Let the Lento Law Firm Defend Your Illinois CNA License
Illinois is a good place to pursue your certified nursing assistant work and career. The vastly populous and exciting Chicago area is the center of the state's healthcare practice that extends west and downstate. Illinois' largest Northwestern Memorial Hospital and other enormous facilities like the University of Chicago Medical Center, Advocate Christ Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, all in Chicago or its suburbs Oak Lawn or Park Ridge, provide plenty of CNA employment. Other large hospitals in Chicago suburbs, Maywood and Arlington Heights, and outstate in Peoria, Aurora, Joliet, Naperville, and Springfield, add to your gainful and exciting CNA prospects. Large home healthcare services like Midwestern Healthcare, American Nursing, Benchmark Health Care, and Open Arms Solutions add to your CNA opportunities.
Yet Illinois CNAs must maintain their registration if they are to enjoy their abundant Illinois professional employment opportunities. Disciplinary charges from Illinois public health officials involving your professional or personal misconduct, nursing credentials, or other issues can cause you to face license disciplinary charges. You could lose your CNA license and employment. Face up to your disciplinary issues. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team to defend your CNA license anywhere in Illinois. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for the best available help to defend your CNA license against disciplinary charges.
Illinois Certified Nursing Assistant Registration
Illinois certifies nursing assistants, which Illinois also calls nurse aides or CNAs, through its Nurse Aide Registry. You must obtain and maintain your CNA registration to work as a nursing aide or assistant in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health maintains the Illinois Nurse Aide Registry. The Department publishes the requirements for CNA registration. The Department also publishes a list of the hundreds of approved locations throughout Illinois where you can get the training necessary for CNA registration. The Department of Health also lists the dozens of criminal convictions disqualifying candidates from CNA registration along with lists of crimes for which the Department may consider an excuse and exemption, proof of the candidate's rehabilitation, or an appeal from automatic disqualification. Consult our attorneys if you have CNA registration issues, including the need to seek an exemption or appeal from disqualifying criminal convictions.
Illinois CNA Regulatory Authority
Illinois has a Nurse Practice Act authorizing the Illinois Board of Nursing to regulate the practice of licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses. But Illinois doesn't regulate CNAs under its Nurse Practice Act or through its Board of Nursing. Illinois instead has a separate statute outside of the Nurse Practice Act, Illinois Statute Section 45/3-206, granting the Illinois Department of Public Health the authority to regulate certified nursing assistants. Section 45/3-206 authorizes the Department to prescribe the education, training, and experience a nursing assistant must have for certification. Section 45/3-206 states that nursing assistants meeting those requirements may have their name entered into the state's Health Care Worker Registry as certified nursing assistants. On its website, the Department refers to the Health Care Worker Registry as the Nurse Aide Registry when involving the entry of a CNA's name. Section 45/3-206 expressly prohibits employment as a nursing assistant, CNA, or nurse aide unless entered on the Nurse Aide Registry.
Illinois Certified Nursing Assistant Discipline
The Illinois Department of Public Health disciplines healthcare workers on its Health Care Worker Registry following the rules for the particular field of practice. The Department would refer to the Illinois Nurse Practice Act for nursing rules under which to discipline a registered CNA. Section 65/70-5 of the Nurse Practice Act authorizes denial, suspension, or revocation of licensure and imposition of fines up to $10,000 for each violation of the Act. Section 65/70-5 of the Nurse Practice Act also authorizes lesser discipline, such as a reprimand, probation, or "other disciplinary or non-disciplinary action as the Department may deem appropriate."
That authority to impose lesser discipline at the discretion of state officials gives our attorneys the opportunity to negotiate for creative relief on your behalf. Don't assume that disciplinary charges against you are an all-or-nothing, win-lose proposition. To the contrary, even if you have committed misconduct as the disciplinary officials have charged, we may be able to show those officials that CNA license suspension or revocation is entirely unnecessary and that other measures, such as additional education or training or closer supervision and better support, may be more appropriate. Let our skilled and experienced Professional License Defense Team help you achieve your best disciplinary outcome.
Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
To discipline you, though, Illinois Department of Public Health officials must show that you committed some act that violates state rules, regulations, and standards for nursing. Disciplinary officials can't just take away your CNA license. They must instead prove your disqualifying misconduct. Section 65/70-5 of the Nurse Practice Act lists the grounds on which state officials may impose one or more of the above forms of discipline. The grounds that state officials allege against you are important because they determine how our attorneys can best defend you. Consider the following statutory grounds for CNA discipline and how our Professional License Defense Team may help you defend and defeat those charges.
Credentials Issues as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's first grounds for discipline involve "material deception in furnishing information to the Department," "fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a license under this Act or in connection with applying for renewal of a license under this Act," or "attempting to subvert or cheat on a licensing examination administered under this Act." The primary way in which you could violate this provision would be to falsely represent your nursing training program credentials when applying for your CNA license or renewing your license. Our attorneys can help you respond to credentials charges by helping you identify, acquire, organize, and present documentary and testimonial evidence of your coursework, training, and experience, qualifying you for licensure.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "conviction by plea of guilty or nolo contendere, finding of guilt, jury verdict, or entry of judgment or by sentencing of any crime, including, but not limited to, convictions, preceding sentences of supervision, conditional discharge, or first offender probation, under the laws of any jurisdiction of the United States: (i) that is a felony; or (ii) that is a misdemeanor, an essential element of which is dishonesty, or that is directly related to the practice of the profession." Illinois Administrative Code Section 955.160 carries that statute into effect by listing literally dozens of Illinois crimes that could disqualify you from CNA licensure or lead to your license's revocation. Those crimes include things like murder, solicitation of murder, kidnapping, child abduction, unlawful restraint, indecent solicitation of a child, child sexual exploitation, assault, battery, domestic battery, aggravated stalking, home invasion, sexual assault, elder abuse, child endangerment or abandonment, theft, forgery, robbery, burglary, criminal trespass, arson, and certain weapons offenses.
Our attorneys may be able to help you prove that you were not convicted of a disqualifying crime or that your conviction has been expunged, pardoned, or overturned. We may also be able to help you show exonerating and mitigating circumstances under which the Department may exempt you from the requirement of license revocation due to disqualifying criminal conviction.
Incompetence or Incapacity as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "a pattern of practice or other behavior which demonstrates incapacity or incompetency to practice under this Act." Incapacity may involve physical limitations such as the inability to lift, move, and transfer a disabled patient. Incompetency could involve a lack of knowledge of hygiene, medication, transfer, and testing practices or practices having to do with recording and reporting patient conditions. Our attorneys may be able to help you show that allegations of your incapacity or incompetence were simply false, that others committed the incompetent acts alleged against you, that any wrongs you committed did not cause any injury, and that you have corrected and remediated any such wrongs so that you no longer present a practice risk.
Public Deception as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public" or "making a false or misleading statement regarding a licensee's skill or the efficacy or value of the medicine, treatment, or remedy prescribed in the course of treatment." Public deception misconduct may have to do with the CNA advertising that the CNA holds LPN or RN credentials or other misrepresentations about the CNA's licensure, skill, and experience. Our attorneys may be able to show that you made no such misrepresentations, that you deceived no member of the public, and that anything you said would not have led to public harm.
Drug or Alcohol Abuse as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "unlawful taking, theft, selling, distributing, or manufacturing of any drug, narcotic, or prescription device" or "habitual or excessive use or addiction to alcohol, narcotics, stimulants, or any other chemical agent or drug that could result in a licensee's inability to practice with reasonable judgment, skill, or safety." The Illinois Division of Professional Regulation offers Care, Counseling, & Treatment Agreements to some nurses who divert and abuse drugs or have other addiction issues. If you have diverted drugs or abused drugs or alcohol, our attorneys may be able to help you qualify for a recovery program on terms that could save your CNA license. Beware of recovery agreements that require you to relinquish your license because you may not be able to get it back.
Recordkeeping Issues as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "willful omission to file or record, or willfully impeding the filing or recording or inducing another person to omit to file or record medical reports as required by law," "failure to establish and maintain records of patient care and treatment as required by law," or "willfully making or filing false records or reports … including, but not limited to, false records to support claims against the medical assistance program…." Accurate records of patient conditions can be critical to a patient's care. Accurate time and activity records can also be critical to Medicare and insurance billing practices closely regulated by state and federal law. Our attorneys may be able to help you with disciplinary charges having to do with inaccurate or incomplete recordkeeping. We may be able to show that you were not responsible for recordkeeping, that any entries you made were accurate, and that any inaccurate entries caused no harm.
Failure to Report as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "willfully failing to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act" or "willfully failing to report an instance of suspected abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or self-neglect of an eligible adult as defined in and required by the Adult Protective Services Act." Nurses are mandatory reporters under child and elder protection laws. Failing to report could lead to continued abuse or neglect and serious injury. Our attorneys, though, may be able to show that you were not aware of suspected abuse or that you relied on the instructions and reports of another, such as your supervisor.
Gross Negligence as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "gross negligence in the practice of practical, professional, or advanced practice registered nursing." Any substantial departure from customary CNA practices that endangers a patient or the public could constitute gross negligence. If, for instance, you used an unsafe method to lift and transfer a patient resulting in the patient's fall, or if you used a caustic chemical rather than a soothing agent resulting in burns to a patient, disciplinary officials might charge you with gross negligence. Our attorneys may help you show that you engaged in no such misconduct or, if you did do what officials allege, retain consulting experts endorsing any practice you used or show that your actions resulted in no harm. We may also show that you have corrected your actions and present no future patient or public risk.
Immoral Conduct as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "immoral conduct in the commission of an act, including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, or sexual exploitation, related to the licensee's practice." Our attorneys may be able to show that allegations of your immoral wrongs are simply false or exaggerated or, if you did commit the alleged acts, that other circumstances exonerate or mitigate your wrongs, which you have further corrected and addressed.
Confidentiality Breaches as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "willfully or negligently violating the confidentiality between nurse and patient except as required by law" or "willfully or negligently violating the confidentiality between an advanced practice registered nurse, collaborating physician, dentist, or podiatric physician and a patient, except as required by law." Our attorneys may be able to show that you did not breach any confidentiality, that any information you shared was not confidential, that information you shared was necessary to a patient's care and treatment, and that your disclosures led to no harm.
Disability as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "physical illness, mental illness, or disability that results in the inability to practice the profession with reasonable judgment, skill, or safety." You may have suffered an illness or injury that interrupted your CNA employment or that raised questions about whether you were able to continue to work. Employers, though, have federal and state obligations to reasonably accommodate employee disabilities. Our attorneys may thus be able to show that you would be able to practice as a CNA if your employer provided you with the required reasonable accommodations. We may also be able to show that you don't have any disability affecting your judgment, skill, or safety.
Medication Administration as Grounds for Illinois CNA Discipline
Section 65/70-5's next grounds for discipline involve "prescribing, selling, administering, distributing, giving, or self-administering a drug classified as a controlled substance (designated product) or narcotic for other than medically accepted therapeutic purposes" or otherwise "violating state or federal laws, rules, or regulations relating to controlled substances." Disciplinary officials may, for instance, allege that you gave a medication that only an LPN or RN could administer, that you gave a medication without the necessary prescription, or that you distributed a medication to a patient without authorization. Our attorneys may be able to show that you committed no such wrong, that you acted under the supervision and direction of a registered nurse, and that no harm resulted from any of your actions.
Exemption from Illinois CNA Discipline
Illinois Department of Public Health disciplinary officials have the authority not only to determine whether you committed any of the above wrongs, and if so, then what penalty to impose. Those officials may also excuse your misconduct if it involved certain disqualifying convictions and you submit a waiver application. Illinois disciplinary officials may also excuse other disqualifying convictions based on your showing that you have rehabilitated your professional character. Even for convictions that automatically disqualify you from CNA licensure, the Department authorizes its disciplinary officials to accept and review your appeal to retain your CNA license. Our skilled and experienced attorneys can help you request a waiver, prove your rehabilitation, or take an appeal. Your waiver or appeal will need to present convincing evidence of the sort that we can help you identify and acquire.
Illinois CNA Disciplinary Procedures
Section 70-160 of the Illinois Nurse Practice Act expressly incorporates the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act for procedures on determining licensure issues, including discipline. The Illinois Department of Public Health likewise relies on the Administrative Procedure Act and the Illinois Bureau of Administrative Hearings. The Bureau qualifies and appoints administrative law judges to determine matters coming before state agencies like the Board of Nursing and the Department of Public Health. Section 70-100(a) of the Illinois Nurse Practice Act, though, states these basic procedures for disciplinary hearings:
The Board or the hearing officer authorized by the Department shall hear evidence in support of the formal charges and evidence produced by the licensee. At the conclusion of the hearing the Board shall present to the Secretary a written report of its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations. The report shall contain a finding whether or not the accused person violated this Act or failed to comply with the conditions required in this Act. The report shall specify the nature of the violation or failure to comply, and the Board shall make its recommendations to the Secretary.
Section 70-100 of the Illinois Nurse Practice Act further provides that a nurse suffering discipline may request a rehearing. The Department secretary then decides whether to adopt the Board's recommendation or reject the recommendation and impose a different resolution. Our attorneys can help you invoke these hearing procedures, present your evidence, challenge the opposing evidence, and advocate that the Board recommend and secretary adopt a favorable outcome on your disciplinary charges.
Illinois CNA Disciplinary Consent Resolutions
The following Section 70-103 of the Illinois Nurse Practice Act further allows the Board's disciplinary representatives and you to resolve any disciplinary case by consent agreement: "At any point in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding provided for in this Act, both parties may agree to a negotiated consent order. The consent order shall be final upon signature of the Secretary." Consent agreements can be good ways of reaching win-win resolutions and preserving your CNA license. But beware of entering a consent agreement that sets you up for failure. Our attorneys can help you evaluate the Department's proposed consent agreement and perhaps negotiate better terms.
Nationwide Stakes of Illinois CNA Discipline
The Illinois Department of Public Health grants CNAs registered in other states the right to register in Illinois if their state recognizes the same CNA reciprocity. Your Illinois CNA license could be good in many other states. But if you suffer discipline in Illinois, you lose that advantage. You could find yourself unable to practice as a CNA in any other state.
Premier Illinois CNA Defense Representation
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs, and across the state from Peoria to Springfield, for CNA license defense. Retain our skilled and experienced attorneys to help you retain your CNA license and employment. Hundreds of professionals around Illinois and across the nation have trusted the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team for successful outcomes in their license defense. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now.