Nursing License Defense Lawyer in North Carolina
There is a general misconception in healthcare that only doctors can be sued for negligence. Unfortunately, next to doctors, nurses are the second most sued healthcare professionals. In North Carolina, there has been a steady increase in medical malpractice cases against nurses. The regulation of nursing practice in the state is the job of the North Carolina Board of Nursing and Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. The North Carolina Board of Nursing takes all complaints against nurses very seriously because their job is to protect the public. If someone files a complaint against you, you need to speak to a nursing license defense lawyer immediately.
What are some common reasons for a complaint against a nurse in North Carolina?
There are a number of reasons why someone might file a complaint against a nurse and why the North Carolina Board of Nursing and Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation may choose to investigate it further. The reasons usually include:
- Stealing prescription drugs from a healthcare facility
- Using or being in possession of illicit drugs
- Charged with a criminal act (violence, robbery, receiving stolen property, stealing, etc.)
- Being mentally ill and still practicing without informing superiors or the Board
- Practicing nursing with a fraudulent diploma or degree
- Demonstrating gross incompetence while providing nursing care
- Unprofessional conduct against colleagues and or patients
- Abandoning patient
- Charged with drunk driving
- Breach of HIPPA
- Neglect of patient(s)
- Neglecting and/or sleeping at work
- Failing to upkeep patient medical records and supervise junior staff
- Failing to practice nursing according to current Standard of Care
- Inappropriate physical contact with a patient
- Inappropriate verbal interaction with a client
- Domestic violence and/or child abuse
If you received a notification from the Board, speak to a nursing license defense attorney as soon as possible.
What should a nurse do when they receive a Letter of Complaint from the Nursing Board?
When a nurse receives a letter of complaint from the North Carolina Board of Nursing, she should take this as a serious matter. The board generally sends out a letter of complaint when they believe the nurse is at fault. They also conduct an initial investigation, and they give the nurse to explain or give their side of the story. This is legally your right. No matter how bad the complaint, any nurse who is being investigated by the Board will have the opportunity to respond before any decision is made on the type of penalty. Remember, all the years of education and hard work can quickly come crashing down if your license is suspended or revoked and thus, it is important to take this complaint seriously. Talk to a nursing license defense lawyer as soon as possible so that you can devise an effective defense strategy and ensure you don’t lose your license.
How should the nurse proceed?
Many times, complaints against a nurse are completely baseless and have no merit to them. However, if a complaint has been filed against you and if you feel that the allegations are completely untrue, you still should talk to a nursing license defense attorney. People often think that if they are innocent, they don’t need a nursing license defense lawyer but the fact is that no matter how untrue the allegations are against you, you should always let your lawyer deal with the Board. Don’t go around facing them all on your own or respond without consulting your nursing license defense attorney. Remember, anything you say or write to the Board can be used against you later on. That is why if you are being investigated by the Board, it is in your best interest to talk to a nursing license defense lawyer and let them speak on your behalf. The Board is more likely to speak openly with your nursing license defense attorney and provide them with details about the complaint. This can help your lawyer build up a defense strategy that may help save your license from being suspended.
Who can file a complaint against a nurse?
The following people can file a complaint against a nurse:
- Your peers
- Your nursing supervisor
- A hospital administrator or CEO
- Your patient(s)
- Your family or friends
- Law enforcement if you have had any convictions
- Human resources
- Department of risk management
It really does not make a difference who makes the complaint. The North Carolina Board of Nursing’s primarily responsibility is to protect the public, and they will look at each complaint seriously. The only complaints that disappear immediately are those that have no grounds to them. But other than that, the Board does review every complaint, and they will speak to the concerned party to gather more details. If someone has filed a complaint, don’t take it lightly. Remember, the Board has more details than you and that gives them an advantage. The only way you can prepare an effective strategy is by using the services of a nursing license defense lawyer.
What type Of disciplinary action can the North Carolina Board Of Nursing take against a nurse?
The Board has several types of disciplinary actions that they can take, but it all depends on the case. In general, these are the following disciplinary actions the Nursing Board may take:
- Admonishment or public apology
- A written warning stating that if the event ever happens again, then your license may face suspension.
- Entering drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Monetary penalty
- Need for continuing education in nursing, ethics or behavior
- Need for monitoring if you had been performing below the standard of care or your conduct was outrageous or completely unprofessional.
- Random checks for illicit drugs
- License suspension for a fixed period which could range from a few months to a few years
- Revoking the license permanently
No matter which disciplinary action it is, you will be closely monitored for 1-5 years. Any repeat incidents may result in a more serious penalty that could include permanent loss of your nursing license. Talk to a permanent license defense attorney as soon as possible if the Board is investigating you.
When should I contact a nursing license defense lawyer?
Whenever you receive a formal notification from the Board that you are under investigation, contact a nursing license defense attorney. Even if the complaint sounds trivial to you, you will have no idea what the Board discovered in its investigation about you. Since the North Carolina Nursing Board sets a time limit on settling these complaints, call the Carolina Law Group today. It is imperative that you seek assistance from our nursing license defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our nursing license defense attorney will collect all the information and develop a strategy to fight the complaint. We are here to help you. Call us today and ensure that you protect your nursing license.