I have more and more cases where nurses have started off representing themselves before the State Nursing Board and ONLY after seeing the case wasn't going where they thought it should go THEN decided to hire an attorney.
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with repping yourself before the State Nursing Board. If you rep yourself, that's fine. Do your prep work and go at it.
But IMHO, I think most of us don't appreciate the seriousness of a State Nursing Board complaint, investigation, hearing, or post-disciplinary or Alternative Program Monitoring because unlike a criminal proceeding there are no court appearances "downtown" and there is no arrest or unlike a civil proceeding you are not formally "served" with a complaint and required to file an answer with the Court.
These cases can be more challenging because the client expectations of the representation can be unrealistic, unreasonable, and untenable with some nurses, certainly not all.
If you have told yourself 200x "you didn't do anything wrong", your spouse, mom, and BFF have told you 100x "this is no big deal and its minor", and you are relying on the bootleg legal advice provided to you in online nursing forums and chatrooms then you of course you believe the State Nursing Board complaint will be reviewed and closed, you will practice nursing and live happily ever after. I watched Pretty Women with Julia Roberts last weekend. I want the fairy tale!! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Woman.
Its not about right or wrong, this isn't ethics. Its about whether or not your conduct, actions, or inactions violated the State Nurse Practice Act and/or Board of Nursing regulations.
But its my job and role to bring the client's expectations of representation before the State Nursing Board into conformity with reality and actuality.
You don't pay an attorney to tell you exactly what you want to hear, do you? That's not my role as an objective observer and your advocate.