. You would far prefer to avoid any sanction. You would most prefer to avoid license suspension or revocation. Our attorneys may be able to help you defeat the charges, avoid any sanction, or win or negotiate a lesser sanction that enables you to keep your license, employment, and placement.
Texas Board of Nursing Disciplinary Actions
The state's Nursing Practice Act requires that the Texas Board of Nursing publish its disciplinary actions online. You won't be able to hide your discipline, not from your healthcare facility, not from your staffing agency, and not from prospective employers, family members, friends, or the public. When the Texas Board of Nursing publishes its disciplinary actions, it includes a link to the specific order against you, including the findings of fact as to what you did wrong. That's not the kind of official record you'd like to see publicly available for as long as the state maintains the records, going back decades. Your public discipline, which you may have to disclose in any case, can affect not only your agency nursing but other important rights and privileges, even your volunteering, community leadership, and personal relationships. Don't run from disciplinary charges, and don't expect to hide their results. Instead, let us help.
Grounds for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act provides fourteen separate grounds on which the Board of Nursing can discipline you and impose one or more of the above sanctions. State agencies have limited authority, only that which the Texas legislature grants. In this case, though, the Texas legislature has granted the Board of Nursing broad authority to find grounds to pursue your discipline. The Board of Nursing articulated a dozen further disciplinary grounds, within that statutory authority, in its Administrative Rule 217.12. Consider the following common grounds for disciplinary charges, along with a few suggestions of how our skilled and experienced attorneys may be able to defend you against those charges.
Credential Fraud as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes credential fraud as a ground for discipline, defining it as “fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice professional nursing or vocational nursing.” Credential fraud may involve nursing school academic misconduct, cheating on the NCLEX, misrepresenting your education or experience on your license application, concealing a conviction on your license renewal form, or other deliberate misrepresentations or omissions to induce Board of Nursing officials to grant you a license. Agency nurses may especially face this form of charge because of their relatively more complex nursing work history. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that you never cheated, your application and renewal form were accurate, any inaccuracies were immaterial to your qualifications, and you did not intentionally omit any material information.
Criminal Conviction as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes criminal conviction as another ground for discipline, defining it as “a conviction for … a felony or for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.” Felony convictions may include homicide, assault, sexual assault, and other violent crimes, and serious property crimes like theft, robbery, burglary, and embezzlement. Crimes of moral turpitude may include gross indecency, indecent exposure, criminal fraud, or similar crimes of dishonesty. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that you did not commit the alleged crime, the court expunged or overturned the crime, or that the crime was not a disqualifying felony or crime of moral turpitude.
Substance Abuse as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes substance abuse as a ground for discipline, defining it as “intemperate use of alcohol or drugs that the board determines endangers or could endanger a patient.” Administrative Rule 217.12 further defines substance abuse violations to include failing, refusing, or altering a drug test, diverting drugs, intoxication while practicing nursing, falsifying drug records, mishandling drug wastage, and possessing drugs for delivery. Agency nurses may especially face this form of charge because of unfamiliarity with the facility's drug practices or when scapegoated for drug thefts by others. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that you did not abuse, steal, or mishandle drugs, were not intoxicated at work, your impaired appearance was due to medication changes or other innocent causes, you did not endanger or threaten to endanger patients, or others were responsible for any drug mishandling or theft.
Physical or Mental Impairment as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes physical or mental impairment as a ground for discipline, defining it as “adjudication of mental incompetency” or “lack of fitness to practice because of a mental or physical health condition that could result in injury to a patient or the public.” Schizophrenia, severe depression, cognitive impairments from traumatic brain injury, or progressive neurological disease may be disqualifying mental impairments, while neck, back, and leg injuries, severe arthritis, or other physical injury or disease-preventing or limiting lifting and moving may be disqualifying physical conditions. Agency nurses may especially face these charges when facility staff mistake their ordinary appearance and demeanor as indicative of disability. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that you were not physically or mentally impaired, or your impairment was temporary and did not threaten patients.
Substandard Practice as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes substandard practice as a ground for discipline, defining it as “failure to care adequately for a patient or to conform to the minimum standards of acceptable nursing practice” in a way that “exposes a patient or other person unnecessarily to risk of harm.” Administrative Rule 217.12 expands that definition to include carelessly or repeatedly failing to meet minimum acceptable standards or exhibiting an inability to do so, as well as improper record management and improper delegation to an unqualified individual. Agency nurses may especially face this form of charge because of differences in their training and experience from the customs and conventions of the facility in which they work. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that your nursing met minimum accepted statewide standards, that your care exposed no patient to a risk of harm, that others were responsible for the alleged substandard care, or that you followed a reasonable instruction of a supervisor.
Unprofessional Conduct as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
Section 301.452 of Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes unprofessional conduct as a ground for discipline, defining it as “unprofessional conduct in the practice of nursing that is likely to deceive, defraud, or injure a patient or the public.” Administrative Rule 217.12 expands that definition to include exceeding the scope of nursing practice, falsifying reports, violating professional boundaries, sexual relations or contact with a patient, misappropriation of patient or facility property, patient abandonment, and practice without a license. Agency nurses may especially face these charges because of confusion over roles, practices, and assignments in a new facility and scapegoating for wrongs committed by others. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that you committed none of the alleged wrongs, you followed reasonable supervisor instructions, or others were responsible.
Abuse and Neglect as a Ground for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
The Texas Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 217.12 includes abuse and neglect as grounds for discipline, defining it as “[c]ausing or permitting physical, emotional or verbal abuse or injury or neglect to the client or the public” or failing to report the same. Abuse could involve hitting, shoving, slapping, berating, or threatening those acts. Neglect may include failure to provide adequate nutrition or hydration and failing to turn, change, and bathe patients. Agency nurses may especially face this form of charge because of misunderstandings over roles and responsibilities, limited resources, and scapegoating. Our attorneys may be able to argue and prove that you committed no abuse or neglect, others were responsible, or your supervisors were aware that you lacked the time and resources.
Procedures for Texas Agency Nurse Discipline
The Texas legislature has not left you without protections against false, unfair, or exaggerated charges or charges for which you have exonerating evidence or mitigating circumstances. Your constitutional due process rights guarantee you advance notice of the disciplinary charges in sufficient detail to defend them. You also have the right to a hearing before an impartial decision-maker, where you can tell your side of the story. Texas's Nursing Practice Act includes elaborate procedural protections satisfying your due process rights. The Texas Board of Nursing's Administrative Rules 213.1-213.35 further detail those protections. Our attorneys can help you invoke those protections, including:
- obtaining a detailed statement of charges;
- obtaining the evidence against you for evaluation;
- acquiring, organizing, and presenting your exonerating evidence;
- understanding and advocating your mitigating circumstances;
- invoking conciliation conferences for early negotiated resolution;
- invoking a formal hearing;
- attending the formal hearing to present your evidence;
- cross-examining adverse witnesses at the hearing;
- appealing any adverse results; and
- seeking court review and reversal of any final discipline.
Texas Board of Nursing Alternative Discipline Program
If your discipline has to do with alleged substance abuse or a mental health condition, then you may have other relief from Texas Board of Nursing disciplinary charges. The Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses helps nurses recover from substance use and mental health issues as an alternative to a discipline program. The Board of Nursing may accept your referral to the program, depending on the nature of your charges. But beware of alternatives to discipline referrals. The Texas Board of Nursing's Administrative Rule 217.12 includes “[d]ismissal from a board-approved peer assistance program for noncompliance” as a ground for discipline. Don't accept a referral that requires you to relinquish your license or to meet unreasonable terms and conditions that you may not be able to satisfy and achieve. Let us help you evaluate any referral or other consent agreement before you accept it to ensure that you do not risk losing your license.
Texas Agency Nurse Misconduct Defense
If you face misconduct allegations as an agency nurse in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Lubbock, Laredo, Irving, Garland, Frisco, or any other Texas location, you should know that the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available for your defense. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of nurses and other professionals defend and defeat disciplinary charges. Get the skilled and experienced defense representation you need for your best outcome. Call 888.535.3686 or complete this contact form now.