If you are moving to a new State, planning to work in a new State, or just thinking about obtaining a license in new State and you will have to disclose previous Board action, substance use and/or abuse, mental health, or other issues on the State Nursing Board Application for Licensure by Endorsement, talk to a license defense attorney in the State where you are applying for a license BEFORE you submit your application.
I had someone tell me this week "I don't have a few thousand dollars to pay an attorney to represent me before TWO State Nursing Boards." Okay and that is understandable. But guess what? You could have saved yourself some cash if you had a RISK MANAGEMENT type approach to managing the legal risks and potential liabilities presented in nursing practice and consulted with a license defense attorney or researched own your own your options before you submitted your application for licensure by endorsement.
I can understand the frustration and I can understand the anger as I tend to angry also on a daily basis about why the fresh coffee from my $19.95 coffee maker isn't hot enough. Why should I have to microwave my fresh coffee when I have an expectation that the coffee should be hot. Damn it why isn't my coffee hot enough! Maybe I should purchase a $29.95 coffee maker.
I am a lawyer and I would never try to represent myself. I am always surprised even after 13 years of law practice how many nurses rep themselves before the State Nursing Board. Again, you can rep your hood, rep your block, rep your city, so why not rep your nursing license, right? http://advocatefornurses.typepad.com/my2cents/2009/10/indiana-nursing-board-hearing-and-repping-yourself-.html
Some nurses depending on the complexity of the case and if its a fairly minor violation can and do coast through without attorney representation and successfully resolve their case on their own. But I have to tell you most folks tend to see their cases as "minor" and rationalize the actions or conduct involved. Its human nature and that is why you have an attorney to assist you to point out the not so obvious.
But guess what? I am seeing more complex cases involving two or three State Nursing Boards, substance abuse and criminal convictions, prescription drug use and impairment at work, mental health isssues impacting the practice of nursing, multiple standard of care violations, Board of Nursing complaints and nursing negligence lawsuits, and my favorites: good old fashion professional boundaries and professional sexual misconduct and falsification, fraud, destruction of documents, deceit, and deception. An APRN licensed in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana contacted me this month about a licensure defense issue, I had to use my finger, toes, and a calculator to tabulate the fee.
So yes of course and by all means, continue to represent yourself. But if the defecation hits the ventilation in your State Nursing Board case don't yell, argue, swear, or be a "nasty Nancy" with 1. State Nursing Board staff or 2. the Nurse License Defense Attorney you contact because its your license, its your case, and you decided (whether you realize it or not) to represent, counsel, and advise yourself before the State Nursing Board without the assistance of an attorney.