Indiana LPN License Defense

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are backed by compassionate care, years of education, and intense medical training. Among the daily challenges of providing medical support and overseeing patients are maintaining the credentials needed to practice in Indiana. Unfortunately, the only thing that stands between an LPN and a rewarding career can be a single complaint or allegation of misconduct.

LPNs may believe that they can gain tenure in their workplaces or be shielded from discipline for the relationships they've made, but even a first-time rule violation can lead to severe disciplinary action. Also, licensees may think hiring an attorney to defend them against their governing board is extreme. However, it can be the sole reason you remain eligible to work in healthcare and not have your license suspended or revoked.

The administrative procedures used to adjudicate license violations can be stressful and complex and take months or even years to resolve. Sometimes, licensing boards fail to fully comprehend the context of a situation or mistreat licensees with harsh discipline, which can lead to the following:

  • Practice limitations and restrictions that damage your professional reputation.
  • Civil penalties and restitution can place immense financial stress on your family.
  • License suspension or revocation that leaves you struggling to find a job.

Fortunately, clear guidance and a pathway toward defense is what the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team is known for. Whether Indiana LPNs are navigating the complaint process, state board hearing, or filing appeals, we can provide the assistance needed to protect your livelihood. Our team will lead negotiations with Indiana authorities and ensure licensees are treated fairly. Call the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team at 888-535-3686 now or submit your details online, and we will contact you.

Indiana State Board of Nursing Licensing Standards

The Indiana State Board of Nursing (ISBN) approves, oversees, and disciplines LPNs through the state's rules and regulations and the Nurse Practice Act (NPA). The board has no jurisdiction to resolve matters that do not involve the NPA or Indiana's supplementary laws for LPNs.

In large part, remaining in good standing with the board requires LPNs to follow the code of conduct. While there are many issues for which the board may levy disciplinary action, such as unprofessionalism and incompetency, the following are common reasons:

  • Providing false or misleading personal or patient records.
  • Drug diversion for distribution, sale, use, or any unauthorized reason.
  • Providing patient care or on the job while intoxicated, including being flagged positive during a drug screening without valid prescriptions.
  • Theft or any resource misappropriation from employers.
  • Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, exploitation, or neglect of patients, patient family members, supervisors, or coworkers.
  • Failing to keep accurate medication distribution records.
  • Criminal arrest, charges, or convictions.
  • Acts the board deems unprofessional conduct or incompetency.
  • Any behavior that potentially exposes a patient to unnecessary risk or harm.

Among the matters above, LPNs can get into trouble for misbehavior or license breaches outside the confines of a hospital or medical facility. Additionally, while failing to pay personal property taxes is grounds for applicant denial, it may also affect a licensee's standing, as will failing to pay child support and other court-ordered financial matters. While the ISBN governs LPNs, there are some instances the board will not adjudicate, such as disagreements between coworkers and employer-employee disputes.

Allegations of misconduct or rule violations don't always come from the board but from Indiana's complaint system for licensed professionals. Depending on the matter, there are several outlets.

ISBN Complaint Process and Investigations

Anyone can submit a complaint—patients, patient family members, coworkers, supervisors, and any member of the public. Patients and other patrons of LPN services may lodge a grievance through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA), Office of the Attorney General (OAG), or the ISBN. Coworkers and non-consumers must contact the board.

If an LPN is unable to practice or is impaired by substance abuse, intoxication, or psychological condition, referrals can be made to the Indiana State Nursing Assistance Program (ISNAP). Although licenses may not avoid adverse action from the board, enrolling in ISNAP helps licensees rehabilitate without giving up their credentials.

The ISBN requires that complainants list the following information for assessment:

  • Subject of the complaint
  • Patient information
  • An explanation of the alleged incident
  • Supporting documents, such as evidence and witness testimony

When the board receives a complaint, the director makes an initial determination. In some circumstances, the board has the authority to take action against an LPN in the form of a summary suspension. This is a period of up to 90 days that a license is suspended following an allegation or complaint that demonstrates clear and immediate danger to the public health and safety.

Otherwise, if the board determines the allegations constitute a violation of the NPA or are otherwise in its jurisdiction, the nurse will receive a notice, and the board will assign an investigator to the case. The notice contains certain due process rights afforded to the LPN, such as the opportunity to respond to the allegations and the chance to retain professional legal help. During the investigation, board staff obtain relevant evidence like the following:

  • Employment records
  • Physical or electronic correspondence
  • Patient medical records
  • Testimony from the complainant, LPN under investigation, and witnesses.

If the evidence indicates that sanctions against the respondent are warranted, the ISBN can take steps toward resolving the matter informally or proceeding to a formal hearing. Licensees who wish to contest common informal sanctions like censure, reprimand, and remediation can seek an evidentiary hearing.

The ISBN designates a hearing officer and notifies the license of the time, date, and place of the hearing—which may be public depending on the charges. During the hearing, all parties are afforded the chance to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and call witnesses to give oral testimony. Following the hearing, the hearing officer issues a report to the board containing findings and recommended actions, which then votes on a final determination, which is sent to the LPN.

Sanctions for Indiana LPNs

LPNs can receive several types of sanctions if the board, PLA, or OAG deem them necessary. There may be instances wherein sanctions are conditional, meaning the boards require the licensee to perform various mandatory tasks, such as continuing education, to avoid certain punishments. However, any particulars of discipline are listed on the notice the board sends licensees once it makes its final determination. Below are the most common forms of discipline:

  • Censure: an expression of official disapproval that does not affect the status of the license or the licensee's ability to practice. Censure can be imposed in combination with other types of disciplinary sanctions.
  • Letter of reprimand: an official record of board disapproval of the licensee's conduct or actions but does not affect license status.
  • Fines: payments to the board, PLA, or OAG assessed at no more than $1,000 per violation.
  • Probation: licensees must complete remedial requirements issued by the board, often checking in with them multiple times during the disciplinary period, and can also be met with practice conditions.
  • Limitations of practice: restraints on the scope of an LPN's practice until fulfilling requirements specified by the board to rehabilitate prior actions or behaviors.
  • License suspension: credentials and authorization to practice are stripped for a period of time, typically up to five years.
  • License revocation: terminating an LPN's credentials, typically without the opportunity to reapply in the future.

While minor discipline may not change the standing of an individual's license, even first-time written reprimands are part of an LPN's record and can quickly affect other aspects of professional life. In most states, disciplinary action taken on a professional license can lead to proceedings elsewhere. For example, if an Indiana LPN also has another professional license (public accountancy, dentistry, appraiser, etc.), the ISBN's discipline will affect those. Each case adjudicated by the ISBN is different; therefore, there's no way to know how sanctions will affect each individual.

Can Discipline in Indiana Affect LPNs Elsewhere?

At least 41 U.S. states and territories are signatories of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows healthcare professionals like LPNs to practice in multiple states without additional or supplementary authorization. While the NLC benefits LPNs by allowing them to find work everywhere in the country, any disciplinary action taken on an Indiana license is available to view in all other states. If an individual's license to practice is suspended or revoked in Indiana, they won't be able to work as an LPN in another NLC-compliant state until their license is permitted to be reinstated, which is conditional depending on the board's order.

Additionally, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's Nursys database provides a look into a licensee's disciplinary history. The nationwide system covers states that don't conform to the NLC. Regardless, LPNs don't have to accept the board's resolution. Licensees have a means of redress through the state court system.

Indiana Contested Case Hearing

If the LPN wishes to challenge the board's decision and the sanctions, the Indiana Office of Administrative Law Proceedings (OALP) will host a contested case hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Licensees have 30 days after they receive notice of the disciplinary action to petition the OALP. The objective of the ALJ will be to decide whether the board substantiated the charges of the NPA violation or other relevant law within its jurisdiction and if the actions merit discipline.

The ALJ may attempt to hold one or more settlement conferences to discuss procedural matters, institute a period of discovery, and explore the possibility of an agreement. If neither the LPN nor the board's representative can agree on terms, a hearing is conducted that includes the following:

  • A chance to respond to the charges.
  • Presenting evidence to the ALJ.
  • Giving oral testimony to the ALJ.
  • Having the opportunity to retain an attorney.

Decisions are not made during the hearing, and the ALJ usually issues a final order within 60 days of the beginning of the contested case hearing process. In some cases, the ALJ may require post-hearing briefs to assist in their determination. The final order will affirm, deny, or modify the board's original decision. Afterward, the ISBN reviews the order and pursues action on the licensee.

At this stage, the board's decision is final. However, LPNs can continue to appeal further. Licensees can petition the state appeals court, but preserving your credentials can be much more straightforward if you retain professional legal help to defend you.

We Serve LPNs Employed by Medical Providers Throughout Indiana

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team is known nationwide for negotiating with state authorities to help LPNs keep their credentials and ability to practice. Regardless of the misconduct or complaints alleged against you, we serve all LPNs practicing in Indiana, and our team is familiar with prominent employers in the state's medical sector, including but not limited to the following:

  • Parkview Hospital Randallia (Fort Wayne)
  • Columbus Regional Health (Columbus)
  • Deaconess Gateway and Women's Hospital (Newburgh)
  • Dupont Hospital (Fort Wayne)
  • Gibson General Hospital (Princeton)
  • OrthoIndy Hospital (Indianapolis)
  • Memorial Hospital of South Bend (South Bend)
  • Deaconess Hospital (Evansville)
  • Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital (Lafayette)
  • Union Hospital (Terre Haute)
  • Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital (Indianapolis)
  • St. Joesph's Hospital (Fort Wayne)
  • Logansport Memorial Hospital (Logansport)
  • Kosciusko Community Hospital (Warsaw)
  • Indiana University Health University Hospital (Indianapolis)
  • Good Samaritan Hospital (Vincennes)
  • Lutheran Hospital of Indiana (Fort Wayne)

Those listed above are just a few examples of high-volume employers of LPNs in Indiana. Even if your employer isn't listed above, we can provide invaluable support, guidance, and representation.

Contact the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team

Defending your Indiana LPN license is our priority, whether from the ISBN, PLA, OAG, or OALP. While some may think an attorney is too intense of an option to exercise in protecting your license, think again. LPNs have dedicated years and even decades to education and training, and losing a license brings about the end of a long, rewarding career.

Don't fall for the advertising of local lawyers priding their practice on aggression and shock-and-awe tactics. What you need is the finesse and attention to detail supplied by the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team. Call us at 888-535-3686 today, to learn how we will protect your Indiana LPN license, or go online now.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.