There are alot of nurses or NCLEX Applicants who receive a Consent Agreement, Agreed Order, Consent Decree or another legal document from the State Nursing Board and just sign and date on the dotted line.
There is nothing from with just signing and dating on the dotted line but keep this is mind:
1. A Board of Nursing Agreement, Contract, or Addendum is a legally binding document between you and the Board of Nursing;
What is a contract? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract
2. Make sure you understand the short and long-term consequences of what you are signing. Understand the who, what, when, why, and where of the Agreement or Contract;
3. Consider reviewing the Agreement and making notes. Then re-reviewing the Agreement and making additional notes and questions. Those questions should be answered (either by discussions with Board of Nursing staff, your own research, speaking with other nurses, or consulting with a license defense attorney) before you sign on the dotted line; and
4. Where do you see yourself in 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years after you sign on the dotted line?
As nurses, we enter into contracts everyday without a second thought when we sign up for a credit card, refinance a home, purchase a vehicle, etc. We are also accustomed to signing our name on legal documents: the medical record and patient or resident chart is a legal document also.
Just a note of caution. Before you just sign and date a legal document you receive from the State Nursing Board, pause and consider the consequences and implications of your signature.
Also stating you signed the State Board of Nursing Contract while intoxicated or under duress are not affirmative defenses in administrative law and license defense cases to VOID the contract.
What kind of duress is needed you say?
* you were in a warm, small, and dimly lit room @ the State Nursing Board office for 15 hours which smelled of motor oil;
* you were not offered food or water for those 15 hour; although you were given two Tic Tacs q 15 min x 1 hour; q 30 min x 2, then q 1 hour thereafter;
* you were not permitted to leave the room as staff blocked the exit;
* your requests to use the bathroom were denied but you were given a gently used Chux;
* you were not allowed to apply lip balm (which for me crosses the line);
* your cell phone was in front of you but you were not allowed to touch it; This drives you insane and you start pulling at your hair (I would anyway) because you received at least 185 emails, texts, IMs, pics, and/or calls (I do) in 12 hours; and
* you are emotionally distraught because you only placed a quarter in a downtown parking meter.
Then you finally scream out in pain (because let's face it no caffeine or Extra Classic Bubble gum for 12 hour is pain) and utter exasperation and despair (because you want to make it home to watch the Walking Dead marathon on AMC) yes, damn it, yes, I did it! I can't live with this anymore!
I can't take it? I will do whatever it takes, to resolve this now?
I confess to violating the State Nurse Practice Act while employed at Crappy & Uncaring Memorial Hospital; just give me the fu*%ing Contract, and I will sign and date on the dotted line.
Happy Holidays from me to you and your family.