Ohio is a good state in which you pursue your nursing career. A ranking of the best states for nursing includes Ohio. Ohio offers solid nursing compensation, attractive nursing job growth, and thousands of open nursing positions every year. Ohio is also a Nurse Licensure Compact state, simplifying licensure in the state. The Ohio Board of Nursing licenses nurses for employment in the state.
The Ohio Board of Nursing also disciplines nurses whose practice violates the state's nursing standards. Ohio Administrative Code Rule 4723-16-07 lists the evidence and factors the board considers when disciplining nurses. Evidence that you violated an Ohio nursing standard may result in the suspension or revocation of your nursing license. Losing your nursing license in Ohio could further bar you from licensure and practice in other states.
Get the skilled and experienced professional license defense attorney services you need if you face Ohio nursing license disciplinary proceedings. Retain professional license defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to help you preserve and protect your Ohio nursing license. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.
What Allegations Can Threaten Your Ohio Nursing License
The Ohio Revised Code Section 4723.06 authorizes the Ohio Board of Nursing to set the standards under which it approves, denies, suspends, or revokes an Ohio nursing license. Ohio Revised Code Section 4723.28 lists presumptive grounds for discipline, including drug dealing and certain other criminal convictions. Otherwise, disciplinary grounds under Section 4723.06 can include any of the following common allegations:
- professional misconduct such as insubordinate conduct toward supervisors, rude or offensive conduct toward nursing colleagues or other healthcare workers, romantic advances or relationships with patients or colleagues, nursing while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, and violent or threatening behavior;
- misuse of prescription drugs such as theft for personal use, theft for sale or other distribution, securing and dispensing drugs without a prescription or with altered or forged prescription, storing drugs improperly, and failing to document medical administration of prescription medication;
- patient abuse and neglect, such as missing scheduled work assignments, ignoring assigned patients or required patient care, ignoring patient harm or debilitating conditions, and deliberately or carelessly harming patients physically, mentally, or emotionally;
- healthcare fraud, including misrepresenting patient services, inaccurate or false coding or billing, falsifying medical records or laboratory results, and misrepresenting professional licensure, education, or experience for undue advantage;
- criminal conviction of crimes of moral turpitude or violence or that suggest unfitness to practice nursing, such as embezzlement, theft, battery, unlawful drug possession or distribution, and driving while intoxicated; and
- failing to report timely, fully, and accurately, or false or misleading reporting, on license applications or renewals, or relating to license disciplinary proceedings.
Ohio's Disciplinary Process for Nursing License Defense
Unhappy or confused patients and their family members are a common source of disciplinary complaints. Physicians, other supervisors, other nurses, and other hospital or clinic staff are another source of disciplinary complaints. Other employer representatives and even insurance representatives and regulators may also complain against a nurse. And under Ohio Revised Code Section 4723.34, a local prosecutor entering certain criminal charges against a licensed nurse also reports to Ohio State Board of Nursing licensing officials.
But a disciplinary charge is not the same as a disciplinary finding. Ohio Revised Code Section 4723.28 requires the State Board of Nursing to follow the state's Administrative Procedure Act, including its Section 119.09, for adjudicative hearings. Learn the disciplinary process for nurses facing license discipline. Retain a skilled and experienced professional license defense attorney to invoke your case's protective procedures effectively.
Notice of the Proceeding
Ohio's Administrative Procedure Act and the specific rules and regulations relating to the disciplining of nurses require that the Ohio State Board of Nursing notify you in writing of the complaint against you. The board's notice must be specific and detailed enough for you and your attorney to understand and defend the charges.
Request for Your Answer
The Ohio State Board of Nursing may require you to answer the board's disciplinary complaint in writing. You have a privilege against self-incrimination in criminal court. But that privilege does not apply in an administrative licensing hearing. Don't proceed on your own. Instead, retain a skilled and experienced license defense attorney to help you answer the charges with your exonerating and mitigating evidence. An articulate and effective answer, with supporting documentation, may lead to the board's dismissal of the charges.
Investigation of the Complaint
The Ohio State Board of Nursing will generally appoint an investigator for any credible charges. The investigator will have the power to obtain interviews, medical and employment records, and other evidence. The investigator may also ask to interview you. Your retained license defense attorney can help you prepare for your interview so that the investigator gains your exonerating and mitigating evidence.
The board and its investigator may proceed without your participation, if you ignore the matter. But don't ignore the matter. If you and your retained attorney present a strong case in defense, the investigator may recommend dismissal of the charges. Early voluntary dismissal is generally your best possible outcome.
Consent Agreements for Discipline
Ohio Administrative Code Rule 4723-16-10 authorizes the State Board of Nursing to resolve any disciplinary proceeding that it initiates by consent agreement. The board's investigator or other disciplinary official may offer to resolve your case. The offer may include an advisory letter, reprimand letter, license suspension, or license revocation, among other sanctions.
If you agree to the proposed discipline, your case will end. But your nursing license issues won't end. Discipline of any kind, even a minor reprimand, could affect your nursing job. You could lose your job. If you don't lose your job, you could lose job hours, job assignments, job promotions, and other opportunities. You may also be unable to find other jobs. Do not resolve your case without retaining and consulting a skilled and experienced license defense attorney to advise you.
Formal Hearing on Discipline
Ohio Revised Code Section 4723.28 and the related Administrative Procedure Act provision require the State Board of Nursing to offer the accused nurse a formal hearing of any charges that do not resolve voluntarily. A hearing gives your retained attorney the opportunity to present your defense testimony and evidence to an independent hearing officer. Your retained attorney may also cross-examine the board's witnesses against you.
Why You Need an Ohio Nursing License Defense Attorney
Ohio nursing license cases are administrative proceedings. Local criminal defense attorneys who practice in criminal court generally do not have administrative hearing skills and experience. You should instead retain a qualified professional license defense attorney who knows the administrative rules and procedures. Your retained attorney can help you:
- evaluate and answer the disciplinary complaint, raising defenses;
- identify and present your exonerating and mitigating evidence;
- evaluate and negotiate consent agreement offers;
- present your evidence at the formal hearing;
- challenge the board's hearing evidence; and
- appeal adverse decisions imposing discipline.
Premier License Defense Attorney Available in Ohio
Professional license defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento has successfully defended hundreds of professionals in Ohio and nationwide. Attorney-advisor Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team are available for your Ohio nursing license defense. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.