The Nursing License Violation And Defense Process
Are you facing an allegation, investigation, or sanction by the board of nursing? Please call for a free legal consultation, (503) 232-9280.
If you have received a letter from the Oregon State Board of Nursing telling you that someone has lodged a complaint against you, this is just the beginning of a process that could threaten your nursing license, your job, even your right to practice as a nurse.
The allegation against you may have come from a patient, a patient’s family member, a co-worker, your employer…really anyone. And the complaint is always anonymous, so although the nurse investigator assigned to your case by the state board will know who accused you, you won’t.
An issue that may seem simple to you, easy enough to clear up on your own, could in fact be serious and complex, with far-reaching consequences.
During your free consultation, we’ll discuss your situation and your options, but in general, these are the potential steps in the process of a nursing license violation and defense. What we state below is also generally applicable to complaints made to the Washington Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.
Allegation: Someone lodges a complaint against you through the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN). The OSBN notifies you by mail of the allegation. In most cases, you’ll be able to continue to practice nursing while your case is being investigated and settled.
Investigation: A nurse investigator acting on behalf of the OSBN will then interview you by phone or in-person. The investigator will also interview other people involved in your case and review records.
Disciplinary Sanctions: Once the investigation is completed, the OSBN will either dismiss the case, or propose a set of disciplinary sanctions, also known as a settlement. This settlement is negotiable, and as your attorney and legal team, we would do our best to either help eliminate the discipline or keep it at a minimum. Disciplinary sanctions can range from a letter of concern to suspension or revocation of your nursing license.
Administrative Hearing: If you can’t reach a settlement about disciplinary sanctions with the nurse investigator, your case will move forward to a formal administrative hearing. This hearing takes place before an administrative law judge who will hear the facts of the case and then give a proposed decision to the OSBN. The OSBN can either accept or reject the judge’s recommendations, and the board will then issue a “final” order.
Oregon Court of Appeals: If you do not believe that the OBSN’s final order is fair and just, you have another chance to change the outcome, by appealing your case through the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Each step of the way – through what can be a very intimidating and draining legal process – we’ll be with you!
Please Note: Kevin Keaney, P.C. is located in Portland, Oregon, and is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington, as well as Texas, where he can also help nurses who need an attorney. You can also learn more about us by reading our case studies for nurses we’ve helped.