Texas Board of Nursing protects and serves the welfare of the people of Texas by ensuring that licensed nurses in Texas are qualified to practice safely. The Board completes its mission through the regulation of the practice of nursing and the permission of nursing education programs.
Anytime a licensed vocational nurse or registered nurse is going through a disciplinary proceeding with the Texas Board of Nursing, they should immediately call a Houston nursing license defense attorney who has experience with such cases. The nurses’ license is in jeopardy, and they might face losing it for good.
From the initial claim to the disciplinary action (it does not always take place though), the nurse will need a lawyer to help them in the process. A nursing license defense attorney will look at the following:
- Discipline process
- Claims of drug use and dependency
- Criminal acts
- Peer Reviews
If you work as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, or an Advanced Practice Nurse Specialist report to the Practice Nurse Act.
It Will Begin with a Complaint
Every year the Texas BON receives thousands of complaints about nurses. Not all of the complaints will end in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding. The complaints that don’t get an investigation or disciplinary proceeding often are out of BON’s jurisdiction, lack information on the nurse’s identity, and have “minor incidents.” Often they are not even violating the Nursing Practice Act.
If the complaint gets an investigation, nurses can have due process rights. They have the right to formal proceedings before they a disciplinary action or loss of licenses take place. Nurses also can have an attorney during the process.
Usually, the investigation takes place through the mail or over the phone. Also, on-site investigating can happen. In most cases, nurses will get informed of the investigation and the allegations from the very beginning. Investigations usually last between five and twelve months.
There are some investigations that are initiated from criminal charges such as drunk driving or other drug-related crimes. Such crimes can lead to a nurse losing their license.
The investigation team determines whether the nurse has violated the NPA. If the investigation team determines that there is a violation and that the action needs sanction, then an Order of the Board will be issued.
A nurse can get sanctions such as fines, warnings, remedial education, reprimand, suspension, probation, and license revocation.
How Long the Information Settlement Process Will Last
During this process, the nurse will be offered a proposed agreed order, which declares the findings of the investigation, conclusions of law, sanction, and other requirements. If the nurse e concurs with the proposed agreed order, they can sign it and submit it to the BON for final approval.
Is a Formal Settlement Process Necessary?
If the nurse and the BON can’t reach an agreement through the informal settlement process, then formal charges will take place. The nurse should answer to these charges in writing. Negotiations between the nurse and/or their lawyer and the BON will proceed to take place, but meanwhile, formal, public disciplinary hearings will be scheduled.
If a disciplinary hearing is needed, then the disciplinary hearings will occur before an Administrative Law Judge, who gathers arguments and evidence from both sides and, in the end will submit a proposal for a decision to the BON. The BON can require appropriate penalties or will close the case without any action.
Why Hire a Nursing License Defense Lawyer When Facing a Disciplinary Proceeding?
The final word is that if a nurse is facing any complaints or investigations that are a risk for their license, they should contact a Houston nursing license defense attorney who has experience with such cases.
Nurses in the state of Texas have to defend their right to work even though they face any disciplinary action. Having someone by their side who knows what legal steps to take will ease the process and help these people go through the process with less stress.
Our nursing license team of lawyers at Eddington & Worley is here to listen to your case.
We know that the claims or charges against you can be stressful and may seem like you are on edge to lose your license, which can make a drastic change in your life.
Allow our team of skilled lawyers to take your case and prepare your defense. We are here to stand by you and fight for your career and keeping your job.
Call our firm today and schedule your first consultation.