License Defense for New York Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Licensed Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are essential to the practice of medicine in New York. As a result, CRNAs hold a special position of trust in the community. But as a CRNA, you work with some of our most vulnerable citizens. That's why nursing is a highly regulated occupation in New York. But if someone makes an allegation of professional misconduct against you, it could jeopardize the years of education and training you've put into developing your CRNA practice. That's why you need the Professional License Defense Team from the Lento Law Firm to help you along the way. Call 888.535.3686 or contact us online to schedule a consultation as soon as possible.

Licensing for CRNAs in New York

The State Education Department (NYSED) oversees registered nurses' licensing and professional standards in New York. To call yourself an RN or to practice in the state, you must be a registered professional nurse. To become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in New York, you must first be a registered nurse. You won't have to obtain an advanced practice license in New York, but many CRNAs also obtain state certification as acute nurse practitioners. To become a CRNA in New York, you must:

  • Be a registered nurse,
  • Graduate from a CRNA education program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs,
  • Pass a national certification exam offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists.

Before admission to a CRNA program in New York, you must hold a BSN in nursing or a related field and have at least one year of experience as an RN in critical care. There are four accredited CRNA programs in New York, including:

  • Albany Medical College
  • Columbia University
  • SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn
  • University at Buffalo Statue University of New York

To become a registered nurse in New York, you must meet the education and exam requirements and comply with the state's “moral character” requirements. You must also be at least 18 and apply for a license.

Education Requirements for RNs in NY

To meet the NYSED education requirements for RNs, you must graduate from a program that meets one of the three criteria specified by the state:

  • Obtain a bachelor's, master's, or associate's degree in a nursing program registered by NYSED as qualifying for RN licensing,
  • Obtain a degree from a program in another state approved by the licensing authority of that state for practice as an RN, or
  • Complete a nursing program outside of the US acceptable to NYSED.

You'll also need to complete child abuse reporting coursework and infection control coursework.

Exam Requirements for RNs in New York

To meet the exam requirements of NYSED, you must pass the National Council Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). You also meet the exam requirements if you have a license in another state or Canada and passed the State Board Test Pool Examination.

Moral Character Requirements for RNs in New York

To become a nurse in New York, you must show that “you are currently of good moral character.” As part of your application for licensing in New York, you will have to answer the following questions:

  • “Have you been found guilty after trial, or pleaded guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any court?
  • Are criminal charges pending against you in any court? Has any licensing or disciplinary authority refused to issue you a license or ever revoked, annulled, canceled, accepted surrender of, suspended, placed on probation, refused to renew a professional license or certificate held by you now or previously, or ever fined, censured, reprimanded or otherwise disciplined you?
  • Are charges pending against you in any jurisdiction for any sort of professional misconduct?
  • Has any hospital, licensed facility, or clinical laboratory restricted or terminated your professional training, employment, or privileges, or have you voluntarily or involuntarily resigned or withdrawn from such association to avoid imposition of such measures?”

If you don't answer these questions completely and honestly, you could face denial of a license or a later disciplinary action to remove your license in New York.

Professional Standards for CRNAs in New York

In New York, all CRNAs must follow state laws, regulations, and rules regarding the practice of nursing. The Board of Regents, which oversees the NYSED, has many regulations governing the professional conduct of all professions, as does the Commissioner of Education.

In New York, CRNAs and all RNs can face disciplinary action for professional misconduct, including:

  • “Engaging in acts of gross incompetence or gross negligence on a single occasion, or negligence or incompetence on more than one occasion
  • Permitting or aiding an unlicensed person to perform activities requiring a license
  • Refusing a client or patient service because of race, creed, color, or national origin
  • Practicing beyond the scope of the profession
  • Releasing confidential information without authorization
  • Being convicted of a crime
  • Failing to return or provide copies of records on request
  • Being sexually or physically abusive
  • Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate care
  • Performing unnecessary work or unauthorized services
  • Practicing under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.”

CRNAs can also face disciplinary action for conduct such as:

  • Harassing or intimidating a patient physically or verbally,
  • Abandoning a patient in need of urgent medical care,
  • Ordering excessive or unnecessary tests,
  • Failing to supervise properly,
  • Guaranteeing a cure,
  • Failing to wear a conspicuous ID badge in some facilities,
  • Violating practice guidelines, or
  • Failing to use infection prevention techniques that are scientifically accepted.

The Disciplinary Process for CRNAs in New York

The Office of Professional Medical Conduct of the Department of Health oversees the disciplinary process for RNs and CRNAs in New York. The Board of Regents, part of the NYSED, which oversees licensing, has jurisdiction over license investigations and disciplinary matters that the OPMC does not handle.

CRNA Investigations in New York

The complaint process begins in New York with a complaint filed with the NYSED. The complainant asks for information on the CRNA, where they work, and the address. It also asks for specific information about what happened, when, and where. After receiving the complaint, the Regional Office of Professional Discipline logs it and determines whether it's within their jurisdiction. If it isn't, a supervisor immediately closes the case. If so, the supervising investigator will assign the case to a senior investigator (SI).

As part of the investigation, the SI will contact the complainant, interview witnesses, interview your colleagues or employer, and gather all relevant documents. Once the SI has all the relevant information, the SI, a prosecuting attorney, and an NYS board member will screen the case to decide whether to proceed with a disciplinary action. If not, the agency will close the case. If the panel wishes to proceed, the investigator will prepare a report, and a series of escalating supervisors must review the case, including:

  • Supervising investigator,
  • Deputy director,
  • Director of investigations, and
  • OPD Executive Director.

After the OPD agrees to move the case forward, it will go to the Prosecutions Division of OPD. In some cases, criminal allegations may go to the State Attorney General. The OPD completes most investigations within nine months, but complex cases can take up to two years. For minor infractions, the OPD may handle the resolution informally with a confidential reprimand, administrative warning, or corrective action letter.

Formal Disciplinary Actions in New York

For more serious cases, OPD may instigate formal proceedings against you. Many formal disciplinary actions are resolved before heading to litigation or a hearing through a consent order. A consent order will contain the OPD's findings of fact in the case and the proposed sanctions. Both parties must agree to this settlement action, which is available to the public once entered.

However, if the parties can't settle, the NYSED will serve you with a notice of hearing and the charges against you for professional misconduct. You can and should file a response to the charges. The NYSED will try the case against you in a hearing before a panel with three or more members. An Administrative Officer, a New York attorney, will rule on any motions, legal objections, and procedures during the hearing. You will have the right to introduce witnesses, present evidence, cross-examine any NYSED witnesses, and issue subpoenas.

The panel will then issue a written report containing:

  • Findings of fact,
  • A verdict on each charge, and
  • Recommendations for the penalty to impose.

The panel makes decisions of guilt or no guilt based on a vote of two of the three-panel members. While a disciplinary hearing is less formal than a court trial, it is still a binding legal action with serious consequences. That's why you need the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to guide you through the process.

Penalties for CRNA Misconduct in New York

If the Board of Regents finds you responsible for misconduct, the consequences to your license will depend on the severity of the offense. The Office of Processions may issue an administrative warning or advisory letter for minor misconduct. These actions are typically confidential. For more serious matters, the Board of Regents can publicly censure a nurse, issue fines, place restrictions on your license to practice, or suspend or revoke your license. They can also order a period of supervised practice, additional training, or professional education.

In some cases involving drug or alcohol abuse, the OP has a professional assistance program that allows a CRNA to surrender their license confidentially while completing a course of treatment. This is only available if you did not harm a patient or client. Once a nurse surrenders their license or the Board of Regents revokes it, most CRNAs must wait at least three years to apply for license restoration. The Board of Regents can restore the license, but the decision is discretionary.

Appealing a CRNA License Disciplinary Action in New York

After a formal hearing, you may request a rehearing from the Board of Regents. However, if your rehearing is denied or you still disagree with the action against your CRNA license, you can appeal to the state courts with an Article 78 proceeding. You must file within four months of the agency's final decision and have no additional appeal options before the Board of Regents.

You'll file your appeal with the New York State Supreme Court in your county. In your appeal, you won't be able to rehash the entire case below. However, you can raise several issues:

  1. The agency failed to follow its rules while making its decision against your CRNA license,
  2. The agency's decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” or
  3. The agency's decision wasn't supported by “substantial evidence.”

While “substantial evidence” makes it sound like the agency needs a great deal of evidence, this standard means that there must be enough evidence that a “reasonable person” would believe it's enough to support the Board of Regent's decision.

You Need the Lento Law Firm's Skilled Professional License Defense Team

If you're a CRNA facing a disciplinary investigation or action against you in New York, the consequences to your professional career can be serious. If you fail to answer a complaint against you or to respond to an investigator's request for information or documents, they could enter a default judgment against you and suspend or revoke your license. Don't let a disciplinary investigation destroy your career. You need the experienced Professional License Defense Team from the Lento Law Firm to help you present your best defense, negotiate with investigators and the NYSED, and ensure the best possible outcome in your case. The Professional License Defense Team has been helping CRNAs like you nationwide for years. Find out how they can help you. Call the Team at 888.535.3686 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.


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.

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