I spoke with a nurse this week who is very upset. He signed a contract with a State Nursing Board to resolve a pending complaint against his license. The nurse was upset when she received correspondence from the National Practitioner Databank and Healthcare Integrity and Protection Databank regarding the action taken against her license. The nurse feels as if this is excessive punishment, unfair, and wants to write a letter to the State Legislature to complain.
The nurse did not have attorney representation before the State Nursing Board, which is fine. There is a right to self-representation in any legal matter. However he could have retained an attorney.
The nurse did not have an attorney review the State Nursing Board contract before signing and returning the document to the Board, which is fine. There is a right to self counseling and advising in any legal matter. However he could have consulted with an attorney (usually a few hundred dollars) and had an attorney review the contract and discuss the implications of signing the contract on his nursing license and career going forward.
So what am I saying? You have choices and options. To retain or not to retain an attorney. To consult or not to consult with an attorney. State Nursing Board action against the license has far reaching implications for your license and your nursing career and YOU have to decide whether or not YOU need representation, counseling, or advising in a matter. There are going to be things that you don't know in these types of cases but someone who practices in this area can point out to you. Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, and Maybe are not things you want to say to yourself in critical and "code red" matters involving your license, career, and your livelihood.