I have been told this several times this month. Before you sign any legal document, contract, order, or agreement relating to your nursing practice, read it and ask questions at a minimum. You don't just sign a legal document and hope for the best.
Would you sign a mortgage loan documents and not ask questions? Oh crap, not a good question as alot of us American did just that and look at the results.
If you have been presented with a legal document, contract, order, or agreement related to your nursing license or your nursing practice, read the document. Then read the document again and start asking questions. Even if you don't have the document reviewed by an attorney, that's fine but read the document so that you have an understanding of what you are admitting to, agreeing with, and what are the expectations of each party to the agreement, contract, order, or document.
I have spoke with three nurses this month who each questioned if permanent practice restrictions in an Ohio Board of Nursing Consent Agreement or an Ohio Board of Nursing Adjudication Order can be modified.
As an attorney, I like to play with the meaning of words but here is the plain English version of what permanent means. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/permanent.
Permanent practice restrictions with the Ohio Nursing Board are indeed permanent.
See also my post on this blog from June 20, 2008. http://advocatefornurses.typepad.com/my2cents/2008/06/permanent-practice-restrictions-on-a-nursing-license-are-indeed-permanent.html
Again this is why its so important that you have an understanding of the long-term licensure, career, workplace, and regulation implications of the State Nursing Board legal documents you sign. There is an immediate rush after you just sign (so I am told) of "wow, this is finally over" and I have turned a turned a torn page in a long book.
But then the excitement and confidence wears off when you receive the ratified Agreement, Contract, Order, you speak with your case manager with the Board, you go to www.allnurses.com, and/or you start interviewing for nursing positions. Its a tough market even for nurses without an encumbered or restricted license and you start questioning whether your actions were proper and if this was the best resolution to the issue(s) at hand.
I have nurses who contact me a week, two weeks, or a month after they sign a contract, order, or agreement and ask what can I do? You are kidding right? A contract is a legally enforceable document and can only be modified by the consent of both parties. That is why it is extremely important that you read and review any State Nursing Board Consent Agreement, Agreed Order, Contract, or other legal document before you sign it.