A nurse who practiced for more than 15 years lost her license, her job, and her home after the nursing board claimed she never got a degree in nursing as she claimed. Justine Salazar initially tried to sue the Community College of Denver (CCD), where she had purportedly received her associate's degree in nursing, but a district judge tossed her lawsuit. Now, the Colorado Court of Appeals has allowed Salazar to pursue legal action against the school and seek relief.
Reportedly, Salazar attended CCD from 1998 to 2003, obtaining her associate nursing degree and her nursing license. She then worked for several facilities over the course of 15 years. In 20128, she applied at another healthcare facility and was informed they could not find any record of where she graduated or received her degree. The state's Board of Nursing then received a complaint and suspended her license.
Along with losing her license, Salazar lost her job and health insurance, and her house went into foreclosure. She initially sued for unjust enrichment, promissory estoppel, and breach of contract, but a district judge dismissed the suit, citing the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.
While the appeals court agreed the judge correctly dismissed Salazar's breach of contract, it found she had a legitimate claim for promissory estoppel because the CCD promised to grant her degree if she completed the necessary requirements, and she was allowed her to work as a nurse under that promise. The appeals court returned the case to the trial court.
How Degree and Certification Issues Can Affect Your Nursing License
Throughout the legal processes, the question remained as to whether Salazar actually completed all her degree requirements. If not, why did it take so long for that fact to come to light, since Salazar had maintained gainful employment as a nurse for more than 15 years?
Degree and certification issues can derail prospective nurses' chances of obtaining their licenses and working in their field. Nursing boards in all states will investigate claims of alleged fraud and other suspected wrongdoing, and they can impose harsh penalties that include license revocation or suspension.
If you are a nurse in Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey and you are under investigation by your state's board of nursing, you need to understand the complaint and work to develop an effective defense against the accusation.
Get an Experienced Attorney
For help, you need to contact an experienced professional license defense attorney who can represent you before the board, assert your rights, and increase your chances of getting positive outcomes.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented many clients in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania before nursing and medical licensing boards. He can review your case and advise you of your options while fighting hard for your future. Attorney Lento also has extensive criminal defense experience and can help if you also face criminal charges.
If a Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York nursing board is investigating you for alleged wrongdoing, you can call Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.
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