The Lento Law Firm Defends Maryland CNA Registration
Maryland offers abundant attractive opportunities for certified nursing assistants or CNAs to practice. Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, and Frederick are all populous communities with patients and residents in need of home or residential facility nursing assistance. Seva Home Care, AG Healthcare, and All Set Home Health are among the many home healthcare agencies employing CNAs in Maryland communities. Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Maryland Medical Centre, and Sinai Hospital of Baltimore are the largest of Maryland's many fine hospitals offering alternative, facility-based practice to hundreds of CNAs.
Yet you need a Maryland CNA certification to practice in any Maryland hospital or residential facility. Your employer will check Maryland's CNA registry to ensure that your CNA certification remains in good standing. If, instead, you lose your CNA certification to license disciplinary charges based on allegations of your personal or professional misconduct, you could lose your valuable Maryland CNA employment. Don't succumb to Maryland CNA disciplinary charges. Instead, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team to defend your Maryland CNA certification. Our attorneys are available to represent you in Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Frederick, or any other Maryland location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for attorney defense against Maryland CNA disciplinary charges.
Maryland Nursing Assistant Registry Certification
Maryland certifies nursing assistants or CNAs through its Board of Nursing. Maryland Code Section 8-6A-02 provides that "an individual shall be certified by the Board to practice as a nursing assistant, dialysis technician, or medication technician before the individual may practice as a nursing assistant, dialysis technician, or medication technician in the State." Maryland Code Section 8-701(c)(1) reiterates that "an individual may not practice, attempt to practice, or offer to practice as a certified nursing assistant unless certified by the Board as a certified nursing assistant." You must have and maintain the Board of Nursing's CNA certification to practice as a nursing assistant in the state, whether hospital-based or in a residential facility. Chapter 10.39.01 of Maryland's Code or Regulations details the administrative procedures for CNA certification.
Maryland Advanced Level CNA Certification
Maryland follows similar laws and rules to certify not just basic-level nursing assistants but also advanced nursing assistants. Once you obtain your CNA certification, you can take further training and competency evaluation to qualify for a geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) certification, certified medicine aide (CMA), or dialysis technician. Section 10.39.01.09 of Maryland's Code of Regulations details the requirements for these advanced certifications. If you earn those additional certifications, they will appear on your CNA registration record and card. The laws, rules, and procedures discussed here generally apply not just to your CNA certification but also to any GNA, CMA, or dialysis technician certifications you also hold in Maryland.
Maryland CNA Regulatory Authority
Maryland's Board of Nursing doesn't just certify nursing assistants. It also closely regulates and restricts the practice of CNAs in Maryland. When you work as a Maryland CNA, you work in a closely regulated environment. Chapter 10.39.05 of Maryland's Code of Regulations sets forth both the standards for CNA practice and the scope or limits of that practice. Section 10.39.05.03 requires a CNA to work under the delegated authority of a registered nurse, assist that nurse in data collection, accurately report patient conditions, alert others when those conditions change, communicate patient requests, provide daily living assistance, perform directed interventions, and request assistance whenever necessary, among many other and similar requirements. These are the types of standards against which the Board of Nursing will measure a CNA's performance when patients, residents, employers, or others complain about the CNA's work.
Maryland CNA Disciplinary Authority
Maryland's Board of Nursing not only has the responsibility to certify nursing assistants and the authority to regulate CNA practice. The Board of Nursing also has the authority to discipline certified nursing assistants. Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10 expressly states that the Board of Nursing may deny a certificate to a nursing assistant applicant, suspend or revoke a certificate already issued, or place a CNA on probation with respect to the certification if the investigation shows that the CNA has violated the Board's standards of practice in one or more of the specified ways. The Board of Nursing publishes the nursing assistant discipline in its registry in an online searchable format so that employers, residents, patients, and others can ensure that the CNA with whom they come into contact relating to professional services is properly certified and in good standing. For example, the Board's Geriatric Nursing Assistant Abuse Registry alone includes the names, license numbers, and disciplinary violations of dozens of Maryland GNAs.
Maryland CNA Disciplinary Sanctions
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10 also lists the sanction forms that the Board of Nursing may impose against a CNA facing disciplinary charges. The Board of Nursing may revoke the CNA's certification, ending the CNA's Maryland employment. The Board may alternatively suspend the certification indefinitely or for a fixed time or until the nursing assistant meets the Board's conditions for the certification's reinstatement. The Board may instead place the CNA on probation, again with terms, conditions, and restrictions such as limiting practice to a single current employer, requiring additional training or supervision, and requiring other remediation. Section 8-6A-10(b) also authorizes a fine of up to $500 instead of any of the above sanctions or in addition to them. The Board may also or alternatively publicly or privately reprimand the CNA.
Addressing Maryland CNA Sanctions
Obviously, license revocation or suspension that ends your Maryland CNA employment could devastate not only your job, professional practice, professional education, and career but also impact you and your family personally. But the fact that the Maryland Board of Nursing has several alternatives to license suspension or revocation gives you an opportunity to negotiate a resolution that allows you to retain your CNA certification in good standing. Our attorneys may be able to help you negotiate remedial training, acceptable practice restrictions, or reasonable accommodations for any disability that contributed to your disciplinary issues. Don't construe charges as an all-or-nothing affair. We may be able to help you achieve an early win-win resolution that preserves your CNA certification while ensuring disciplinary officials that you can practice safely and competently.
Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10 also lists the grounds on which Board of Nursing officials may discipline a CNA, imposing any of the above sanctions. The grounds that Board of Nursing officials allege against you are important. The more serious the grounds, the more likely you may face severe sanctions. But any grounds, even so little as your failure to respond to the Board's charges or answer their information requests, could result in the suspension or revocation of your certification. As you read the following grounds and compare them to the charges of which the Board has notified you in writing, also consider the following information on how our attorneys may be able to help you defend and defeat the charges.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's first grounds for discipline are when a CNA "fraudulently or deceptively obtains or attempts to obtain a certificate for the applicant or for another" or "fraudulently or deceptively uses a certificate." Credentials fraud can include a CNA misrepresenting prior education, the necessary training program, or the required work experience. Cheating on the competency evaluation and altering the certificate's dates or approvals could be other disciplinary grounds in this category. If you face such charges, our attorneys may be able to help you document that you did complete the education and training and did have the work experience you claim.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "is disciplined by a licensing, military, or disciplinary authority … or convicted or disciplined by a court … for an act that would be grounds for disciplinary action under the Board's disciplinary statutes," or "is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or to a crime involving moral turpitude…." Disqualifying crimes can include violent crimes like assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, unlawful restraint, and domestic violence; crimes of dishonesty like insurance fraud or retail fraud, crimes of immorality like lewdness, indecency, and sexual exploitation; and serious property crimes like robbery, theft, burglary, and arson. If you face disciplinary charges based on your alleged criminal conviction, our attorneys may be able to help you show that you were not convicted as officials allege, that your conviction was expunged, overturned, or pardoned, or that your conviction should qualify for a waiver based on your rehabilitation.
Recordkeeping Issues as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "files a false report or record of an individual under the certificate holder's care," "gives any false or misleading information about a material matter in an employment application," "fails to file or record any health record that is required by law," or "induces another individual to fail to file or record any health record that is required by law." Recordkeeping can be critical to patient care. False or incomplete patient records could lead to patient injury. Accurate time and activity records can also be essential to comply with Medicare and insurance fraud regulations. If you face disciplinary charges for inaccurate or inadequate recordkeeping, our attorneys may be able to show that your records were accurate, that any inaccuracies were at the hands of others, that you followed the reasonable directions of your supervisor in recordkeeping, or that other circumstances such as an excess caseload should mitigate your non-compliance.
Impaired Practice as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA provides services while "[u]nder the influence of alcohol [or u]sing any narcotic or controlled dangerous substance … in excess of therapeutic amounts or without valid medical indication; [h]as a substance use disorder; [or i]s addicted to, or habitually abuses, any narcotic or controlled dangerous substance…." Substance abuse and addiction can contribute to impaired practice endangering a patient's safety and health. Maryland's Board of Nursing, though, recognizes that the stresses of nursing and a nurse's access to prescription medication can contribute to substance abuse and addiction. The Board, therefore, offers a Rehabilitation Program as an alternative to discipline in qualifying cases, especially when the CNA or other nurse self-reports the substance issue. Beware entering into a diversion agreement, though that requires you to relinquish your CNA certification. Depending on the agreement's terms, you may not be able to get your certification back. Our attorneys may be able to help you negotiate an appropriate consent agreement or help you defend and defeat the charges.
Incompetence as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "has acted in a manner inconsistent with the health or safety of an individual under the applicant or certificate holder's care," "performs certified nursing assistant … functions incompetently," or "has practiced … in a manner which fails to meet generally accepted standards for the practice of a nursing assistant…." This broad category of CNA incompetence can involve things like poor lifting and transferring methods resulting in dropping or otherwise injuring a patient, use of the wrong substances and materials to cleanse a patient or resident or the individual's wounds resulting in burns or infections, and failing to follow physician and supervisor orders for bed rails up and for ambulation assistance resulting in patient or resident falls. If you face such charges, our attorneys may be able to show disciplinary officials that you did not engage in the alleged incompetent practice, that your practices did not injure anyone, or that your practices fell within a standard of care to which our retained expert testifies. We may also be able to help you show that you have corrected or can correct your competence issues with additional training, support, and supervision.
Abuse as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "has physically, verbally, or psychologically abused, neglected, or otherwise harmed an individual under the applicant or certificate holder's care." Abuse charges may allege that you struck, bit, kicked, shoved, yelled at, scolded, or berated a patient or resident. Abuse charges can be among the most difficult to defend because of their implication of deliberate rather than merely careless wrongdoing. But our attorneys may be able to help you show that your actions were in self-defense, for the protection of the resident or patient against self-harm, or to protect others. Or we may be able to show that the complaining individual suffers from delusion or memory issues and that you committed no abuse at all.
Disability as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "has a physical or mental condition which renders the applicant or certificate holder unable to practice as a certified nursing assistant … with reasonable skill and safety to the patients and which may endanger the health or safety of individuals under the care of the applicant or certificate holder." Disciplinary charges based on your physical impairment may implicate your disability rights, especially if our attorneys can help you show that your employer failed to reasonably accommodate your disabilities as employment laws require. We may alternatively be able to help you show that you are not disabled in any material respect or that your disabilities do not affect your skill or endanger patient or resident health or safety.
Confidentiality Breaches as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "has violated the confidentiality of information or knowledge as prescribed by law concerning any patient." Your duty as a CNA is generally not to share patient or resident confidences with anyone other than that medical personnel who have a right and need to know about the care of the patient or resident. Disclosures to other patients or residents, or to family members or friends of the patient or resident, or on social media or other outside forums can lead to disciplinary charges, especially when embarrassing or distressing to the affected patient or resident. If you face such charges, our attorneys may be able to show that you made no such disclosures and that your only disclosures were to other healthcare personnel who needed to know for the benefit of the resident or patient.
Misappropriation as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "has misappropriated patient or facility property." Misappropriation charges can result when a patient or resident reports missing valuable jewelry, electronic devices, furniture, equipment, or funds from a wallet, purse, or account. If you face such charges, our attorneys may be able to show that the patient or resident has given a deluded or confused and, therefore, inaccurate report of missing property or that others had equal or greater access to the property and are responsible for anything missing. We may also be able to help you show that the patient or resident directed you to move or dispose of property for the patient's benefit rather than your own.
Failure to Abide by Disease Controls as Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's next grounds for discipline are when a CNA "fails to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines on universal precautions." The section excuses such failures when due to an emergency. Coming to work while sick with a deadly contagious disease would be an example of a violation of this prohibition. If you face such charges, our attorneys may be able to show that you were not ill, that your illness was not a deadly contagion, or that no one caught the disease from you. We may also be able to help you show that any work you performed while contagious was under those emergency circumstances the statute excuses.
Other Grounds for Maryland CNA Discipline
Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10(a) 's other grounds for discipline include when a CNA "fails to cooperate with a lawful investigation conducted by the Board," "fails to comply with instructions and directions of the supervising registered nurse or licensed practical nurse," "engages in conduct that violates the code of ethics," or "abandons a patient." Our attorneys may be able to help you defend any such charges. If, for instance, you face a disciplinary proceeding, our attorneys can help you ensure that you comply with every lawful instruction of the Board, especially in turning over documents, records, and electronic information as the Board's investigation may require, while answering allegations truthfully and completely so as to avoid misleading.
Maryland CNA Disciplinary Procedures
Disciplinary procedures can make a difference to your outcome, especially when you retain our Professional License Defense Team's skilled and experienced attorneys to strategically invoke those procedures. Maryland Code Section 8-6A-10.1 states the procedures the Board of Nursing is to follow when pursuing CNA disciplinary charges. That section also incorporates the state's Administrative Procedure Act. Section 8-6A-10.1 expressly gives you the right to retain and rely on your own attorney. The Board may issue subpoenas to obtain witness testimony or record information. The Board must offer you a hearing at which you can present defense witnesses and exhibits and cross-examine the Board's witnesses against you. Section 8-6A-11 confirms your right under the Administrative Procedure Act to appeal the Board's decision to the civil courts for limited review.
Nationwide Stakes of Maryland CNA Discipline
Because Maryland recognizes CNA reciprocity, any discipline you suffer in Maryland will affect your ability to use your Maryland CNA certification for endorsement in other states. Lose your Maryland CNA license, and you may lose your ability to practice as a nursing assistant in any other state.
Premier Maryland CNA Defense
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available in Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Frederick, and any other Maryland location to defend your CNA certification against disciplinary charges. Hundreds of professionals nationwide have successfully trusted the Lento Law Firm. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now.