Defending Nurses' Rights: The New Era of Aggressive Nursing Board Investigations
The trend of increasing nursing board investigations is evident at the national and state levels, particularly between 2019 and 2023. Notably, there has been a surge in disciplinary actions against nurses during this period. What's particularly concerning is that the initiation of investigations is often triggered by anonymous reports from various sources, including competitors, ex-employees, current employees, and disgruntled clients.
There is a noticeable shift with heightened enforcement in states like North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, New York, California, and Ohio, where investigative activity was previously limited. Nursing boards across the country are actively pursuing complaints against nurses, even in cases where the evidence of non-compliance is minimal. This aggressive approach has led to the imposition of fines, public settlement agreements, license suspensions, revocations, and other disciplinary measures.
One critical issue nursing advocates raise is the lack of due process protections in the boards' disciplinary processes. They argue that decisions are frequently retaliatory, creating a culture of fear among nurses. This pervasive anxiety is impacting nurses' ability to practice their profession without fear and apprehension.
Nurses face a range of reasons for investigations, encompassing various aspects of their professional conduct, including:
- Improper contracts with medical directors
- Lack of proper supervision
- Practicing beyond the scope of their license
- Improperly formed legal entities and MSOs (Management Service Organizations)
- Absence of or deficiencies in good faith exams
- Absence of or deficiencies in protocols
- Missing board filings and required contracts
The breadth of issues under investigation underscores the complexity and scope of the challenges nurses face from regulatory bodies.
Nurses need to be represented by lawyers in these proceedings to ensure that due process is followed and a fair opportunity for corrective measures is given. Nursing board investigations have a tremendous amount at stake for nurses, so they must be taken very seriously from the start.
If you get a question from a board investigator or a visit from a board member, make sure to contact your attorney team immediately and let the board know you have an attorney, and they should speak to them.
Board investigations are extensive and often protracted affairs, lasting from a few months to several years, resulting in substantial legal fees ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, billed hourly by attorneys. Our team understands the complexities and challenges involved in these investigations and is here to assist you every step of the way. These inquiries can be highly intrusive and burdensome, involving multiple rounds of inquiries from investigators. Furthermore, various regulatory boards may be involved, exacerbating the already stressful situation. For instance, in healthcare-related cases, such as those involving nurses, medical practitioners, or pharmacists, the involvement of multiple regulatory boards, such as the nursing board, medical board, and pharmacy board, can further complicate matters and increase the scrutiny on your professional conduct.
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Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’re facing an investigation or disciplinary action or just want to be prepared for the possibility, having experienced legal representation is crucial. Our law firm focuses on defending nurses and understanding the complexities of medical spa laws. We’re here to ensure your rights are protected and you receive a fair and just outcome.
To schedule a confidential consultation, click here. Our legal team here at Lengea Law is ready to guide you through every step, ensuring you’re not facing these challenges alone. Remember, having knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel can make all the difference in these critical situations. Contact us today and take the first step towards protecting your professional future.