South Dakota CRNA License Defense

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or CRNAs, are registered nurses who have undergone extra training and education to assist with anesthesia during a range of procedures—from surgical to obstetric.  

If you're a CRNA, you know this. You know that your profession is critical for the modern healthcare industry. And, unfortunately, you know that your field is rife with patients, colleagues, and administrative boards who oversee your performance and may have complaints.  

South Dakota's Board of Nursing is one such group that works to ensure that CRNAs always uphold the highest professional and ethical standards when performing their duties in patient care. If a CRNA in South Dakota has allegedly breached these standards, the South Dakota Board of Nursing has the power to step in, investigate, and address the issue. For the nurse in question, this can look like a temporary or permanent loss of their license, which can have immediate and disastrous effects on that nurse's ability to pursue a career in healthcare.  

CNRAs in South Dakota who fear that disciplinary actions against their licenses may be in their future must call the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm without delay. Our team has years of specific experience supporting CNRAs in South Dakota (and nationwide) through stressful disciplinary procedures. We can do the same for you. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or fill out this brief form to tell us more about your case.  

CNRA Nursing License Proceedings in South Dakota  

The primary regulatory authority responsible for overseeing the licensing and disciplinary processes for all nursing professionals in South Dakota, including CRNAs, is the South Dakota Board of Nursing. If the Board learns that a CRNA has violated a professional standard or known regulation, the Board will conduct a thorough investigation of the complaint to understand more about the validity of the misconduct allegations. At the end of the investigation and associated activities, the Board will impose any appropriate sanctions.  

One common set of sanctions involves the nurse's license. If appropriate, the Board may decide to deny license renewal, suspend a license, or revoke a license entirely. 

Although the outcome of this type of disciplinary proceeding isn't a criminal conviction, it's hard to overstate how devastating it can be when a nurse's license is suddenly and, potentially permanently, revoked. It can have profound impacts on a nurse's reputation, future, and ability to earn a livelihood. Therefore, although the proceedings CRNAs face in this situation may be “just administrative,” they're far from something you should feel comfortable brushing off. In fact, administrative proceedings can be trickier than you think to handle well. Administrative proceedings require a lower standard of proof than criminal cases, which means that the Board needs only to find that it's more likely than not that you're responsible for the allegations against you.  

And, unfortunately, the playing field will be far from even. The Board will have abundant time and resources to pursue your case. You will not. You need to make sure that you're working with the experienced attorneys of the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. We're here to help CRNAs understand the regulations pertinent to their license disciplinary proceedings in South Dakota and to help ensure clarity on the charges faced—and the due process rights available to them.  

But, before we discuss the strategies you may be able to employ to protect your license (and your reputation and your future), it's a good idea to have a thorough understanding of the most common reasons CRNAs find themselves navigating disciplinary administrative procedures.  

What Types of Allegations Pose a Risk to South Dakota CRNA Licenses?  

With everything at stake, it's easy to wonder just what type of allegations could trigger this type of disciplinary process. 

It's important to remember that the South Dakota Board of Nursing is most interested in making sure that South Dakota patients are safe. Their way of doing that centers on making sure that nurses, including CRNAs, are following the various rules and regulations of their profession. If a CRNA is accused of violating these standards, that's not just a poor look for the industry. That could result in untold pain, suffering, and danger for the people in a CRNA's care.  

That may sound like hyperbole, but it's the type of outcome that the South Dakota Board of Nursing is tasked with avoiding. To do so, the Board has the power and authority to investigate allegations and then impose disciplinary actions ranging from conditions on licenses to revocation of licenses entirely.  

The types of allegations that the South Dakota Board of Nursing may decide to investigate vary considerably. The most common actions that CRNAs (and other nursing professionals) are prohibited from engaging in include:  

  • Fraud or fraudulent practices. This includes offering services that are not within the appropriate scope of practice for a nurse anesthetist, as well as engaging in deceit or misrepresentation in order to obtain a license in the first place.  
  • Criminal convictions. If you've been convicted of a felony, particularly if that felony is related to crimes of moral turpitude, that could be considered grounds for disciplinary action.  
  • Substance abuse. Substance abuse, particularly abuse of substances that are against the law or use of any mind-altering substance while you're on duty, could impair your ability to practice safely and will likely be frowned upon by the Board.  
  • Negligence or malpractice. CRNAs who are (allegedly) responsible for actions that jeopardize the health of their patients may be investigated by the Board of Nursing.  
  • Substandard care. Can a patient or colleague claim that you provided care that falls below the standards of your profession? Remember, since the burdens of proof are lower than in a criminal case, the Board of Nursing doesn't need to explicitly show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you're responsible for this type of oversight—they just need to show it's more likely than not.  
  • Boundary violations. If a patient, colleague, or another person alleges that a CRNA engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct or was involved in a dual or similarly inappropriate relationship with a patient, a patient's family, or their colleagues, that could start a Board of Nursing investigation.  
  • Health concerns. In some cases, if CRNAs exhibit symptoms of a mental or physical condition that affects their ability to discharge their duties successfully, the Board of Nursing may step in and make a recommendation about their future job prospects. This may not seem fair, but remember—the Board of Nursing is most interested in how a CRNA's behavior or condition affects patient safety.  
  • Unprofessional conduct. This last category is a wide one. ‘Unprofessional conduct' can refer to patient neglect, theft, breach of patient confidentiality, failure to maintain appropriate boundaries, exhibiting a poor bedside manner, or any of a range of unwanted or unsafe behaviors.  

CRNAs who are facing allegations of any of these possible infractions will likely face disciplinary measures, up to and including license revocation, from the South Dakota Board of Nursing. Understanding the steps you can take to avoid this outcome is critical if you want to retain your reputation and refrain from adversely impacting your future.  

The South Dakota Board of Nursing Disciplinary Process for CRNAs 

Your disciplinary journey will begin when someone files a complaint against you and your alleged actions. This complaint can come from anywhere. In South Dakota, healthcare facilities and their employees are required to report any nurses, including CRNAs, for problematic behavior. Your patients, too, can decide to file a complaint if they believe their experience of care with you has been substandard.  

Once the Board of Nursing learns about your alleged violation, the Board will take some time to review the information submitted or perform an initial investigation to see whether the complaint has merit and falls within its jurisdiction. At this time, it's entirely possible that the Board will throw out your complaint due to a lack of merit or resources. It's also possible that the Board will decide that it needs to know more — at which point the Board will launch a full-scale investigation into what happened.  

During the investigation, the Board of Nursing and its representatives may audit your past professional performance, conduct interviews with your patients and colleagues, and pursue other invasive and uncomfortable actions in the name of collecting evidence. The Board may also call you in for an informal interview. (The rigor with which the Board pursues this step may depend heavily on the severity of the allegations.) The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help you manage this process so it's as minimally catastrophic for you as possible.  

Once the Board has enough information to make a decision about what happened, the Board will notify its Compliance Committee, which will review the evidence provided and prepare to make a decision about the matter during the next scheduled Board meeting. During this hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your own evidence and tell your side of the story. Our team will be able to help you create and present a solid defense that includes relevant evidence and witness testimony in support of your argument.  

At the end of this meeting or shortly afterward, the Board of Nursing will review the arguments before it and determine whether you are, in its eyes, responsible for the misconduct. If the Board members believe you are, they will also recommend specific sanctions at that time. Usually, the sanctions impact the CRNA's license. You may find yourself facing denial for reapplication or renewal, if not immediate revocation of your license.  

After the Board of Nursing issues its final decision, you may have the ability to appeal. The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help you assess your options, open direct lines of communication with the South Dakota Board of Nursing, and more to support you as you work toward your ideal outcome. 

The Lento Law Firm is Ready to Support South Dakota CRNAs In License Disciplinary Proceedings  

You've worked hard to become a nurse. You've passed years of difficult courses. You've put in the time caring for patients. And, to get your certification as a nurse anesthetist in South Dakota, you've put in even more work and training. All of that has led to your career, which you're enjoying right now. If you're prevented from practicing that career, that's going to negatively affect your life for years to come. (Especially when you consider that being involved in disciplinary proceedings in South Dakota may affect your ability to practice nursing or be a nurse anesthetist in any other state, too.)  

If you're facing disciplinary or administrative proceedings, you need to take them seriously to avoid unnecessarily harsh consequences. But the process of researching your own case, presenting a strong argument, and negotiating on your own behalf with the Board of Nursing can feel daunting.  

That's where the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm comes in. The South Dakota Board of Nursing holds nurses and CRNAs to a very high standard, but it's not always easy or straightforward to determine what those regulations are. The experienced attorneys of the Lento Law Firm can help you protect your due process rights, uncover evidence to support your side of the story, negotiate with the Board of Nursing to avoid permanent damage to your career, and more.  

If you're interested in taking the most effective action to ensure you are prepared to defend yourself, your reputation, and your future, retain the services of the premier Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm today. Contact our team as soon as possible by calling 888.535.5686 or fill out this brief form to let us know more about your case.  


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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