When I am representing a nurse who is under investigation by the nursing board, I choose the defense strategy based on the facts of the case. There are two different ways to proceed, and which type of defense we use depends on how favorable the facts are for my client.
Immediate Resolution is Sometimes Possible
As a nursing license defense attorney, I recently represented two Louisiana nurses who had been told by their employer to self report a possible nursing board violation. In these two cases, we had evidence which disproved the allegations, so I immediately arranged a meeting with the investigator to explain our side of the story. Our goal is to get a favorable report from the investigator who will then forward that report on to the nursing board prosecutor. At this point, we schedule a meeting with the prosecutor to bring the possible violation to an immediate close, thereby ending any possible formal petition filed against my client. Generally, when a nurse is ordered to self report a possible violation and it is clearly not a violation, we cooperate and facilitate an immediate close to the investigation.
Other Times It’s Better to Wait and Have a Full Hearing
However, I only do this in cases where the facts are favorable to my client. When the facts are less favorable to my client, I am not inclined to provide information which may be detrimental to my client’s position. For example, if a nurse has failed to properly document medication, or has tested positive for drugs, or was not being completely honest on the nursing license re-application, I generally wait to see if any formal petition is filed against my client. If a petition is filed, then we begin requesting discovery and prepare for a full hearing in front of the board. (See related post: Protecting Your Nursing License at a Revocation Hearing).
The key here is to maintain the possibility of employment and to avoid exposing the client to the unnecessary loss of their nursing license. Each case must be dealt with according to the specific allegations of misconduct. But it is good to know that when the facts are on your side, you can possibly reach an immediate resolution to the nursing board’s investigation.