Thank you again to a client who had to remind me three times, yes three times to change the picture on my blog and facebook pages. I have lost a lot of weight (almost 60 pounds) and I am wearing my hair differently, so here is my new picture.
The law practice has been extremely busy this year and thank you again to those of you who retained my services. I am noticing over the last few months, the Board cases are becoming increasingly more complex with personal, mental health, impairment, practice, or criminal aspects.
I reviewed and revised my Legal Services Agreement to reflect the changes I am seeing in my law practice.
1. I fire clients more readily now than in the past for not providing us with the requested information in a timely manner because this slows down the processing and reviewing of information and can lead to me being unprepared for a hearing, investigative meeting, appearance, etc. If you want a lawyer who will forget you were supposed to send in your performance evals, update your prescription meds, etc., then don't retain me. I will remember, there is a task in my project management software, AND it is in my hand-written and barely legible notes.
2. I have a paralegal who works with me part-time and her role is exclusively Client Service, Management, and Scheduling. This has been wonderful! Thanks, Dani.
3. I like what I do and I like who I am. Therefore I am announcing: I am a workaholic and I am proud of it. No excuses anymore like "oh, it is the nature of the beast" or "I really don't work that hard." I do work hard and I enjoy it. Therefore I am looking for another part-time paralegal to work Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the afternoons. Also my boss is nuts and she keeps giving me work at all times of the day.
4. Non-compliance, non-compliance, and more non-compliance. Are you non-compliant? Hell, I am non-compliant with my personal monitoring.
If you are struggling with State Nursing Board probation and monitoring or compliance with an alternative to discipline program, get some help. Retain a lawyer to assist you. I receive more and more calls related to compliance issues than I used to because non-compliance with a contract results in breach of the contract, i.e. the suspension of a license or the inability to practice nursing.
Why would you hire a lawyer after you have resolved your State Nursing Board case on your own? Because you need help, because you don't really understand why or what you signed and initialed fifty times, or because you have a few extra thousand dollars in your night stand.
Life happens when you are being monitored by the State Nursing Board. Things will come up and down during a 1 to 5 year period you are being watched by the Board. Who are you going to call for assistance? Your State Nurses Association, Your Union, Your Employer, or Your Cute Lawyer. Look at my current picture and tell me who do you want to call? Call me.
I revised my legal services agreement because in the future, I am executing another flat fee agreement when patterns of non-compliance emerge. My best friend says "if it ain't rough for some, it ain't right." This should NOT be your Motto during State Nursing Board Monitoring; maybe in other contexts but certainly not in the healthcare licensing setting.
5. Nurses, Self-Employment, and Private Practice
I am being contacted by more APRNs in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana who own their own business or are planning to provide primary health services. Please keep in mind when you open a business providing healthcare services, you will need a general business attorney AND an attorney like cute lawyer to help you with nursing law, regulatory compliance, and risk management.
I am seeing more self-employed nurses who open shop and just practice. You do so at your own peril because healthcare is highly regulated and you are assuming too much unnecessary risk, exposure, and potential liability. Yes, it costs money for specialized legal services but it is a cost of doing business in healthcare. I see this with Independent Providers, RNs and LPNs in Ohio also as well as CNS and RNs who own businesses. You cannot practice in your business and run your business without some type of risk management and regulatory compliance plan. You can but the consequences for nurses are swift and cold.