The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Can Help Protect Your Nevada CNA License If It's in Jeopardy
Certified nurse aides (CNAs) have always been highly sought after in various medical fields. They are able to swiftly transition into healthcare roles at different facilities and provide vital care to patients and long-term residents. Because of their significant role in patient care, these positions are usually incredibly demanding. Consequently, Nevada is dedicated to ensuring that patients and their families are adequately protected from CNAs who do not have the requisite knowledge or behavior to provide safe and effective care.
When a patient, hospital, staff, or a family member makes a complaint against a CNA in Nevada, the state takes it very seriously and works hard to resolve the issue before it becomes a bigger one. If you have been accused of violating one of Nevada's professional standards for CNAs, it is crucial you reach out to an experienced attorney for help. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team understands how difficult these proceedings can be, both emotionally and practically. They will work tirelessly to protect your license from harm. Call 888-535-3686 today for help.
Nevada State Board of Nursing License Proceedings
In Nevada, CNAs are overseen by the Nevada State Board of Nursing, which is unusual. Usually, states have their Department of Health oversee the CNAs. However, because the CNAs are managed by the Board of Nursing, this means the board is responsible for licensing CNAs, processing complaints against them, and overturning unfair outcomes. For example, if a CNA is accused of abandoning a patient, the board will investigate the matter. If they find that the CNA notified their superior of the change in status, they will dismiss the complaint against the CNA because only cases where the CNA did not inform their superiors – or anyone – of discontinuing care can be punished by the board.
When the board does find a CNA's actions to require some sort of disciplinary action, it will usually include placing a restriction on their license, having it suspended, or revoking it forever. Any of these punishments can seriously impact a CNAs livelihood and their ability to gain future employment – whether in healthcare or another field. To ensure you are following the regulations that govern your license, it is important you make yourself familiar with the state's nursing regulations.
However, even though these regulations are simple to find, they can still be incredibly difficult to understand. For example, CNAs can be accused of misappropriating a resident's property even though all they did was move it into a cupboard and the resident forgot where it was placed. A skilled attorney will ensure the CNA is not being disciplined for instances that can easily be explained, such as the above.
Types of Nursing Licenses in Nevada
In Nevada, there are several kinds of nursing licenses, including Licensed Professional Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. And unlike other states, both these licensed nurses and certified nursing assistants are all governed by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.
However, the CNA license still has very different requirements than the licensed nurses do, including:
- Being at least 16 years old.
- Having good moral character.
- Being in good physical and mental condition.
- Meeting other Board requirements.
- Submitted a written application and fee.
- Passing the certificate examination.
- Completing a training program that was approved by the board.
- Submitting proof of successfully completing a program approved by another state.
- Passing a certification exam in another state that is equivalent to the one approved by the Board for Nevada.
- Not having any disciplinary action against them unless the board decides sufficient restitution has been made or the act did not relate to nursing.
As long as the individual falls into any of the categories above, they will be able to work as a CNA in Nevada for up to 24 months. At the end of the 24 months, they will have to renew their license. If the CNA fails to renew on time, it can potentially prevent them from renewing at all. Moreover, if a CNA receives a sanction during the 24-month period of their license, they must ensure that restriction or suspension has been completed prior to renewing their license. If the restriction has not been lifted or the suspension has not ended, they may not be able to renew their license at all and will instead have to wait till the appropriate time.
Additionally, if a complaint is made against a CNA or disciplinary action is imposed on them, they may not be able to renew their license until these issues are resolved. When this happens, it will prevent them from working, which can impact their ability to take care of themselves and their families. And if a CNA decides to ignore this stipulation and continue working without a valid license, the Board of Nursing will be forced to bring even stronger charges against them. The only way to prevent a situation where you are being punished for having an invalid license, or prevented from renewing your license, is to work with an attorney who understands the ins and outs of the CNA process.
Nursing License Compact for Nevada Certified Nurse Aides
In general, nurses used to be required to have a license in whatever state they were currently working. Moreover, the requirements for these licenses to remain valid were hard to find and difficult to understand. So, in the early 2000s, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) created Nursing License Compact (NLC), which endeavored to allow nurses to not only understand their license requirements but also to have one license that would work in multiple states. In 2018, this original compact evolved into the Enhanced Nursing License Compact (eNLC) and has been found to significantly improve the amount of money hospitals, insurance, and patients pay for quality healthcare. Unfortunately, there are several states that believe the eNLC prevents them from receiving additional revenue that single-state licenses provide and inhibits their ability to implement disciplinary proceedings against nurses. As such, only 40 states and U.S. territories have joined the eNLC.
To try and fix these issues, the NCSBN created Nursys, an online database and notification system that informs nurses of their renewal date and any complaints being made against them. It also gives states, hospitals, and other employers the ability to validate a nurse's credentials and see if any complaints or penalties have been lodged against them.
Despite the benefits of both the eNLC and Nursys for nurses, they do not provide any protection for CNA licenses. Instead, Nevada and other states are the ones overseeing the initial licensing, renewal, and any subsequent disciplinary actions for CNAs. Sadly, this means many cases fall through the cracks and are falsely or poorly adjudicated. The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to contact Lento Law Firm the moment you are notified of the complaint. This will give the attorneys on the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team a chance to contact the board and notify them of the mistake on your behalf.
Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Can Help Wherever You Are
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team are highly experienced in helping CNAs navigate any complaints that are made against them. In fact, they have helped CNAs all over the country, including some of the biggest facilities in Nevada. As such, Lento Law Firm can help at any of these locations:
- Renown Regional Medical Center
- AMG Specialty Hospital – Las Vegas
- Banner Churchill Community Hospital
- Battle Mountain General Hospital
- Boulder City Hospital
- Carson Tahoe Continuing Care Hospital
- Carson Tahoe Health – Carson City
- Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center
- Children's Hospital of Nevada at University Medical Center
- Complex Care Hospital at Tenaya
- Desert Parkway Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
- Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center
- Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital
- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Henderson
- Harmon Medical and Rehabilitation Hospital
- Humboldt General Hospital
- MountainView Hospital
- Northern Nevada Medical Center
- PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Centennial Hills
- Reno Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
- Renown South Meadows Medical Center
- Advanced Health Care of Henderson
- Horizon Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
- Ormsby Post Acute Rehab
- White Pine Care Center
- Grover C Dils Medical Center SNF
- Sandstone Spring Valley
What Types of Allegations Can Put a Certified Nurse Aide License at Risk?
There are several things that can put a CNA license in jeopardy of being restricted, suspended, or revoked. To ensure you are not putting your license at risk, you must avoid:
- Discriminating on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or sex while providing nursing services.
- Performing tasks beyond the scope of their CNA license or without proper training.
- Violating patient confidentiality and HIPAA.
- Failing to safeguard a patient from abusive, illegal, or incompetent care by another person.
- Practicing while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or dangerous drug.
- Failing to respect and maintain a patient's right to privacy,
- Failing to report gross negligence.
- Failing to document the administration of a controlled substance.
- Diverting supplies, drugs, or equipment without permission.
- Failing to properly record or falsify records.
- Using a patient's prescription drugs.
- Assisting someone else in breaking the law.
- Exploiting a patient, their family members, the hospital, or its staff.
- Abandoning a patient or leaving an assignment without notifying anyone.
- Physically, mentally, or sexually abusing a patient, their family members, or hospital staff.
- Having sexual contact with a patient.
- Neglecting a patient.
- Stealing from the patient or hospital.
Once the Board of Nursing receives a complaint against a CNA for any of the misconduct above, they will launch an investigation. Moreover, they will probably move to prevent the CNA from continuing to work while they are trying to resolve the matter. When this happens, CNAs are punished without being found responsible, which can seriously affect their mental and emotional well-being, as well as their ability to provide for themselves and their families. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team will reach out to the board and work to have your employment remain intact. Call 888-535-3686 today for help.
Exemptions for Certified Nurse Aides in Nevada
In Nevada, there are several exemptions that CNAs may be able to use to avoid being adjudicated for violating one of the Board of Nursing's guidelines. These exemptions include the following scenarios:
- Nursing a family member
- Being employed by a household as a domestic servant or housekeeper and providing care for those who are sick in the house.
- Providing nursing assistance in an emergency.
- Practicing nursing while enrolled in an accredited nursing school or after graduation while waiting for their exam results.
- Practicing nursing in Nevada with a valid license in another state if their engagement requires them to accompany and care for a patient who is temporarily residing in Nevada.
- Practicing nursing in Nevada when employed by the U.S. government or federal bureau or agency while discharging official duties.
- Caring for the sick without being compensated if it falls within the practice of their recognized religion.
- Being a personal assistant and performing services for a person with a disability.
If the claim of violating the board's guidelines involves one of these situations, the CNA cannot be held liable. And if the board continues to adjudicate the issue, whatever decision they make will be overturned.
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team will reach out to the Board of Nursing to present evidence that the incident falls within one of these exemptions, encouraging them to dismiss the complaint against you. If the board refuses, the Professional License Defense team at the Lento Law Firm will be able to use this material to build a civil suit against them.
What is the Disciplinary Process for Nevada Certified Nurse Aides?
Though all CNAs understand that they are expected to remain in good standing with the Board of Nursing, it can be hard to comprehend the exact regulations they must abide by. Thankfully, the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team has years of experience helping medical professionals, including CNAs, throughout the country navigate such proceedings.
According to the Nevada State Board of Nursing, if a CNA allegedly breaks the law, they will ensure they receive due process, including adequate notice and a description of the charges, as well as an opportunity for a hearing. Once a complaint is made, the board will launch an investigation into it to determine if the incident claimed is something under their authority to adjudicate or if the matter needs to be adjudicated at all.
If the board decides that the complaint is valid, they will begin a more detailed investigation, notifying the accused CNA in the process and working to find their own witnesses that will help set the record straight. To ensure you respond to their line of questioning appropriately, your attorney will review the questions beforehand, if possible, and help present preliminary evidence to support your argument. When the investigation is complete, the board will determine if the matter should be dropped or if it should continue to the disciplinary hearing phase.
During the hearing, the board will begin by sharing the complaint and presenting the evidence and witness testimony they've found to support its truthfulness. When they've finished, it will be your turn to present your defense. A qualified attorney will ensure your defense addresses every point brought up by the board, including presenting witness testimony and other physical evidence, if available. At the end of the hearing, when both sides have been heard and had a chance to question one another, the individual overseeing the hearing will decide, based on the information presented, whether the CNA is responsible for the misconduct accused in the complaint.
If they determine that the CNA is responsible, they will also decide which sanctions to impose. In general, sanctions are supposed to match the severity of the alleged misconduct. So, depending on the accusation, the CNA might have their license restricted, suspended, or revoked. The type of restriction imposed will also depend on the severity of the misconduct. Possible examples include a prohibition against working in long-term residential facilities, like nursing homes or limiting the number of hours they can work in a given day. Another type of restriction might include the need for close supervision prior to performing any of their duties. Whatever the sanction imposed, though, it is important to remember that you can appeal it.
Furthermore, though restrictions and suspensions come with time limits, they must be fulfilled before you will be able to renew your license. Thus, if you have a suspension that runs out after the 24-month period of your license, you might be prevented from working during those in-between months until the suspension finishes – which could make it difficult to renew your license at all.
Any consequence that results from a misconduct accusation can seriously affect your ability to live freely. The only way to make sure that you are not being subjected to unfair sanctions or loss of your livelihood is to hire an attorney that will provide guidance and counsel every step of the way. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team knows how complicated and overwhelming these proceedings can be. They also know that often, when CNAs feel overwhelmed and stressed out, they are unable to defend themselves successfully. However, with their help, the burden and overwhelm are alleviated, and the CNA is able to go through these proceedings a little lighter.
Why You Need a Certified Nurse Aide License Defense Attorney in Nevada
Most complaints against CNAs are made out of anger, boredom, or simple misunderstandings. When this happens, the Board of Nursing should be able to recognize the issue and dismiss the complaint prior to having the CNA undergo a formal hearing. Sometimes, though, the board will decide to continue with the adjudication process and punish CNAs without real authority. Hiring an attorney can prevent the hearing from happening, protecting your reputation, livelihood, and emotions. Moreover, if the board refuses to dismiss the case, even though there is no evidence of a violation, your attorney will be able to use this incident to leverage a civil suit against the board later on.
The Nature of Nevada State Board of Nursing Charges Against a Certified Nurse Aide
When the Nevada State Board of Nursing makes a decision about whether a CNA is responsible for violating the professional standards they are supposed to follow, it is completely separate from any decision made in a criminal trial or civil litigation. Those decisions are made by the Nevada state or federal court system, which the Board of Nursing has no authority over.
However, when they receive a complaint against a CNA, they have every right to refer the matter to state or federal law enforcement for additional review. If law enforcement believes a crime has been committed, they will charge the CNA with that crime, and it will be up to the court system to review the matter and determine if the defendant CNA is guilty and, if so, what kind of punishment to impose. Punishments in criminal or civil court include restitution, damages, probation, and/or incarceration. Working with an attorney is the only way to ensure your freedom is protected.
How The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Can Help
Achieving a CNA license in Nevada requires dedication and perseverance. However, facing allegations of misconduct can disrupt this life you've worked so hard to build. To prevent this from happening, you must reach out to a competent and experienced attorney.
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team will work vigorously to gather relevant evidence and witness testimony that will support your defense and guarantee you the best possible outcome for your case. Your future is worth protecting. Call our office at 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.