See this article in the Lawyerist which discusses the hazards of being unlawyered. http://lawyerist.com/defend-deposition-just-show-up/
I see the hazards of being unrepresented and unlawyered daily in my law practice.
1. Ohio Independent Providers
You are running a business and practicing in your business which means you should have an accountant, bookkeeper, and a Nursing Law attorney to assist you with regulatory compliance.
If you don't have these as an IP, then work FOR a home health company as an employee as opposed to being a home health company.
2. Self-Employed Nurses in Private Practice
You are running a business and practicing in your business which means you should have an accountant, book keeper, and a Nursing Law Attorney to assist you with regulatory compliance.
You don't just start a business providing health care services and run with it without having legal advice, counseling, and coaching on your compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
This is especially true with APRNs in private practice. I actually had one APRN tell me that national and state nursing professional association dues should cover "legal advice" and "business counseling." Nursing professional associations are struggling and strapped for cash because of declining membership and dwindling interest.
4. Representing Yourself Before the State Nursing Board during the Initial Complaint
I have seen it all in my 12 years of solo practice defending nurses before the State Nursing Boards. Being unlawyered and underlawyered (having an attorney who knows nothing about practicing before the Board) is becoming more and more of a common practice.
There is always a tendency to minimize the complaint against one's license and rationalize the decision to "do it your way."
4. Representing Yourself during a State Nursing Board Probation and Monitoring Period
I don't like being told what to do which is certainly why I hire professionals to do my taxes, book keeping, and legal work. I hire professionals to provide and render professional services.
Chances are you didn't have a lawyer during the Board investigation and case which led to discipline of your license; then do yourself a favor and retain an attorney to counsel and advise you while you are on probation for 15 years with the State Nursing Board.
5. Counseling and Advising Yourself When Things "Go South" with your Employer
If your nurse manager says "this is reportable to the State Nursing Board", you need to talk to a nurse license defense attorney. I know you have never had anything happen in your life outside of two speeding tickets, but when you hear "this is reportable to the State Nursing Board", the defecation is near the ventilation and it is time to start thinking about your nursing license, your employability, your career, and your next month's mortgage payment not you will no longer be able to chair the Facility Shared Governance Cultured & Collaborative Cupcakes & Coffee Committee.
6. The Criminal Stuff
You know or you should know if what you are doing is illegal. If you don't know, ask a lawyer. For example are you
stealing narcotics from work? Criminal
stealing supplies from work? Criminal
consistently driving while intoxicated (prescription drugs, alcohol, etc.)? Criminal
doctor shopping to maximize your ability to obtain prescription medication? Criminal
billing for healthcare services you did not provide? Criminal
putting your hands on folks (kids, spouse, parents, neighbors etc.)? Criminal
Your personal life and your professional life collide when matters turn criminal and also in domestic situations. Sh*t happens and frequently I might add; so unless you are dead; the end is not yet. Praise God!
You can use "The Force" and swim, crawl, waddle, walk, slide, run, dance, and skip from the Dark Side, Young Skywalker. Please note there is a cost and fees associated with accessing "The Force" because it is a professional service(s). Yoda isn't available.
First remember this is not the end of the world although it may feel like it. I am a recovering drama queen so I understand the need for actions, emotions, behaviors, thoughts, and everything over the top and heavy heavy. Allow your time to process your feelings and emotions if you are a licensed nurse and you are involved in a criminal matter. However you have to come off the rollercoaster at some point.
Practically you just need help sorting and shifting the wheat from the tares in a legal and nursing practice context of course, not spirtual. This is what a nursing law attorney does for a nurse confronted with criminal issues when addressing the nursing aspects of the criminal matter.