Nurses around the country depending on how State Nursing Board complaints are investigated and adjudicated are taking their case "to the mat." What is taking a case to the mat? Its borrowed from wrestling jargon. http://www.osaa.org/wrestling/owwmp/Mat.pdf. Its optimal performance and preparing for a showdown like in the western movies. I love Tombstone!
I am using "taking it to the mat" here to mean that nurses are taking their case to "trial" i.e. a hearing before the State Nursing Board or a Hearing Officer to have "their day in court." Nurses "are going the distance" and taking their case to the mat. Its nothing perjorative.
If you represent yourself and you take your case to the mat on your own and you do go the distance on your own, at LEAST speak with a license defense attorney before your hearing. Pay for a few hours of an attorney's time to review your case with you, look over your exhibits, your opening statement, your closing statement, and discuss the best and worst case scenarios.
Why? I am receiving more phone and email inquiries from nurses in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana who have a State Nursing Board hearing and then don't understand or know what to do with a Board Order. For example, I spoke with a nurse two weeks ago who wanted to know if the nurse could appeal a Board Order two years after the entry of the Order. The time limits for the appeal of a State Nursing Board Order are specified in the Order and its usually a matter of days or weeks for the filing of a timely appeal not months or years.
Nurses represent themselves before the State Nursing Board for a variety of reasons including but not limited to:
1. I didn't do anything wrong so why do I need an attorney?;
2. If I hire an attorney I look guilty;
3. If I hire an attorney it will make the Board angry;
4. This is going to be resolved in my favor anyway so why hire an attorney?;
5. I don't trust lawyers;
6. I am going to ignore this and hope it will go away;
7. Lawyers are too expensive;
8. I spoke to my spouse, colleagues, friends, etc., no one believes this case has any merit, and the State Nursing Board has bigger fish to fry than this (just saying this makes me hungry; I may fry beer battered fish tonight);
9. Another nurse (in an online chatroom, forum, or board or who I work with) had the same issue and it turned out okay for him/her; and
10. Lawyers turn a simple case into a complicated case. I was actually told this last week by a nurse. I had to chuckle because maybe your case was already complicated and an attorney is just objectively pointing out the issues based on his/her experience in these types of cases.
If you are representing, counseling, and advising yourself before the State Nursing Board "do your thang." I can understand the feeling of why you don't want to contact an attorney. I don't like to contact my own attorney or my CPA. Its never a positive when you contact a license defense attorney. No one has ever called me to say Hi, LaTonia. How are you? Do you want to go bowling this weekend?
Do your thang and hopefully it will be resolved without issue. But if you get to a point where the tide is turning in the investigation and "doing your thang" isn't enough then talk to someone. If you are proceeding to a hearing, you can continue to "do your thang" but talk to someone before the hearing for objective advice and counseling.