The Lento Law Firm Defends South Dakota Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs)
South Dakota offers certified nurse aides (CNAs) attractive opportunities for meaningful and rewarding work plus advancement in a nursing career. South Dakota cities like Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, and Watertown provide secure, stable, and attractive places to work as a nurse aide. Medical facilities like Sanford USD Medical Center, Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, and Avera Dells Area Hospital provide CNAs with facility-based job opportunities, while home health agencies like Spectrum Home Care, Homecare Services of South Dakota, and Sanford Home Health provide CNAs with employment opportunities in nursing home and residential settings.
South Dakota certified nurse aides can also continue their nursing education toward LPN and RN degrees at South Dakota nursing schools at South Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, Augustana University, University of Sioux Falls, and Presentation College, among other colleges and universities.
Yet South Dakota certified nurse aide practice only remains available to you if you retain in good standing your South Dakota Certified Nurse Aide Registry against professional disciplinary charges. Get the skilled help you need for effective defense of those CNA disciplinary charges by hiring the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team. Our professionals are available to you whether you are in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, Watertown, or any other South Dakota location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for South Dakota certified nurse aide defense.
South Dakota CNA Discipline's Nationwide Stakes
South Dakota administrative regulation offers reciprocal registration to certified nurse aides. If you are already a CNA in another state, then you need only complete South Dakota's Interstate Endorsement Application showing your CNA registration is in good standing. South Dakota CNA registration is likewise good in reciprocating states by those other states' endorsements. Registration by endorsement saves you abundant time, trouble, and expense. Yet if you lose your South Dakota CNA registration to discipline, you also lose your ability to gain CNA endorsement in other states. Don't expect to conceal your South Dakota CNA discipline from officials in other states. Don't expect to work as a nurse aide in another state following disqualifying discipline in South Dakota. Instead, retain our Professional License Defense Team for your best possible outcome.
South Dakota CNA Registration
The South Dakota Department of Health indicates that "Nurse Aide registration is a collaborative process between the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), South Dakota Board of Nursing (BON), and the South Dakota Health Care Association (SDHCA)." Those administrative agencies have promulgated regulations codified in South Dakota Administrative Rules Chapter 44:74:02. Rule 44:74:02:02 requires nurse aides practicing in South Dakota to obtain certification after receiving training and passing an examination that meets federal regulations for public funding of healthcare and nursing facilities and services. Rule 44:74:02:05 requires facilities to maintain records proving that the nurse aides whom they employ have current certification, while Rule 44:74:02:06 requires employers to pay for the necessary training. Your effective work as a nurse aide in South Dakota requires that you maintain your CNA registration.
South Dakota CNA Qualifications
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:02 lists in summary fashion these basic qualifications for CNA registration: (1) successful completion of an approved training program and competency evaluation program; (2) Department of Health verification of eligibility for inclusion on the CNA Registry; (3) acceptable employment performance as a nurse aide as documented by the aide's supervisor; (4) annual attendance of twelve hours of in-service education related to results of performance review and of special resident needs; and (5) minimum age of sixteen years old at time of employment. Rule 44:74:02:15 requires that the nurse aide receive at least 75 hours of training in communication skills, basic personal care, basic nursing skills, basic restorative care, mental health, social service needs, resident rights, care of the cognitively impaired, and many other subjects. You worked hard and learned valuable knowledge and skills to get your CNA registration. Don't give it up without a fight. Let our Defense Team help.
South Dakota CNA Disciplinary Authority
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 authorizes the Department of Health to discipline nurse aides who violate the state's standards for nurse aide practice. Disciplinary authority goes hand in hand with the department's authority and responsibility to create and maintain the South Dakota Certified Nurse Aide Registry. Rule 44:74:02:28 further authorizes the Department of Health to receive and investigate complaints of nurse aide wrongdoing, while Rule 44:74:02:29 provides for notice of charges and a hearing process, and Rule 44:74:02:30 provides for determination of the charges and documenting discipline on the CNA Registry. Don't doubt the authority of Department of Health officials to pursue disciplinary charges against you. Level the playing field by retaining our Defense Team attorneys.
South Dakota CNA Disciplinary Decisions
When South Dakota's Department of Health makes a disciplinary decision, you should know that employers, licensing officials in other states, patients, residents, their family members, and the public will be able to readily discover the discipline online. South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:30 requires Department officials to update the CNA Registry with the following details of your discipline: a summary of the allegation; a summary of the department's investigative report; the department's decision; and the hearing date, findings of fact, and conclusions of law. Under South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:30, you do have the right to place your own statement in the Registry disputing the findings, which can give context to the discipline. But you may find it far better to fight the discipline up front with the help of our Defense Team than to suffer discipline and have to try to explain it away. Employers must respect the department's decision and only employ certified nurse aides.
South Dakota CNA Disciplinary Sanctions
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 states that the department may "revoke, deny, or suspend" your CNA registration if it finds that your misconduct warrants discipline. Revocation means the loss of your registration and, with it, the loss of nurse aide employment requiring registration. Denial of registration may occur initially or on biennial renewal. You must renew your CNA registration every two years. You won't be able to do so if you suffer disqualifying discipline. Suspension of your CNA registration also interrupts your employment. But suspension suggests the department's willingness to permit you to resume CNA work after satisfying any conditions of the suspension and waiting out the duration of the suspension. You may have to petition the department for reinstatement after suspension.
When you retain our Defense Team, our attorneys may be able to communicate and negotiate with Department disciplinary officials for alternative remedial relief that avoids your registration's revocation or suspension. You may be able to continue your nurse aide employment while you get additional education or training. Discipline is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Let our Defense Team help you explore early voluntary resolution of your disciplinary charges on terms that preserve your nurse aide practice, income, and reputation.
Removing South Dakota CNA Discipline
While it is better to successfully fight disciplinary charges upfront, if you do suffer discipline, then you may have a chance at removing it. South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:31 permits you to petition to remove a finding of neglect after one year from when the department placed the finding in the CNA Registry. The rule only refers to neglect findings, not abuse or misappropriation findings. Your petition must show that your employment and personal history "does not reflect a pattern of abusive behavior or neglect and the neglect in the original finding was a singular occurrence." Rule 44:74:02:31 requires that the department give you a hearing to prove that your petition is valid. If you need to remove a finding of neglect, then retain our Defense Team to help you prepare the petition and make an effective presentation at the hearing.
Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 lists the grounds on which the department may revoke your CNA registration. The department must generally prove an authorized ground rather than simply make up the grounds for discipline, although Department officials may infer from other rules and authority disciplinary grounds that Rule 44:74:02:26 does not list. Rule 44:74:02:26 lists only "abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of resident property" as grounds for discipline. The following sections address those express grounds and other grounds that Department officials may infer from other disciplinary authorities.
Abuse as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 expressly lists "abuse" as grounds for certified nurse aide discipline. The administrative rule does not define abuse, but abuse is generally deliberate misconduct directly and severely physically harming or mentally distressing a patient or resident. Shoving, slugging, slapping, choking, or kicking a patient or resident are examples, as are prolonged undue restraint or confinement, bullying, deriding, demeaning, terrorizing, or intimidating a patient or resident, or threatening to withhold services of family contact. Because abuse involves intentional harm, abuse charges can be difficult to disprove without substantial defense evidence. That evidence must generally show that the complaining witness is a poor or deluded reporter, that the witness misidentified the nurse aide, that the allegations are false, or that the nurse aide simply used restraint and other permissible means for patient safety.
Neglect as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 also expressly lists "neglect" as grounds for certified nursing assistant discipline. Once again, the rule does not define neglect. Neglect differs from abuse in that abuse is deliberate, while neglect is merely reckless or careless. That lesser state of mind makes the defense of neglect generally easier than the defense of abuse, depending on the nature of the wrongs. Examples of neglect include failing to feed a patient resulting in malnutrition; failing to supply liquid resulting in dehydration; failing to turn a patient resulting in bed sores; failing to transfer a patient for toileting resulting in soiled clothing or bedding, and failing to bathe or provide other hygiene care resulting in infection. Failing to notice and report an obvious and severe decline in the patient's condition can also constitute neglect if the patient suffers harm as a result. Defense may involve proof that the nurse aide did not have responsibility for the patient, was not aware of the need for services, or did not have the supplies, equipment, or other means to address those needs even though requesting them.
Misappropriation as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 also expressly lists as grounds for certified nursing assistant discipline "misappropriation of resident property." Examples of misappropriation include simple theft of a resident's jewelry, money, credit cards, or other items of value. But misappropriation can also include deceiving or coercing a resident into conveying property, such as by threatening to withhold necessary services, falsely claiming money is owed for services already paid for, or threatening to cut off family contact or other rights and privileges. Defense of misappropriation charges generally involves proving that the resident did not own the claimed property, that the property is not missing, that the resident disposed of the property on the resident's own, that the nurse aide moved the property only to store or secure it while leaving it available to the resident, or that the nurse aide moved the property according to supervisor instruction.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
Department of Health disciplinary officials may construe the authority to discipline for criminal convictions from other regulatory authorities, even though South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 does not expressly list criminal conviction as a ground for discipline. Felony convictions, convictions for crimes taking place while providing nurse aide services, and misdemeanor convictions indicating unfitness for nurse aide practice may supply those grounds. Examples are violent crimes like assault or sexual assault, property crimes like theft or embezzlement, crimes of immorality like indecent exposure or solicitation to prostitution, and crimes of dishonesty like insurance fraud. Defenses to disciplinary charges based on criminal conviction may involve proving the nurse aide did not suffer the conviction, the conviction did not occur at work or relate to nurse practice, or the conviction occurred long enough ago to demonstrate the nurse aide's rehabilitation.
Substandard Practice as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
Department of Health disciplinary officials may construe the authority to discipline for serious substandard practice, even though South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 does not expressly list that ground, inferring that authority, for instance, from the authority to discipline for abuse and neglect. Serious substandard practice may involve the nurse aide using clearly wrong methods to lift or transfer, resulting in a patient fall or other serious injury, or the nurse aide using an obviously wrong cleaning agent, supplying obviously spoiled food, or offering an obviously inappropriate drink resulting in the patient's serious injury. Defense may involve proving that the nurse aide did not do as alleged, was not reasonably aware of the dangerous circumstance, or did not cause any harm.
Unauthorized Practice as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
Department of Health disciplinary officials may construe the authority to discipline for unauthorized practice, even though South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 does not expressly list that ground from the authority to register only qualified nurse aides for duties limited by statute and regulation. Examples of unauthorized practice may include the nurse aide doing tasks reserved for an RN or LPN or doing nurse aide work after the aide's certification expires without renewal. Defense may involve proving that the nurse aide did not do as alleged or that the nurse aide did as alleged only under instruction and supervision by a qualified RN or LPN while reasonably believing that the RN or LPN had the authority to delegate those duties. For charges based on an expired registration, the nurse aide may be able to prove the registration had not expired, the aide had no knowledge of the registration's expiration, and the aide renewed the registration promptly upon learning of its expiration.
Falsifying Records as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
Department of Health disciplinary officials may construe the authority to discipline for falsifying records, even though South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 does not expressly list it. Examples of records falsification include recording that the patient or resident did activities they did not do, had vitals they did not have, or had changes in conditions they did not have, or that the nurse aide worked hours the nurse aide did not work or completed tasks the nurse aide did not complete. Defense would generally depend on showing that the records were accurate or that the nurse aide reasonably believed the records to be accurate.
Unfitness as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
Department of Health disciplinary officials may construe the authority to discipline for a nurse aide's unfitness, even though South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 does not expressly list unfitness. Unfitness from illness, injury, substance abuse, and other causes can impair a nurse aide's ability to provide critical care for a patient or resident. Impaired practice can threaten patient or resident health or safety. Defense may involve showing that the nurse aide had no disability, did not consume or abuse drugs or alcohol, did not practice under the influence, or should have had the employer's reasonable accommodation for the disability, in which case the nurse aide would have been able to perform.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for South Dakota CNA Discipline
Department of Health disciplinary officials may construe the authority to discipline for credentials fraud, even though South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:26 does not expressly list that ground from the authority to register only nurse aides who meet training and examination requirements. Examples of credentials fraud may include misrepresenting that the nurse aide completed a training program the aide did not complete, exam cheating, or concealing a criminal conviction or prior discipline on a renewal application. Defense may involve proving the representations to be true, disproving the cheating allegations, and showing that any omission on the renewal application was a mistake rather than deception and that the omission did not affect the nurse aide's qualifications.
South Dakota CNA Hearing Procedures
South Dakota Administrative Rule 44:74:02:29 guarantees an accused nurse aide the right to notice of the disciplinary charges and a hearing on those charges. Rule 44:74:02:29 expressly incorporates the contested case procedure of South Dakota's Administrative Procedure and Rules. Those procedures provide for an in-person hearing before an impartial hearing officer who may consider only the sworn testimony and documentary evidence presented at the hearing. The officer must record the hearing to produce a record for appellate review. The officer must reach and disclose written findings based on substantial evidence, promptly conveying those findings to the accused nurse aide for review and appeal. The procedures provide for circuit court review of agency adjudications to ensure that the decision was impartial, without conflict of interest, based on the record, and not erroneous as a matter of law. Our Defense Team can help you invoke these and other procedures for your best disciplinary outcome.
Premier South Dakota CNA Defense Available
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, Watertown, and any other South Dakota location for your certified nurse aide registration defense. Hundreds of professionals nationwide have successfully trusted the Lento Law Firm for defense of disciplinary charges. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now.