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Should a Nurse Self Report Potential Misconduct?
If you are a nurse who has been terminated from work and you are absolutely certain that your employer is going to report you to the nursing board for alleged misconduct, it is often better to self report. Self reporting is exactly as it sounds — you contact a nursing attorney and provide them with all of the necessary information about the issue. Your lawyer will write a letter to the board, giving your side of the story about why you were terminated.
Get Your Side of the Story to the Board
It is generally best to self report as opposed to waiting for the board to receive a third party notification about your alleged misconduct. Assuming you have an adequate defense or some information in your favor, this will allow you to assert your position to the board.
Self Reporting May Minimize Punishment
I have often found that self reporting diminishes the board’s punishment. If the board can see that you are being honest and straightforward about a disagreement that happened at work, and that your story is just as believable as your employer’s, the chances are that they will be able to work out some kind of agreement that minimizes the effect on your unencumbered nursing license.
Self Reporting for Serious Offenses
If a nurse is terminated for justified reasons – such as being caught with illegal narcotics at work – I will usually still recommend self reporting. In this type of situation, you should probably self report immediately and explain what you are doing to fix the problem. For the example above, you could check yourself into a rehab center and make plans to consult with a addictologist. Self reporting will allow you to let the board know immediately that you are addressing the problem you have had at work.
You are going to have to fight these issues before the board of nursing at some point, so being proactive about clearing up the issue can work in your favor. Each nurse’s situation is different, however, so it is best to work with an experienced nursing attorney who can advise you based on the specific facts of your case.