3 Tips For Presenting A Nursing License Defense
Nursing license boards have the right to conduct extensive reviews to determine which professionals should keep their licenses. At the same time, you have the right to present a nursing license defense if the board has determined revocation may be necessary. If you have to present a defense, it's wise to understand the following three things.
Know the Rules
When you meet for the first time with a nursing license defense attorney, they will go over the rules of the process. Foremost, you need to need to be aware that the standard of proof is much lower than it is in criminal or even civil proceedings. In most states, the board must merely determine that a defendant may pose a risk to the public if allowed to keep their license. That's a far cry from proof beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Conversely, most boards do follow basic aspects of legal procedure. You'll have the right to demand discovery of the evidence used against you, for example. That means you'll have a chance to study what supposedly shows you committed a violation. Similarly, you will have the right to enter statements into the record, bring in outside experts, and question witnesses.
Anyone who has worked in nursing knows that it's important to document everything. You'll sign form after form or ask someone else to do so in a million different circumstances.
If you're mounting a nursing license defense, though, there's good news. All that documentation is about to have value. If you recall that someone signed off on an order, for example, you should write down who did it, what it involved, and when it happened. This will allow your lawyer to pull the paperwork and consider it as possible evidence.
Produce contemporaneous notes as soon as you know you'll need to defend your license. Buy a legal notepad and write down the events as you recall them. Focus on the facts and avoid theories. Save and lock relevant emails and text messages, too.
Document every detail as best you can remember, but don't stretch for things you're not sure about. There's nothing wrong with putting a circled question mark next to a note if you're unsure.
Make Discovery Notifications Early
These cases are almost always about documentation. Logs, order forms, and other documents tend to bolster or weaken cases against nurses. Your nursing license defense attorney can obtain these items through discovery requests.
It's best to hire counsel and have them make discovery notifications as early as possible. This will preserve the record so you can present the fullest defense possible.