I am seeing more new grads being reported to the State Nursing Board and complaints that are much more complex than 3-6 years ago.
Money is tight for most in this country now. I know alot of nurse license defense attorneys in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and across the country and I don't know any attorneys who work for free or pro bono in these types of cases because the cases are long and tedious. Its administrative law and to be expected.
If you need to hire an attorney borrow the money from a friend, relative, or pull it from a retirement or savings account. Maybe you should postpone the family vacation which may be the last vacation if your license is restricted or revoked anyway because of your failure to appreciate the seriousness of the charges and allegations at hand.
We just paid an attorney to draft our estate plan. It costs money but its money well spent in the big scheme of things. So many nurses will say "I cannot afford an attorney" when the phrase should be "this is my license and my livelihood and I cannot afford not to have an attorney."
Complex and a fact pattern from a John Grisham book=attorney representation.
How do you know if your case is complex and complicated? Contact a license defense attorney. Any attorney who practices in the field should be able to give you the "skinny" on what you are facing when defending your license before the State Nursing Board.
Also if your case involves anything of the following you really need to speak with a nurse license defense attorney ASAP:
1. Substance Use and Abuse or Theft of Drugs. Anytime, I mean anytime you are stealing drugs you need a lawyer, NOW, and I mean like yesterday. Theft of drugs is a felony and this cases are long and resolve over an extended period of time; think years boo boo not days, weeks or months.
a. If you stole drugs from work and you are a nurse=retain a license defense attorney
b. If you deny stealing drugs from work and you are a nurse=retain a license defense attorney
c. I am trying to make a point here because I see so many nurses who have a substance use and abuse disorder repping themselves before the State Nursing Board, sometimes with success and alot of times with anger, frustration, and eventually leaving the profession. Spend the money and retain a lawyer. Nurses will drop several bands (that's slang for one thousand dollars) on a vacation, private school child, college for an adult child, or for a home remodel but will not in general make the same or similiar type of investment in themselves for legal representation, counseling, and advising which allows one to maintain the license, livelihood, and a career.
2. Prescription medication and suspected impairment;
3. NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN Applicant disclosing criminal, mental health, or substance abuse info to the State Nursing Board;
4. Misdemeanor or Felony Conviction(s) and License Renewal and Initial Application for Licensure;
a. If you are a LPN and working on your RN or if you are a RN and working on your APRN and you have a complaint pending against your license with the State Nursing Board, hire a lawyer.
5. You reportedly failed to establish and maintain professional boundaries with a client, patient, or family member;
6. Professional Sexual Misconduct;
7. Cognitive, Mental, or Behavior Impairment and Unsafe Nursing Practice Allegations;
8. Allegations of Falsfication, Destruction, or Tampering with Documentation or Falsification of a License Renewal Application;
9. You are licensed in several states by endorsement and you are facing investigation in one or more states;
10. You are a nurse practicing in Compact State and being investigated by another State Nursing Board outside of your Home State;
11. You test positive for a medication or drug and you don't have a script;
12. You allegedly practiced outside of your Scope of Practice. Scope of Practice allegations are serious and please don't blow these off;
13. You have prescriptive authority and you have prescribed outside of your legal boundaries;
a. If you are a APRN and you are reported to the State Nursing Board for anything, you need a lawyer. This includes CRNAs, CNMs, CNS, and NPs.
b. If you are a APRN, hire a lawyer because discipline can impact credentialing and privileging and has alot of consequences for your career that may not be readily apparent now.
14. Medical errors which result in patient harm or death;
15. Any action or inaction that results in patient harm or death;
16. You are being investigated by two or more State Nursing Boards or you hold licenses in several states;
17. You are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, you may plead to a lesser offense, and you don't know what it means for your license;
18. You are a dually licensed professional, meaning in addition to being a RN or LPN you are also a RT, OT, PT, MT, therapist, counselor, dentist, or you have independent provider. Action against one license impacts the other license so get an attorney involved in the beginning of the first investigation. For example if you are a RT and a RN. If you RT license is disciplined then this must be reported to the State Nursing Board and this starts another investigation.
19. You are being encouraged to "self-report" to the State Nursing Board by your employer or a former employer
20. You are a new nurse (0-3 years) and a complaint is filed against your license with the State Nursing Board.
Call my legal assistant Jaren directly at 513-328-8217 or contact my office at 888-571-1110 if you have an issue with the Ohio, Kentucky, and/or Indiana State Boards of Nursing.