Nursing License Defense
New York Nursing License Defense Attorneys
Earning a nursing license takes years of hard work, but losing it can be done in what seems like an instant. It can happen to any nurse who faces charges of professional misconduct. Those charges can trigger an investigation and, if the allegations are substantiated, disciplinary actions can result in a nursing license suspension – or worse.
The healthcare attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group are here to provide aggressive and successful representation for New York nurses, with many of our clients achieving spectacular results. The lawyers at our firm have represented registered professional nurses (RN), nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses (LPN) in disciplinary matters involving accusations of professional misconduct as well as criminal matters.
Whether they required a defense against the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD), the Department of Education or the Department of Health, we have helped many nurses retain their license and their reputation.
Legal Counsel for New York Nurses
Nursing is not an easy job. It’s an honorable profession consisting of hardworking healthcare professionals, professionals that may be the most under-appreciated in the industry. Diligent nurses are often accused of misconduct in nursing home and hospitals, sometimes as scapegoats for the facility’s shortcomings, or even due to a supervisor’s dislike. Our lawyers have seen nurses accused, disciplined and terminated just because it was convenient, or an easy way for facilities to protect their own agendas.
Causes of Disciplinary Actions for Nurses
The investigation and prosecution related to professional misconduct of nurses is in the hands of the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) of the New York State Education Department. The final disposition of all disciplinary matters for registered nurses is the responsibility of the Board of Regents. New York nurses may be found to have committed professional misconduct for a wide scope of issues. They include:
- Conviction of a crime
- Practicing fraudulently or beyond their authorized scope
- Practicing with negligence, gross incompetence
- Practicing while impaired by drugs, alcohol or mental disability
- Drug diversion or using drugs habitually
- Physically or sexually abusing patients
- Unlawful fee splitting
- False report filing
- Failure to maintain records properly
- Allowing unauthorized personnel to perform professional duties
Professional Misconduct Investigations for Nurses
Professional misconduct cases for nurses start when someone files a complaint with the regional OPD, which then launches an investigation into the complaint. Most complaints come from employers, and a few come from patients. The OPD receives nearly 10,000 complaints per year, with many involving nurses.
During the investigation, the OPD investigator may contact the nurse to request documents or a personal interview. Once the investigation is complete, the investigator prepares a report for the Board of Nursing and the OPD attorney. If not enough evidence exists to substantiate the allegations, the case may be dismissed at this stage. If sufficient evidence does exist, the case moves up to the next level.
Cases that involve criminal allegations are investigated by law enforcement agencies. If those cases result in a criminal conviction, the state Department of Probation notifies the Department of Education of the case disposition. The matter is then further investigated.
When Nurses Need to Seek Legal Counsel
As a leading New York healthcare legal firm, Norman Spencer Law Group recommends nurses contact one of our lawyers the moment they learn an OPD investigation has been launched. If an OPD letter asks for documentation, you may be obliged to provide it. But if an investigator asks for an interview, you are not obligated to agree to one.
Any information gathered by the investigator becomes part of the OPD report, and voluntarily supplying even what seems like straightforward information can end up being damaging to your case. Voluntary admissions, confessions and other statements will not alleviate your plight, but only make it more difficult to obtain a successful conclusion. Insist upon discussing the matter with an attorney before providing any information to investigators. Our OPD lawyers will discuss the case with you and take over handling of the case.
This course of action applies to all types of investigations, whether they’re conducted by the OPD for misconduct or law enforcement agencies for criminal activity. If approached by law enforcement investigators, again insist on speaking with a lawyer before providing any information at all.
Nurses may be highly trained, but they are trained in nursing – not legal matters. Trying to handle your case yourself can be extremely detrimental. Hiring a lawyer inexperienced in nursing licensing matters can be equally as harmful to your case. You want a legal team that has the experience and knowledge to provide a strong and effective defense, and that’s exactly what you get with the nursing license defense attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group.
We not only understand the complexities of nursing license cases and their ramifications, but we work diligently with our clients to ensure they receive the best possible results. Call our offices at 212-577-6677 today.