Professional License Defense for Nurses in Georgia

If you're licensed as an LPN, RN, or APRN in the State of Georgia, you've already invested a great deal of time and effort into your career. From the grueling schedules of nursing school to sit for the NCLEX to qualifying for licensure, you've proven your dedication to your field and your commitment to helping people get well.

That's why it can be so devastating to learn that someone has filed a complaint against you, and the Georgia Board of Nursing (BON) is now investigating you for misconduct.

How ironic that all your hard work could be jeopardized by a single complaint--and yet, it happens every day in every state in the Union. Your nurse's license is the key to your livelihood--your passport to employment, whether you work in a doctor's office, hospital, nursing home, or other healthcare facility. Now, with a single complaint, that livelihood is placed at risk. If the Board determines that there is evidence of wrongdoing, you could face serious penalties, up to and including having your license revoked.

The good news is you're not without options. By taking quick action and hiring a skilled professional license defense attorney, you have a fighting chance at resolving the complaint and avoiding the loss of your license. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have nationwide experience helping nurses in your situation. They understand the workings of the Georgia Board of Nursing and will work on your behalf to get you the best outcome possible. To schedule a consultation, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.

What Allegations Could Jeopardize Your Nurse's License?

In the State of Georgia, nurses are expected to abide by strict standards of ethical and professional conduct as laid out in the Rules of Georgia Board of Nursing and Nurse Practice Act. Most allegations that could cost you your license involve some sort of violation of these rules or a general breach of the public trust. Some common offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual misconduct. Given that nurses regularly engage with patients on a personal level, any inappropriate sexual behavior with a patient, consensual or not, is typically grounds for license suspension or revocation. Even romantic relationships between nurses and patients are considered highly unprofessional and can result in loss of license.
  • Drug mismanagement or misuse. Nurses are entrusted with the proper administration of medications to their patients. Any deviation from the rules, such as diverting medications intended for patients, drug abuse, sloppy inventories, or unauthorized or falsified prescriptions, can result in disciplinary measures.
  • Patient abuse or neglect. Accusations of physical, verbal, sexual, or mental maltreatment of a patient can jeopardize your license--as well as any other behavior that puts a patient at unnecessary risk.
  • Fraud. Deceptive practices such as tampering with patient records, overstating your qualifications, or submitting inaccurate or inflated bills to insurance companies can lead to license revocation.
  • Criminal convictions. Being convicted of a felony or any other crime of moral turpitude could render you ineligible to hold a nursing license in Georgia. You can also face disciplinary action for failing to self-report a criminal conviction to the BON--even if the offense itself would not be grounds for disciplinary action.

Not Every Offense Will Result in Loss of License

While many acts of misconduct can result in having your nurse's license revoked, the BON typically reserves this penalty for the most serious infractions and for nurses who fail to respond or cooperate. Depending on the particular circumstances, the available evidence, and the gravity of the offense, the BON can enforce a range of sanctions without entirely revoking your right to practice. These can include:

  • License suspension. This prevents you from practicing as a nurse for a specified or unspecified duration.
  • Practice restrictions. The BON can limit your work hours or prohibit you from carrying out certain tasks.
  • Remediation. If the violation occurred due to an educational gap, the BON might require you to take continuing education courses as a requisite for keeping your license.
  • Alternative-to-discipline programs. In cases involving substance abuse, the BON might recommend a recovery program or supervised monitoring as an alternative to revoking your license.
  • Fines. The board may impose a monetary penalty.
  • Reprimand. For less severe offenses, the BON might issue a formal warning, which is documented on your record but does not restrict your license.

Any Sanction Can Still Hurt Your Career

Even if your license is not suspended or revoked, any of these lesser actions can still have a negative impact on your career as they often become part of the public record. For instance, a prospective employer can do a state license search on you or check on the Nursys database to see if you have any disciplinary actions on your license. If you do, it could impact their decision to hire you. While this is sometimes unavoidable, the State of Georgia does allow for certain disciplinary actions to be kept private (such as Letters of Concern or private consent agreements). Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can give you an advantage by negotiating for a resolution that may keep your professional record clear.

Areas We Serve in Georgia

The State of Georgia is home to nearly 11 million people. The healthcare sector is one of Georgia's top economic drivers, which means there is high demand and abundant employment opportunities for licensed nurses throughout the state. The Lento Law Firm Team offers assistance with licensing issues for nurses throughout Georgia, but understandably, most of our clients live and work in the following population centers of the state.


Atlanta is a flourishing city known for its dynamic blend of Southern hospitality and urban sophistication. It is the economic and cultural hub of the Southeastern United States, boasting a diverse economy, an innovative culinary scene, a burgeoning film industry, and the world's busiest airport. As both the state capital of Georgia and its largest city, Atlanta is home to about 500,000 people, but the sprawling metro area surrounding it hosts a population exceeding 6 million--more than half the state's total population. Not surprisingly, the ATL metro is home to some of the state's most prominent hospitals and healthcare systems, including Emory University Hospital (and the hundreds of other locations within the Emory Healthcare system), Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Grady Health, and Northside Hospital.


Augusta is the second-most populous city in Georgia, but its population of approximately 202,000 fails to capture the dynamic culture of this growing metropolitan area. Located in east-central Georgia near South Carolina's border, Augusta is widely known for its world-renowned Augusta National Golf Club (home to the Masters Tournament). It's also home to prestigious medical facilities such as Piedmont Augusta (formerly University Hospital), and Doctors Hospital of Augusta, as well as an impressive range of specialty facilities for cancer care, cardiovascular services, neurological surgery, rehabilitation, and more.


Located along the Alabama border, where the Chattahoochee River meets the fall line, the city of Columbus is home to approximately 207,000 people. A deep-seated sense of history blends with modern culture and outdoor adventure in this vibrant city, home to the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, the Columbus Fall Line Trace for biking and walking, and the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world. Notable healthcare facilities in this area include Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital, Valley Healthcare, and the Hughston Clinic, among others.


Situated on Georgia's southeastern coast near the Atlantic Ocean, Savannah is home to about 150,000 people with nearly 400,000 inhabitants in the surrounding areas. Founded in 1733, it's also the oldest city in Georgia, renowned for its picturesque river walk, cobblestoned squares, Spanish moss-draped oaks, and old-world Southern charm. The main healthcare systems serving this area include the acclaimed St. Joseph's/Candler Healthcare System and Memorial Health.

The Disciplinary Procedure of the Georgia Nursing Board

The Georgia BON follows a set procedure for regulating licensed nurses and enforcing disciplinary measures when required. If you're a nurse practicing in Georgia and find yourself implicated in a case of alleged misconduct, here's a roadmap of what you can expect in the unfolding disciplinary process.


The disciplinary process is set in motion when a complaint is lodged against you with the BON. Complaints can be filed by any member of the public, but in the case of nurses, most complaints come from patients, their families, colleagues, other healthcare practitioners, or anyone else who believes that your behavior has infringed upon nursing regulations.

Preliminary Review

The BON begins by reviewing the complaint to determine whether it has the jurisdiction to investigate the alleged offense. For instance, sexual misconduct involving patients is a clear violation of Board rules, while incidents of sexual conduct involving staff members may fall under the employer's jurisdiction.


Upon confirmation of the complaint and establishing its authority over the case, the BON then initiates a thorough investigation. This phase may involve requesting more information from you (including a written response to the complaint), interviewing the complainant and any witnesses, document subpoenas, and so on. If the investigation does not yield adequate evidence to proceed, the BON may choose to close the case at this juncture. If sufficient evidence is found, however, the case progresses to the next level.

Consent Agreement

In many cases (especially if the evidence against you is compelling), the BON will offer to negotiate a consent agreement with you. A consent agreement is a voluntary settlement in which you agree to the terms put forth by the Board concerning disciplinary action and any other provisions. This may or may not be the best course of action, but if disciplinary action is inevitable, a consent agreement can give you an opportunity to negotiate for more favorable terms. Since the agreement is legally binding, it's best to get a good attorney involved in the process before signing one. (Our Professional License Defense Team has plenty of experience negotiating favorable consent agreements for our clients.)

Formal Hearing

If no consent agreement is reached, the next step is to summon you to appear at a formal hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to show cause why you should be allowed to keep your nurse's license. Both sides may present evidence and question witnesses, and it's highly recommended that you have legal representation for this proceeding. Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge will render a decision with recommendations for Board action.

Final Board Action

If you are adjudged guilty of violating your license terms through these procedures, the BON will make a final decision on appropriate disciplinary actions, up to and including suspending or revoking your nurse's license.


If you disagree with the Board's decision, you have the right to file an appeal at Superior Court. However, bear in mind that this process can be expensive and time-consuming, and most rulings are upheld unless there has been an error in procedure that resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

If this disciplinary process may seem daunting, remember that it's possible to resolve a complaint with the Board of Nursing at any stage of the process through skillful negotiations or by demonstrating the baselessness of the allegations. The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm is well-versed in such negotiations, often helping clients to settle complaints before they escalate to the latter stages.

The Repercussions of Ignoring a Complaint

Whether the complaint against you is serious or seemingly trivial, failing to respond to a complaint in an appropriate manner typically leads to the worst possible outcome. The BON perceives a failure to respond as a tacit admission of guilt, and ignoring a complaint or failing to appear at a hearing will usually result in a ruling against you by default--including revoking your license. Regardless of your guilt or innocence, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Conversely, by hiring our team at the early stages of the process, you have a much better chance of resolving your case with little or no damage to your nursing career.

How Disciplinary Actions Affect Multistate Licensing and the Nurse Licensure Compact

Georgia is one of the 39 states participating in the nationwide Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), a pact that sets uniform practice standards and enables nurses to practice across multiple states without getting separate licenses for each state. As a licensed nurse in Georgia, you can also apply for a multistate license under the eNLC, enabling you to practice in any other state that participates in the compact.

However, the eNLC also brings its share of challenges in terms of license discipline. You are bound by the rules and regulations of conduct in any other state where you practice, and that makes you susceptible to disciplinary actions from those states if someone files a complaint.

Should the Georgia Board of Nursing, or any other compact-participating board, impose disciplinary action on your license, this information is shared with other participating states through Nursys, the national nursing licensure and discipline database for the eNLC. Similarly, any disciplinary action from another state where you practice will be shared with your Primary State of Residence (PSOR)—in this case, Georgia. The Board may suspend or revoke your multistate privileges if you've been disciplined in another state and, in certain instances, may even revoke your license entirely.

Because the intricacies of disciplinary actions across multiple states can make license defense more complicated, it is wise to engage a professional license defense firm with a national reach. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can defend nursing licenses nationwide, and they can help navigate even the most complicated eNLC issues.

Why You Need an Attorney to Help Protect Your Nursing License

In most license defense cases, there's no such thing as presumed innocence--and that means you're immediately at a disadvantage as soon as a complaint is filed. The Board's primary responsibility is to ensure public safety, and they have the ability to impose discipline based only on a preponderance of the evidence. This means the Board is not working in your best interests, nor are they giving you the benefit of the doubt. For this reason, it's highly inadvisable to try and represent yourself in a license investigation.

Hiring an attorney when your nursing license is threatened is crucial for two key reasons:

  • The BON has more experience with license discipline than you do. They know what they are looking for to convince them of your guilt, and if your case goes to a hearing, they're more skilled than you at presenting their case to the Judge. Hiring the right legal team helps to level the playing field for you.
  • The challenge to your nursing license is a legal issue. Your license is a legal contract with the state, and any alleged misconduct constitutes a legal violation under the Nurse Practice Act. In legal matters like these, having a lawyer is simply a wise decision.

How the Lento Law Firm Can Help

When you're confronted with allegations of professional misconduct, not every attorney is properly equipped to help you navigate the disciplinary process. Administrative law is different than other types of legal practice. Only a professional license defense attorney with specific experience in this field will know what the BON is looking for, what the rules are, and how to negotiate on your behalf for the best resolution. That's where the Lento Law Firm Team comes in.

Our Professional License Defense Team can significantly improve your chances of retaining your nursing license while also minimizing the impact of any other sanctions or penalties. We can review the facts and evidence, evaluate the strength of the complaint against you, assist in evidence collection, gather witnesses if necessary, and negotiate the most favorable terms of resolution with the BON. In many cases, if not most, we can help you get the complaint resolved before it ever gets to a formal hearing--but if the matter does go to a hearing, we know how to present your case in a powerful and compelling manner to get you the best result.

Experienced Professional License Attorney for Georgia Nurses

If you are a nurse in Georgia confronting allegations of misconduct, you greatly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome by securing a professional license attorney as early as possible in the process. Some nurses delay hiring an attorney until a formal hearing is scheduled, often not realizing that they may have already missed opportunities for a more lenient resolution. The earlier an attorney is engaged, the more opportunities exist to negotiate a more favorable outcome, possibly even avoiding a formal hearing altogether.

You've worked too hard to build your nursing career to have it derailed by allegations of wrongdoing. Whether the complaint stems from an honest misunderstanding, misstep, lapse in judgment, or a full-on false accusation, the stakes are too high for you to go it alone. Every step you take in this process without proper legal advice is essentially a risky gamble with your future.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team bring many years of experience to the table, having dealt with professional license defense cases nationwide. We will work tirelessly to save your nurse's license and by extension, your career. For the assistance you need in this challenging time, reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or online to discuss your case and explore your options.


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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