Tennessee Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist License Defense

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists—or CRNAs—play an immensely important role in providing seamless, ethical healthcare to patients both nationwide and in Tennessee.  

Perhaps because their skills and role are so important, unfortunately, CRNAs often find themselves fielding claims of malpractice, poor judgment, or against-the-rules behavior that can jeopardize their ability to provide care. When CRNAs in Tennessee face license investigations or actions, that can be incredibly daunting. This is especially the case if the CRNA needs to go before the Tennessee Board of Nursing, the board in charge of adjudicating issues related to nurse anesthetist licensure.  

If you're a nurse anesthetist in need of a strategy for addressing license investigations, you need to know the specific procedures and timelines that may lay before you. Each step of these processes, from the initial notification to the final resolution, is intricate, detailed, and intense. 

Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. At the Lento Law Firm, we're proud to provide experienced legal guidance to CRNAs in Tennessee. Whether you're in need of assistance with an investigation that's happening now, suspect that something similar may be on the horizon for you, or require support with a challenging appeals process, we're here for you.  

Retain the services of the premier Professional License Defense Team at the  Lento Law Firm today by calling 888.535.3686 or filling out this brief form to tell us more about your case.  

What Are Tennessee CRNA Licensing Proceedings Like?  

In Tennessee, the regulatory body that holds the authority and responsibility for overseeing licensed nurses and certified registered Nurse Anesthetists is the Board of Nursing. This Board has the power to conduct hearings based on charges related to the suspension or revocation of a license. If deemed appropriate, the Board also has the right to actually suspend or revoke licenses.  

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Tennessee State Board of Nursing does this because it wants to safeguard public health. In response to any allegations against a specific CRNA, the Board of Nursing may decide to initiate investigations, oversee evidence analysis, schedule hearings, and more as part of licensing disciplinary proceedings.  

If you're facing false allegations or allegations related to actions that weren't wholly your fault, you could be facing an uphill climb, too. Since the Board of Nursing is primarily focused on public health and safety, it may or may not factor nuance and context into its decisions. To ensure that you don't lose your license unfairly, you're going to need to make sure you have a solid defense. That starts with understanding the rules and regulations the Board of Nursing expects you to follow as a Tennessee CRNA.  

What Rules and Standards Apply to Tennessee CRNAs?  

Many of the same rules and standards apply to Tennessee CRNAs, as do those applicable to Tennessee registered nurses.  

Some of these rules and standards include:  

  1. Licensing requirements. All CRNAs must hold a valid RN license in Tennessee, as well as a current certification as a Nurse Anesthetist. If you are found practicing without these requirements, you may lose your license or be subject to other disciplinary actions. 
  2. Continuing education. Much like Tennessee registered nurses, CRNAs must complete CEUs, or continuing education units, to maintain their licensure and certification. If you aren't caught up on your CEUs, you could face disciplinary action.  
  3. Scope of practice. As defined by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, the scope of practice for CRNAs includes administering anesthesia and related care before, during, and after therapeutic, surgical, obstetrical, and diagnostic procedures. If you practice outside of this defined scope, the Board of Nursing may wish to know more about what you are doing.  
  4. Professional conduct standards. If you're a Tennessee CRNA, you need to follow the professional and ethical standards set forth by both the Tennessee Board of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology.  
  5. Record-keeping and documentation. All Tennessee CRNAs and registered nurses (as well as most healthcare professionals) must keep thorough, accurate records of all patient care and anesthesia administration activities.  

If the state of Tennessee believes that you are responsible for a lapse in one of these or a related procedure, it may decide it's time to learn more about what you may or may not be responsible for.  

First of All: The Type of Charges at Stake for Tennessee CRNAs  

Are the disciplinary charges that you face as a CRNA in Tennessee the same as those that occur in a court of law?  

No. These charges are distinct from criminal court charges or civil litigation. These charges are the result of administrative proceedings, which are very different from criminal or civil proceedings in their consequences and nature. For example, as bad as your disciplinary experience may seem, you likely don't have to worry about risking jail or prison time. Instead, the main thing at stake is your professional future, your reputation, and your nursing license. 

Of course, that's no small risk. If the Tennessee Board of Nursing believes that you are responsible for actions that compromise the safety of Tennesseans, it does have the authority to end your career with little notice. Without your license, you won't be able to practice or earn a livelihood in your chosen field. (And after the many years and incredible investments you've put into getting your specialized degree, that is unacceptable.)  

While the investigation before you may not end in a criminal conviction, at the Lento Law Firm, we understand that the loss of your Tennessee CRNA license can be equally devastating. Your license and your ability to provide patient care are intimately tied to your professional identity, your future employability, your financial stability, and the trust you enjoy with the medical community.  

What Types of Allegations Could Put Your Tennessee CRNA License at Risk?  

There are many types of allegations that could put your Tennessee CRNA license at risk—and just about anyone, from a colleague to a client, could issue the complaint that sets the Tennessee Board of Nursing's processes in motion. 

The most common types of allegations that we've seen impact Tennessee CRNA licenses include:  

  • Violating professional standards 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Criminal convictions, especially those related to crimes of moral turpitude 
  • Fraudulent practices 
  • Boundary violations 
  • Negligence or malpractice 
  • Failure to maintain confidentiality 
  • Non-compliance with continuing education requirements 

This is not an exhaustive list, and the Board of Nursing officials have broad discretion in interpreting these categories. This means if you're facing a Board of Nursing disciplinary process, you need to be knowledgeable about Tennessee nursing regulations and the nuances of your CRNA profession.  

What Happens After a Complaint Against a Tennessee CRNA?  

The complaint process begins with the origination of the complaint. As mentioned above, anyone can file a complaint against you.  

Once the Board of Nursing receives this complaint, the Board will take time to preliminarily evaluate the allegations. The Board of Nursing does not necessarily have the time or resources to perform a full investigation of every single complaint it receives, so the Board maintains the ability to dismiss any complaints that seem trivial or meritless.  

If the Board decides that the complaint does have merit, the Board will provide a notification to you, the involved CRNA. This is your opportunity to engage the qualified Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm if you have not done so already.  

After this notification, the Board will conduct an investigation into the allegations against you. This may involve gathering evidence, speaking with potential witnesses, and performing other actions that will be both stressful and intrusive.  

When the Board has collected enough evidence about your case to feel it's ready to make a decision, the Board will invite you to a formal hearing. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to make your case in front of a panel of Board representatives. After you have provided your side of the story, the Board will perform other activities, such as analyzing evidence and interviewing witnesses. Finally, at the end of this formal hearing, the Board will issue a decision about your responsibility for the allegations against you. At the same time (or possibly shortly after your hearing is complete), the Board will provide recommendations for the related sanction you will need to face.  

It's unfortunate but likely that the sanction will impact your license and your ability to perform your job, possibly permanently.  

At the Lento Law Firm, we don't see this as an acceptable outcome—especially if you feel the allegations against you were unfair in the first place. That's why it's vital that you work with the experienced, dedicated attorneys of the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm to pursue the most successful outcome possible.  

Here's Exactly Why You Need a CRNA Professional License Defense Team in Tennessee  

The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm understands the complexities of the disciplinary process that CRNAs can face. We're also ready to help you fight for your reputation and safeguard your rights throughout the labyrinthine process ahead.  

Our team can help you in several ways. First, we can help you level the playing field. The disciplinary officials overseeing your case will possess the full resources of the state of Tennessee. Despite your expertise in healthcare and clear familiarity with the details of your case, you likely don't have much experience navigating administrative hearings. That can result in extreme difficulty understanding your options as you forge forward.  

We can also help you understand the burden of proof in your situation and how your strategy might shift because of it. The Tennessee officials in your case need only demonstrate that the charges against you are more likely true than not—which is also known as “a preponderance of the evidence.” This is a lower threshold than you may be familiar with, which can make it easier for the state to make its case against you.  

Retain the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm  

The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm is prepared to support you at once, to assist you with everything from the way you manage the Board of Nursing's initial investigation to any appeals you may be interested in filing, should the Board of Nursing decide that you are indeed responsible for the allegations against you. (The appeals process itself will be quick but intense, as you'll be expected to come up with a new argument for your case on a very quick timeline of just a few business days.)  

Instead of feeling stressed about the disciplinary process and worried about the potential outcomes you may face, call the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm today. Our team is ready to help you:  

  • Identify your strongest possible defense 
  • Acquire any evidence that may support your defense 
  • Present your defense at that all-important hearing 
  • Negotiate with the Board of Nursing on your behalf 
  • Assist with cross-examination of any witnesses available 
  • Help you determine your next best steps after the hearing 
  • Support a strategic appeals process  
  • …and more!  

The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available in Tennessee (and nationwide) to support your best possible disciplinary defense. We are well-versed in the complexities of CRNA license defense, and we're ready to put our experience to work for you. 

Retain the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888.535.3686 or by filling out this brief form.  


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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