I am receiving more emails and phone inquiries related to the legal and practice involvings involving the State Nursing Board and APRNs. APRNs include CRNAs, NPs, CNSs, and CNMs.
If you are an APRN and you are being investigated by the State Nursing Board, your case may be more complicated "off the jump" which is street lingo for initially because you are a RN practicing at an advanced level, with an expanded scope of practice, prescriptive privileges, DEA license, etc. In a nutshell and in my opinion, the greater the scope of practice and autonomy, the more responsibility, accountability, and potential liability.
If you are a APRN and you are being investigated by the State Nursing Board for ANYTHING you should have an attorney representing you. "No if, and, or but."
If you are a APRN and you are involved in a State Nursing Board investigation for allegations of drug theft, you need a license defense attorney AND a criminal defense attorney.
If you are a APRN and you are licensed in more than one State and you are having license issues in one state, you need an attorney.
If you are a APRN, before you sign on the dotted line of an employment agreement, State Nursing Board Agreed Order, Consent Agreement, Recovery Contract or Monitoring Agreement, or Return to Work Agreement, you need an attorney.
I always assumed that APRNs more so than RNs and LPNs would seek legal counsel and representation in professional practice and licensure matters and these issues although not covered in detail in the basic diploma, ASN, or BSN programs were stressed in the MSN and Doctor level programs in nursing.
You should never assume and I assumed wrong. Nursing education at the diploma, ASN, BSN, and MSN levels really needs to step up and turn it up a notch with educating nurses on the law, legalities, and legal issues in nursing practice. Stop training nurses to be the next generation of employees and start educating, training, and guiding nurses to be the next generation of independent contractors and business owners providing services to hospitals and healthcare facilties like physicians.