New Jersey Certified Nurse Aide License Defense

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Can Help Protect Your New Jersey CNA License

Certified nurse aides (CNAs) play a vital role in the healthcare field, particularly in nursing homes and long-term facilities, where residents require additional care beyond basic medical assistance. Recognizing the importance of maintaining high standards for their patients and the public's safety and well-being, New Jersey places great emphasis on upholding these standards and addressing any instances of misconduct or violations accordingly. CNAs found responsible for breaching the state's standards will be held accountable, which could result in significant penalties.

It is crucial you reach out to an the moment you receive the notification of the complaint against you. You must begin to build your defense as soon as possible. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense team will help you gather evidence and witness testimonies that reinforce your argument. To succeed, you must persuade the New Jersey Department of Health that you did not engage in the alleged misconduct. Unfortunately, many CNAs underestimate the complexity of these disciplinary proceedings and attempt to navigate them without the guidance of an experienced attorney, often resulting in unfavorable outcomes. Do not try to do this alone. Lento Law Firm can help.

New Jersey Department of Health License Proceedings

In contrast to registered nurse licenses or advanced practice licenses, the oversight of a CNA license falls under the purview of the New Jersey Department of Health. CNAs often provide care for vulnerable populations, like the elderly or disabled individuals who are unable to independently care for themselves. Due to the inherent responsibility of caring for these fragile individuals, the Department of Health is dedicated to protecting them. As such, the Department of Health enforces specific behavioral standards for CNAs to ensure they do not pose a risk to their patients. For instance, if a CNA is accused of abusing a nursing home patient and the patient's family files a complaint against them, the Department of Health could choose to suspend, revoke, or limit their certification - and thus their ability to work as a CNA - in some way.

The rules that govern CNA licenses in New Jersey present challenges in terms of accessibility and clarity. These guidelines can not only be difficult to find but are also extremely vague in their explanations. For example, nurses are supposed to ask for help when they are unsure of how to proceed with a patient. But what happens when they believe their course of action is appropriate, fail to ask questions, and the patient suffers a negative reaction?

Why should the CNA suffer negative consequences for not asking questions when they are sure of their abilities and treatment plan? In contrast, other professions benefit from more comprehensive safeguards, which include robust regulatory language that aims to protect members from unfounded accusations and undue disciplinary actions. However, because of how short CNA programs are (just 90 hours in New Jersey), the availability and clarity of the regulations are lacking. As such, it becomes very extremely unfair for these CNAs to face accusations and subsequent punishment for something as simple as failing to ask a question, especially when the punishment can cause long-term consequences.

When faced with uncertainty on how to construct an effective defense or where to go when you receive notification of the complaint, Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense team can help. They possess the experience to meticulously examine the legislation that is relevant to CNAs, identifying key regulations that govern their practice and determining whether there has actually been a violation or if any miscommunication needs to be addressed. With this comprehensive understanding, Lento Law Firm can guide you in presenting a compelling defense for your case.

Types of Nursing Licenses in New Jersey

Similar to other states, New Jersey offers various types of nursing licenses, which include licensed practical nurses (LPN), registered nurses (RN), and advanced practical registered nurses (APRN). Additionally, New Jersey also grants Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) licenses as part of its licensing framework.

The particular requirements for application to become a CNA change depending on where the individual is currently a nursing student or has yet to pass their nursing boards. For instance, if you are working as a CNA in another state or U.S. territory and looking to work in New Jersey, you must provide the Department of Health with a valid certificate from that state, verify that you have not been convicted of any crimes and have no adverse findings of stealing from a resident, neglecting or abusing a resident and that you have either completed 24 continuing education units within the last 24 months in the appropriate subjects or have worked full-time for 24 months in any state or territory as a CNA. But if the individual is a student, graduate, or foreign licensed nurse who shows successful completion of the fundamentals of nursing course and they are able to pass the required examinations, the Department of Health will allow them to apply for CNA certification.

The prerequisites for becoming a CNA may differ depending on the jurisdiction, but any allegations made against an individual can lead to significant repercussions. These consequences not only impact one's professional life by preventing them from working but also have detrimental effects on their personal life by imposing limitations on where they can live and how they are able to provide for their families.

Nursing License Compact for New Jersey Certified Nurse Aides

The Nursing License Compact (NLC), established by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) in the early 2000s, aimed to create a unified licensing standard for LPNs, RNs, and APRNs. This compact morphed into the Enhanced Nursing License Compact (eNLC) in 2018, with the goal of providing nurses with greater clarity regarding the regulations and standards governing their licenses. Currently, over 40 states and territories have joined the compact and benefit from its framework. However, it is important to note that certified nurse aide licenses are not covered under the NLC or the eNLC. Consequently, each state has its own specific requirements that CNAs must adhere to in order to keep their license in good standing.

The NCSBN also created Nursys, an online database and notification system designed to inform nurses about license renewal requirements while allowing other organizations to verify nursing licenses. Since CNAs are not regulated by the eNLC and instead regulated by the individual state in which they hold their certification, alternative methods are necessary for license verification. In New Jersey, for instance, individuals can utilize the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs website to verify the validity of CNA licenses.

Although CNAs are not governed by the eNLC, instances of misconduct in New Jersey can still have implications for obtaining certification in other states and pursuing further education. If a CNA with a history of misconduct attempts to apply for an LPN or R.N. program, the admissions board will likely become aware of the incident, potentially influencing their decision. To mitigate such far-reaching consequences, it is crucial to engage the services of an experienced attorney as soon as you become aware of the complaints against you.

Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Can Help Wherever You Are

Unlike the majority of attorneys and law firms in the United States, which are limited to assisting CNAs within their respective states, Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense team possess the unique capability to help people all over the country. For instance, they can help CNAs working at the following large facilities around New Jersey:

  • Gale Healthcare
  • Samba Care
  • Trinitas Regional Medical Center
  • Children's Specialized Hospital
  • RWJ New Brunswick
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Jersey City Medical Center
  • RWJ Rahway
  • Monmouth Medical Center
  • Complete Care at Linwood
  • The Health Center at Galloway
  • The Heritage Assisted Living
  • Brandywine Living at Brandall Estates
  • Excel Care at Egg Harbor
  • Excel Care at the Pines
  • Hammonton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare
  • Meadowview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
  • New Standard Senior Living at Egg Harbor Township
  • Our Lady's Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare
  • Preferred Care at Absecon
  • Royal Suites Health Care & Rehabilitation
  • Seashore Gardens Living Center
  • Somers Place
  • Spring Home at Galloway
  • Villa Raffaella Assisted Living
  • Woodview Estates

What Types of Allegations Can Put a Certified Nurse Aide License at Risk?

According to New Jersey legislation, there are several types of incidents that should be reported to the Department of Health when it comes to CNAs. The following are a series of examples of conduct that CNAs should avoid to prevent complaints against them:

  • Physically, sexually, or emotionally abusing a patient, their family, or other staff members.
  • Neglecting, abandoning, mistreating, or abusing a patient, family, or other staff member.
  • Stealing from residents or the facility.
  • Violating patient confidentiality.
  • Causing the death or injury of a patient, resident, or other employee because of a fire, disaster, or other kind of accident, or forcing them to be evacuated from all or part of the facility.
  • Physically assaulting a patient, resident, or employee on the grounds of, or within, the facility that results in death or significant injury.
  • Working as a CNA without a valid certification or with a fake or false one.
  • Using drugs or drinking alcohol while working or having substance abuse problems that affect their ability to perform their duties.
  • Providing incompetent care to patients or residents.

Upon receiving the complaint alleging a violation of one of the examples of misconduct above, the New Jersey Department of Health will initiate the disciplinary process to ensure the accused CNA is being held accountable if responsible. The potential sanctions for such violations include anything from a written reprimand to the complete revocation of your CNA license. This is why it is so important to reach out to an attorney as soon as you become aware of the complaint.

Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense team will prioritize efforts to mitigate any adverse outcomes that may arise from the Department of Health proceedings. They will also diligently gather evidence and secure witnesses on your behalf, providing you with an advantageous position in addressing any potential criminal charges or civil claims that may emerge from the incident. Contact the Lento Law Firm early on will enable you to navigate the process effectively and proactively.

Exemptions for Certified Nurse Aides in New Jersey

New Jersey, like other states in the U.S., has a Good Samaritan law that offers CNAs protection from disciplinary action in specific caregiving situations. The law states that individuals who provide medical care in an emergency or at the scene of an accident, or while transporting a victim to the hospital or another treatment facility cannot be subject to disciplinary proceedings or liable for civil damages. Thus, if the Department of Health continues to pursue a complaint against a CNA who was acting under the Good Samaritan law, whatever decision they make can be, and should be, immediately appealed to the requisite appeals court.

Sadly, there are instances where the action of a CNA will fall under this exemption, and the Department of Health will try to adjudicate it anyway. Working with an attorney will ensure you are not being unnecessarily disciplined.

What is the Disciplinary Process for New Jersey Certified Nurse Aides?

Unfortunately, the exact disciplinary process for New Jersey CNAs is not available to review. However, because of Lento Law Firm's vast experience with such cases, we know it will follow a similar process to the one described below. First, the Department of Health, upon receiving a complaint against a CNA, will review the complaint and reach out to the complainant and the accused CNA for more information. You may also be required to respond to a formal request from the Department of Health. Attorney Lento will be able to help you formulate an appropriate response.

After this initial review, the Department of Health will launch a formal investigation to determine if they have jurisdiction over the complaint, if there is any preliminary evidence to support the complaint, and, if so, whether the complaint should be referred to state or federal law enforcement for further investigations. At the end of the investigation, if the Department determines there is enough preliminary evidence to support the complaint, they will organize a disciplinary hearing and notify the parties of its date and time.

At the disciplinary hearing, both the CNA and the state will have the opportunity to present relevant evidence and witness testimony that supports their argument. They should also have a chance to cross-examine the other party's witnesses and evidence in an effort to refute its eligibility. When the hearing concludes, the Department will convene separately to review the information presented and determine whether the CNA is responsible for the alleged behavior. If so, they will also decide what kind of sanction to implement against the CNA.

Many states also offer CNAs the opportunity to meet prior to the disciplinary hearing for a settlement conference. During this conference, the Department, or a designated mediator, will try to resolve the issue without a formal hearing. It is important to remember that you have the right to have counsel be present during these proceedings.

Attorney Lento is an unparalleled negotiator who will review the settlement agreement and help you decide whether to accept it or not. If you were to represent yourself or fail to prepare for these hearings sufficiently, you could receive a series of intense sanctions or be unfairly punished for behavior you did not commit. Any negative outcome during the disciplinary proceeding process can have a seriously harsh impact on your life. For instance, not only would you be prevented from continuing to work as a CNA in New Jersey, you could be prevented from acquiring a CNA license in another state. Without access to the income you are accustomed to receiving, it could be very difficult to continue to pay for the things your family needs, which will affect your mental health as well.

With extensive experience assisting CNAs nationwide, Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional Defense Team possess a wealth of knowledge about handling such cases. This exceptional level of experience and understanding of the proceedings greatly enhances the potential outcome of your case. By relying on their services, you can benefit from their proven track record in successfully representing CNAs, ensuring you receive skilled and effective legal assistance.

Why You Need a Certified Nurse Aide License Defense Attorney in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Health is likely under the impression that all complaints against CNAs are rooted in logical and valid concerns. But the reality is that many times, these complaints arise out of personal animosity or unrelated personal issues. Despite this, the Department continues to pursue the matter instead of halting its investigation or dismissing the matter outright. Moreover, there have been instances where CNAs are deprived of their fundamental rights to confront their accuser, present a defense in front of an adjudicatory board, and be aided by a competent attorney during the proceedings. When this happens, and a CNA is found responsible for the alleged misconduct, the Department's decision is actually improper and should be appealed at the requisite appeals court in New Jersey.

The Nature of New Jersey Department of Health Charges Against a Certified Nurse Aide

The decisions made by the New Jersey Department of Health hold authority solely within their jurisdiction. As such, these decisions do not constitute criminal convictions or civil penalties that would be resolved in state or federal court. That being said, the Department of Health can, at its own discretion, forward complaints against a CNA to the relevant state or federal law enforcement agency for further investigation.

If the Department of Health refers the complaint to a state or federal agency, and the court finds you guilty of the alleged misconduct, the ramifications will extend beyond just the restriction of your CNA license in New Jersey. You could also face imprisonment, fines, or restitution payments. To avoid these issues, Attorney Lento, the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team, will carefully examine the accusations against you and collaborate with local law enforcement and state or federal agencies to negotiate on your behalf.

How Lento Law Firm Professional Licensing Defense Team Can Help

When you obtain your certified nursing aide license, disciplinary actions are probably the last thing on your mind. Your focus is on starting your career, providing for yourself and your family, and pursuing your lifelong aspirations. However, facing accusations of misconduct can shatter your dreams and jeopardize your future if you don't launch a strong defense. Hiring an attorney is the most effective way to make sure you are not only completely prepared for the proceedings but that you have someone in your corner who can mitigate any challenges that might arise.

Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team have dedicated years to assisting certified nurse aides across the country in overcoming disciplinary actions. They will gather evidence and witness testimonies that will bolster your argument, guaranteeing you the best possible outcome for your case. There is gravity to this situation, and they will support you in whatever way you need to overcome it. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.


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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