I posted the information below on my website today. I feel strongly about this issue because I am finding that more and more student nurses and graduates of basic nursing school are relying on the informal advice of family, friends, and others when completing a state board of nursing Application for Licensure by Examination and for counseling and advice in licensure matters.
I belong to several nursing chat rooms and the chat room administrators have to warn nurses repeatedly not to seek legal advice or give legal advice on the site. One nurse in a chatroom questioned whether she really needed to hire an attorney, although an evidentiary hearing was scheduled in her licensure case for early October. Another nurse warned that attorneys require ethics related CLE (continuing legal education) for reason and to careful when retaining an attorney.
Why do we as nurses seek informal counseling and advice regarding licensure matters? Is it because of the lack of perceived value of a nursing license? Your license is your livelihood, so why do we as nurses continue to accept informal counsel and advise from various sources and only consider attorney representation, counseling, or advising as a last resort when ALL else has failed?
I value my law licenses and my nursing license. I wouldn't under any circumstances attempt to represent myself in an investigation of my law licenses or my nursing license, although of course I could represent myself. Why not you say and this is what I do for living? There are several reasons. 1. There is too much at stake. 2. I couldn't be objective and represent myself before the Ohio Board of Nursing; I am licensed as a RN only in Ohio. and 3. I am not sure I would like to have myself as a client.
Moreover there is a saying that an attorney who represents himself/herself has a fool for a client.
STUDENT NURSES, NURSING STUDENTS, and GRADUATES OF BASIC NURSING SCHOOL
Consider consulting with a licensure defense attorney in your state before you submit your Application for Licensure by Examination to a state board of nursing.
DO NOT rely on the informal advice provided to you by friends, family, nurses, student nurses, nursing instructors/professors/faculty, and others when:
1. Determining whether or not to disclose information on the Application;
2. Considering how the state board of nursing will review your Application;
3. Analyzing the specific facts related to your situation; and
4. Evaluating your options for licensure.
This is the role of an attorney. YOU NEED LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LICENSED ATTORNEY in your state.
Consider obtaining legal advice and counseling (it can be in the form of a legal consultation) from a licensed attorney in your state who has experience in nursing licensure matters. Contact your state nurses association for a referral to an nursing licensure attorney (www.nursingworld.org) or contact The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org.) You can then decide whether or not you need to retain an attorney to represent you before the state board of nursing in regards to your Application for Licensure by Examination.