Delaware is among the best states in which to pursue a nursing career. Nursing salaries in Delaware are higher than in many states. Delaware expects substantial nursing job growth. Many nursing positions open in Delaware every year. And Delaware is a Nurse Licensure Compact state, making it easier to qualify for employment.
The Delaware Board of Nursing, though, patrols nursing licenses closely against many forms of alleged misconduct. You won't get a good-paying, secure nursing job in Delaware without maintaining your nursing license. And license misconduct allegations can seemingly come from nowhere, leaving you alarmed and unprepared to respond effectively.
Don't get caught flat-footed when facing nursing license misconduct allegations in Delaware. Get the qualified professional license defense attorney representation you need. Retain professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. Take action to protect your nursing career. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.
What Allegations Can Threaten Your Delaware Nursing License
The Delaware Board of Nursing may pursue disciplinary proceedings under 24 Delaware Code Section 1922 against licensed nurses based on many different kinds of allegations. Common grounds for discipline under Section 1922 include:
- Unprofessional conduct or professional misconduct, including such things as insubordination toward supervisors, disrespect toward colleagues, inappropriate sexual relationships with colleagues or patients;
- misappropriation or other mishandling of drugs, such as theft of drugs for personal use or illegal sale, diverting patient medications, failing to document medication administration correctly, failing to store medications properly, or submitting fraudulent prescriptions;
- patient abuse or neglect, including failing to provide patients with timely and appropriate care or mistreating patients physically, mentally, emotionally, or sexually;
- fraud, including altering or falsifying patient records, overstating or otherwise misrepresenting professional credentials, and misrepresenting services actually performed for employment compensation or insurance billing;
- criminal conviction for certain crimes like theft, assault, drunk driving, or drug possession that endanger patients or staff members or indicate potential unfitness to practice nursing; and
- failing to report crimes or other events as licensing officials and authorities require for license renewal.
Delaware's Disciplinary Process for Nursing License Defense
Anyone may submit a complaint to the Delaware State Board of Nursing against a licensed nurse. Complainants may include not just patients and their family members but also physicians or other supervisors, nurse co-workers, and other healthcare staff. Even insurers and hospital regulators may complain.
Under 24 Delaware Code Section 1922(c), the Delaware State Board of Nursing follows certain protective procedures for determining whether a nurse committed the alleged misconduct. You may know of the complaint when it happens. Or you may learn of a complaint later from your employer or the licensing officials. The disciplinary process generally follows these steps.
Notice and Request for Response
Under Section 1922(c)(2), you should receive a copy of the complaint against you well in advance of any hearing. The notice may request that you respond to the complaint in writing. Your written response could result in the complaint's dismissal. Or your response could result in further disciplinary charges or other actions against you. Retain the skilled professional license defense attorney representation you need for your best outcome.
Under Section 1922(c), the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation investigates disciplinary complaints against licensed nurses. The investigator may ask to interview you. The investigator may also ask for medical records, employment records, and other documentation and communications. The investigator may also interview the complainant, your supervisor or co-workers, and others. The investigation results will determine whether the Division of Professional Regulation proceeds against you or dismisses the complaint. Retain qualified attorney representation to help you respond to the investigation.
Delaware Division of Professional Regulation officials may attempt to resolve your disciplinary matter with your consent and agreement. Those officials may ask you to admit to wrongdoing, whether you did it or not. They may also propose various penalties, from a reprimand to temporary or permanent suspension of your nursing license.
Consent agreements can be favorable in some cases. But do not agree to any outcome that involves any admission of wrongdoing or any penalty without first consulting a qualified attorney representative. You need to know whether a consent agreement is your best option and what effect it may have on your nursing job, career, and future.
Disciplinary proceedings that do not resolve by dismissal or consent agreement generally proceed to a formal hearing. Section 1922(c)(3) guarantees you certain hearing rights. Those rights include representation by your retained license defense attorney. Your attorney may also help you subpoena and call your own witnesses, while cross-examining opposing witnesses.
The State Board of Nursing's hearing officials must determine your responsibility based on the evidence presented at your formal hearing. Your outcome could be anything from a dismissal of all charges to a reprimand, license suspension, or license revocation.
Why You Need a Delaware Nursing License Defense Attorney
A Delaware nursing license proceeding differs from a criminal or civil court proceeding. The Delaware State Board of Nursing must protect the public against nursing harm. The Board won't necessarily presume your innocence. It need not prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the Board only has to find more likely than not that you violated its nursing standards.
That's why you need a skilled and experienced professional license defense attorney. Your attorney can help you answer the complaint, communicate with disciplinary officials, and invoke protective procedures. Your attorney can also help you evaluate consent agreement offers, negotiate better offers, and, if necessary, defend you at the formal hearing. Retain a qualified professional license defense attorney for your best disciplinary outcome.
Premier License Defense Attorney Available in Delaware
Premier professional license defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented hundreds of nurses and other professionals in license defense proceedings, in Delaware and across the country. Attorney-advisor Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team are available for your Delaware nursing license defense. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.