Not every encounter with your state's Nursing Board will be the same. In some scenarios, the board may give you a slap on the wrist for violating the board's code of conduct, and in others, the board could put your entire career in jeopardy.
When nurses are first faced with the decision of how to approach the board with an issue concerning their own misconduct, there are many emotions. If you're in the position of having to defend yourself against your state licensing board, you might be feeling:
- Worried you'll lose your license
- Worried you'll be suspended
- Angry that you're in trouble
- Feeling like you can just ignore the board
Feeling worried is a healthy response—there's a lot at stake, after all. You've put years of your life into obtaining your nursing license, not to mention the cost of that education. It's reasonable to be concerned your license is at risk of suspension or revocation. You must not, however, ignore the board.
In a recent story reported on by the Albany Democrat-Herald, two Oregonian nurses were disciplined in a manner that demonstrates how response and circumstances impact the outcome of disciplinary action.
How to Communicate With Your State Nursing Board
The first nurse discussed in the article was disciplined with a mild civil penalty after she inadvertently practiced with a lapsed nursing license. In this scenario, she alerted the board to her mistake and treated the situation with the respect it deserved. The second nurse in the article, however, refused to respond to inquiries by the board. Ultimately, the second nurse suffered a suspended license.
The actions of both nurses jeopardized patient well-being, but only in the second scenario did the nurse completely refuse to communicate or cooperate with the board. If he had, he may have been able to prove that the allegations were unjust, or he could have worked out an appropriate financial penalty that wouldn't have barred him from working as a nurse.
Why Nurses Should Hire a Professional License Defense Attorney
You need to contact an attorney if you find yourself in a situation where you think you need to divulge your own conduct to your state nursing board or if your state nursing board has reached out to you regarding your conduct.
Professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento knows how to communicate with professional licensing boards, and he knows how the internal disciplinary processes work. Not only will Attorney Lento and his team effectively communicate with the board, but they will also help you understand the process along the way. It's important to keep in mind that the goal is to keep your license in good standing, so you can continue to build your career. Contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686 or reach out online.