Professional License Defense for Nurses

Complete the form below, and we will send you the Lento Law Firm's complimentary guide to Professional License Defense for Nurses.

When you receive notification of a pending investigation, the first and best step you can take is to seek the help of the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. We can fight to protect your interests and your career. Just as patients rely on nurses for their medical expertise, when you're facing allegations of misconduct and your license is at stake, you need to rely on an attorney for their legal experience. The Lento Law Firm can help.

Read more about:

  • The difference between a complaint and malpractice
  • Reasons nurses can face an investigation and disciplinary action
  • Why it's important to be proactive in resolving accusations of misconduct
  • Defenses against misconduct and disciplinary claims
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The following is a sample of the downloadable guide:


Different states may have different procedures for addressing allegations of misconduct or negligence. Different actions or violations may have specific procedures for investigating and responding to potential problems. What follows is a general roadmap for the disciplinary process.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing provides numerous resources to help make the disciplinary process more transparent. This is part of the state's move to a “Just Culture” concept of discipline. The state has altered its view on discipline from one of punishment to one that places importance on correcting mistakes and learning while still protecting patient safety. 

One such resource is North Carolina's Complaint Evaluation Tool (CET). The CET is intended to help nurses and other healthcare staff determine if and when to file a complaint. While the CET is a generic guide limited to clinical practice, a secondary goal is to ensure consistency and fairness in the enforcement of policy.

Other states have similar resources to give clarity on the complaint, investigation, and discipline process. Some examples:

  • California has a basic overview of the process, including what the proper grounds for a complaint are.
  • Virginia provides information about hearings, including a FAQ and multiple guidance documents.
  • Oregon created a list for each step in the process, including defining each nurse's due process rights.

As part of a nurse's due process rights, each state should have a clear procedure for investigating complaints. While the specifics of each state's process may change, all nurses have the right to know how a complaint against them will be handled and how they can defend themselves.


In most states, anyone can file a report, and some individuals, such as fellow healthcare workers, may be mandatory reporters, meaning they must report any suspected violations or misconduct.


The state board reviews the complaint to see if it has jurisdiction to investigate. The initial review doesn't consider whether the complaint is valid, only whether it falls under their area.


The scope and length of an investigation can depend on several factors, such as the severity of the allegations and the nature of the complaint. Some may involve interviews with potential witnesses, reviewing documents, and other potential evidence. An investigation may take months to complete.


If a complaint is found to be invalid, the board will then close the case without any action against the nurse in question. If a complaint is found to be valid and have merit, the board will decide what steps to take next.


The board will determine what disciplinary actions to take depending on what the investigation found.


A state board will report all disciplinary actions to Nursys, the national database of nursing licenses and status, and the National Practitioner Databank (NPDB). State boards may also refer their findings to other government agencies.


One of the first things to do when you learn that a complaint has been filed against you is to contact their professional liability insurer. In some situations, a nurse may want to reach out to their insurer before a complaint has been filed, and they worry about a potential threat to their license.

Obtaining legal representation sooner rather than later can help you plan a strategy for your defense and avoid making mistakes that may limit your future options. An attorney can help make sure you meet deadlines, file timely appeals, and don't sign or agree to anything that might limit your ability to defend yourself in the future. 


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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