Wisconsin Nurse License Defense

The Lento Law Firm Can Help If Your Wisconsin Nurse's License is in Jeopardy

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento help Wisconsin nurses whose professional licenses nursing misconduct allegations threaten. Nurses facing professional license disciplinary proceedings need professional license defense attorney representation. Don't retain a criminal defense lawyer or general practice attorney if you face Wisconsin Board of Nursing charges. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for the skilled and experienced professional license defense attorneys you need to overcome your nursing license issues in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Board of Nursing License Proceedings

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing suspends and revokes the licenses of nurses for a variety of forms of professional and personal misconduct. Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.07 authorizes the Board of Nursing to investigate and discipline nurses whom the Board believes may be unfit or incompetent or who act unprofessionally or engage in misconduct. This important information is your guide if the Wisconsin Board of Nursing and Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services have notified you of disciplinary action for your alleged misconduct. Follow this guide if you face any form of misconduct charges, including if the Wisconsin Board of Nursing alleges that your nursing education may be fraudulent related to the nationwide Operation Nightingale nursing credentials fraud scandal.

Defending Your Wisconsin Nursing License

Nursing in Wisconsin can be both challenging and enormously rewarding. Nursing requires extensive knowledge, technical skill, and great compassion, all practiced under difficult circumstances of individual illness and disability. You also invested a great deal in your nursing career, beginning with years of professional education and many hours of clinical training leading up to the challenging NCLEX and your Wisconsin nursing licensure. You then honed your nursing expertise through your employment. Your Wisconsin nursing employment and career reward you both financially and professionally. Wisconsin Board of Nursing disciplinary charges put all of your investment in and rewards from your nursing career at risk. Retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to protect your nursing career. Don't delay. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.

The Seriousness of Wisconsin Board of Nursing Charges

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing's investigators take disciplinary charges very seriously. Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.01 expressly forms the Wisconsin Board of Nursing to establish and enforce minimum standards for nursing practice in the state to protect patients and the public. Those Wisconsin nursing investigators are on the lookout for nurses whose conduct may threaten patients or hold the profession up to public mistrust or condemnation. A Wisconsin Board of Nursing notice of investigation lets you know that the Board's investigators hold your nursing license in question for suspension and revocation if appropriate. As a nurse, you have great medical training. But as a nurse, you likely don't have the legal and procedural knowledge and advocacy skills necessary for your license's defense. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or online to discuss your Wisconsin nursing license defense case.

Raising the Stakes of Wisconsin Nurse's License Charges

If you face disciplinary charges relating to your Wisconsin nurse's license, more is at stake than just your ability to practice nursing in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.51 makes Wisconsin a party state to the national Nurse Licensure Compact. Wisconsin's participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact gives you substantial advantages when seeking to practice nursing in other Nurse Licensure Compact states. You may even be practicing in Wisconsin under a nursing license for which you first qualified in another state. The Nurse Licensure Compact is great when you are seeking to move from state to state with your existing license. The Compact currently includes thirty-nine states, including some of the nation's most populous states, with other states prepared to join. But if you lose your Wisconsin nurse's license, you will generally lose your ability to readily license in any other Nurse Licensure Compact state. Wisconsin's participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact raises your nationwide nursing stakes in a Wisconsin nursing license disciplinary proceeding.

What Allegations Can Put a Wisconsin Nurse's License at Risk?

Professionals of all kinds face common causes of license issues. The nursing practice shares many of those common causes but also has its own peculiar license risks. Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.07 authorizes the Board of Nursing to conduct investigations and to "deny an initial license or revoke, limit, suspend, or deny the renewal of a license of a" Wisconsin nursing license for any of the following grounds. Wisconsin administrative code provisions amplify the following general grounds for suspending, revoking, or otherwise disciplining your nursing license into literally dozens of other grounds. While the following list shows the major misconduct categories, virtually any conduct that your nursing supervisors believe to be an irregularity in nursing practice could threaten your Wisconsin nursing license.

Fraud Procuring a Wisconsin Nursing License

The first ground for discipline the Wisconsin legislature lists in Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.07 is fraud in the procuring or renewal of the nursing certificate or license. Fraud allegations can include that the applicant presented false educational credentials, as the FBI's Operation Nightingale has alleged against thousands of nurses nationwide. But fraud can also involve a renewal applicant failing to disclose criminal convictions or other information when certifying complete and truthful answers on the renewal application. Your retained professional license defense team may be able to show that the fraud allegations on which the Board pursues discipline are false or exaggerated or that the allegations may be in part or substantially true but mitigated by your circumstances. A charge is only an allegation, not discipline. You may have a defensible case.

Unfit or Incompetent Wisconsin Nursing Practice

Another ground Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.07 lists for suspending or revoking the license of a Wisconsin nurse is that the nurse has committed acts that show the nurse to be "unfit or incompetent by reason of negligence, abuse of alcohol or other drugs, or mental incompetency." Unfitness and incompetence are broad categories that can cover many nursing issues. Patient complaints of abuse or neglect, whether valid or not, can lead to Board investigations of a nurse's competency and fitness. Patient injuries or adverse outcomes, whether due to nursing care or not, can also lead to Board investigations of incompetency. Drunk-driving convictions, convictions for drug crimes, colleague reports of alleged intoxication on the job, and even unexpected physiological reactions to your own medication can lead to allegations of substance abuse. And disagreements or misunderstandings with physicians and supervisors can also lead to unfitness charges. But again, a charge is not discipline, only an allegation. You may have a defense.

Unprofessional Conduct in Wisconsin Nursing Practice

Another ground Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.07 lists for suspending or revoking the license of a Wisconsin nurse is that the nurse has engaged in "misconduct or unprofessional conduct." This broad category, which the statute leaves almost entirely undefined, can include virtually anything that fails to conform to nursing customs, standards, and practices. Nurse disciplinary charges relating to unprofessional conduct can include inappropriate romantic relationships or advances with colleagues, patients, subordinates, or superiors. Domestic violence conviction or conviction for other crimes of violence or dishonesty could result in unprofessionalism charges. Unprofessional conduct can also include falsifying or altering patient records and misrepresenting work hours or services to defraud insurers. Unprofessional conduct can also include insubordination toward superiors, behavior disruptive to the clinical setting, and even issues relating to poor personal hygiene and inappropriate dress or demeanor.

Prescription Medication Violations in Wisconsin Nursing Practice

Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.16 authorizes advanced practice nurses to hold a certificate authorizing them to prescribe and dispense certain drugs and devices. The final ground on which Wisconsin Statutes Section 441.07 authorizes discipline is if a nurse holding such a certificate violates any state or federal law regulating prescription medication or devices. Nurses who do not hold such a certificate but who violate prescription drug regulations, such as by diverting medications for personal use or sale, failing to document medications correctly, or altering prescriptions, would face disciplinary charges under the above sections.

What Is the Disciplinary Process for Wisconsin Nurses?

Wisconsin's disciplinary process is important to the outcome of your disciplinary charges. Your state's investigatory and adjudicatory process must ensure that you have constitutional due process to challenge those disciplinary charges. Your nursing license represents a property and liberty interest that Wisconsin disciplinary officials cannot take without giving you fair notice of the charges and a fair hearing to give your account disputing those charges. Wisconsin's Department of Safety and Professional Services follows general administrative procedures in nurse and other professional disciplinary proceedings. Under the Department's regulations, those proceedings generally progress as follows.

Wisconsin Nursing Board Investigations and Settlement Conferences

Under the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services' administrative procedures, any person can make an informal complaint in any manner whatsoever. Disciplinary officials screen that information to determine if it alleges nursing misconduct. If the information alleges non-trivial misconduct, disciplinary officials investigate the allegations to determine whether reliable evidence supports it. An investigation may include an interview of the complainant and other witnesses, a review of the complainant's documentation, and contact with the nurse suspected of misconduct or that nurse's employer. Retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team if you learn that you are under investigation for nursing misconduct. Your retained professional license defense attorney may be able to help you show disciplinary officials that they have no cause for concern.

Wisconsin Nursing Board Settlement Conferences

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services disciplinary officials may disregard an informal complaint if it fails to state misconduct. You may never learn of an informal complaint if state officials dismiss it as meritless. If, on the other hand, the informal complaint and investigation show more than trivial misconduct, disciplinary officials may invite you to a settlement conference to attempt to negotiate a voluntary resolution. Retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team for your informal settlement conference. Early informal resolution can be your best outcome. Don't wait for formal proceedings to commence.

Wisconsin Nursing Board Formal Disciplinary Proceedings

Under the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services' administrative procedures, if Wisconsin nurse disciplinary officials cannot resolve the matter informally but believe the matter warrants formal proceedings, then they commence those formal proceedings by filing a notice of hearing in the disciplinary authority office. The notice of hearing names the assigned administrative law judge. You will receive notice of the formal proceeding. You must answer the notice of formal proceeding, which you should do only with the help of a skilled and experienced professional from the Lento Law Firm. If you fail to timely answer the notice, disciplinary officials may hold you in default, generally meaning that the proceeding determines the allegations against you to be true. Be sure to retain skilled defense representation. In a formal proceeding, each side may have the discovery of the other side's evidence. The administrative law judge will determine a hearing date and hold a prehearing conference.

Wisconsin Nursing Board Consent Agreements

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services' administrative procedures authorize disciplinary officials to settle your disciplinary charges by consent agreement. Your professional license defense attorney can help you negotiate toward that voluntary favorable resolution. Once formal proceedings commence, though, the administrative law judge must approve the written settlement terms. Do not sign a proposed consent agreement on your own without retaining and consulting an experienced license defense attorney. Even though the terms may otherwise favor you, signing an agreement in which you acknowledge wrongdoing could affect your license renewal, licensure in another state, nursing employment, and other rights and interests. Consent agreements can be favorable or unfavorable, depending on their terms and your circumstances. Get skilled representation for wise advice.

Wisconsin Nursing Board Formal Hearings

If your matter does not resolve with a consent agreement, the administrative law judge will hear the disciplinary officials' evidence against you at a formal hearing. Under the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services' administrative procedures, administrative hearings have some features of a court proceeding. Your counselor from the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team can attend the hearing to advocate on your behalf. Witnesses may testify under oath and are subject to your retained attorney's cross-examination. You and your attorney may present your own evidence in exoneration or mitigation of the charges. The judge will have the hearing recorded for transcription in the event you and your attorney find it necessary to pursue an administrative appeal. And the judge will issue a written decision for you and your retained counsel to review. That decision may do anything from dismissing the charges to imposing discipline up to suspension or revocation of your license. The judge may also impose costs of the formal hearing.

Why You Need a Wisconsin Nursing License Defense Attorney

You should be able to see from the above outline of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services' administrative procedures that your disciplinary proceeding is likely to be challenging, confusing, and complex. Do not underestimate the knowledge, skill, and resources that your nursing license defense may take. Wisconsin Board of Nursing disciplinary officials have advantages in an administrative proceedings. Their disciplinary charges are not like criminal charges, where the court and jurors must presume your innocence, and prosecutors must prove each element of the criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, disciplinary officials, whose role is to protect patients and the public, need only prove their allegations to be more likely than not. If a preponderance of the evidence falls in their favor and against you, they have established the charges, even if the charges leave plenty of room for doubt. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team knows how to prepare your administrative defense for your best outcome. Don't rely on an unqualified local criminal defense attorney. The law, rules, procedures, and customs all differ between a criminal court proceeding and an administrative proceeding involving nurse disciplinary charges.

How a The Lento Law Firm Helps Nurses in Wisconsin

When you retain a qualified professional license defense attorney, you get the specific administrative disciplinary proceeding services you need for your best outcome to Wisconsin nursing license disciplinary charges. Your attorney may provide any or all of the following services in the strategic defense of Wisconsin nurse license disciplinary charges:

  • prepare for and attend a settlement conference before the Board of Nursing authorizes formal proceedings against you to negotiate an early voluntary resolution avoiding discipline;
  • respond to the disciplinary officials' investigation and interview requests, ensuring that you put forward complete and accurate information exonerating you from the charges and mitigating any sanctions;
  • timely answer the Board's notice of formal proceedings, fully disclosing your affirmative defenses so that you avoid default while preserving your full rights;
  • discover the Board's evidence supporting the disciplinary charges so that you know what you face and have a fair chance to gather and present contrary evidence;
  • communicate with disciplinary officials and the assigned administrative law judge, including attending prehearing conferences while advocating for your procedural rights;
  • negotiate with disciplinary officials informally and at the prehearing conference for favorable voluntary resolution of the disciplinary charges by consent agreement;
  • prepare for your formal hearing, identify and prepare witnesses and identify and organize exhibits on your behalf, while drafting and submitting hearing briefs;
  • attend your formal hearing to cross-examine the other side's witnesses, challenge the other side's exhibits, and present your own witnesses and exhibits;
  • help you evaluate the administrative law judge's decision and, if that decision is adverse, identify errors in the proceedings and decision as grounds for your appeal;
  • pursue your post-hearing appeals, including obtaining and reviewing the hearing transcript, drafting and filing the appeal brief, and attending and advocating at any appeal hearings; and
  • communicate with your employer and any other interested party while your disciplinary proceedings are pending to preserve your employment and other rights and interests pending your proceeding's outcome.

Premier License Defense Attorney Team for Wisconsin Nursing Misconduct Charges

Your best move when facing Wisconsin nursing license disciplinary charges is to retain the best available professional license defense attorney team. You have far too much at stake to attempt to manage your disciplinary charges on your own. Even if you have legal and administrative education and training, which very few nurses do, representing yourself is always hazardous when you need objective counsel. And retaining a local criminal defense attorney or civil litigator who lacks professional license defense experience in administrative proceedings is also far too risky.

Whether you are a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, nurse midwife, advanced practice nurse, or clinical nurse specialist, your nursing practice, job, and career have substantial value to you, your family, your employer, your community, and the public. Don't underestimate the value of your interests. Don't take half-measures when facing Wisconsin nurse's license disciplinary charges.

Instead, retain the best professional license defense attorney team available in Wisconsin. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for the skills and experience you need for your best outcome to nursing disciplinary charges in Wisconsin. Hundreds of professionals nationwide have trusted the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to overcome, defend, and defeat disciplinary charges. You need a strategic, wise, and effective approach for your best outcome. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.


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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