State Nursing Board investigations are a serious matter!
Is there a complaint pending against your license? Don't allow yourself to be told "you don't need an attorney" during the investigative process because it is only "fact-finding." There is a right to self-representation in any civil, criminal, and administrative case or hearing. Do you really want to represent yourself?
Most nurses represent themselves in Nursing Board disciplinary investigations. Regardless of whether or not you realize you are representing yourself; you are in fact representing yourself when you submit a statement to the Board in response to a complaint filed against your license, meet with a Board investigator for an investigative meeting, appear before the Board, or agree to be interviewed in-person or via phone by a Nursing Board investigator.
Nursing Board disciplinary investigations are administrative cases and just like civil and criminal cases, Nursing Board investigations and proceedings are adversarial by nature. Consider retaining an attorney at the beginning of the disciplinary investigation to assist you. Adopting a "wait and see" approach regarding attorney representation may backfire.
Your license is your livelihood and you must take steps to protect yourself. It is your responsibility as your own advocate to seek attorney representation; do not rely upon others to 'inform" you that you need legal representation. Also the advice and counseling received from nursing colleagues, a spouse, significant others, or loved ones may not be accurate.
Retaining an attorney involves hiring an objective and unbiased professional to review the facts, formulate your defense, and represent your best interests. The role of any regulatory board including the State Nursing Board is to protect the public; NOT to advocate for the best interest of licensees. Before summarily deciding that you do not want an attorney to represent you in a Board disciplinary investigation, contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction to discuss your case.
LaTonia Denise Wright, is licensed to practice law in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and is available to represent nurses before the Ohio, Kentucky, and/or Indiana State Nursing Boards.
The practice of law, like medicine, is becoming more specialized. You want to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. If you need an administrative law attorney or a nurse-attorney and the issue involves a matter outside of Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, contact The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) at www.taana.org.
The Law Office of LaTonia Denise Wright, LPA charges nurses a flat fee for representation in Board disciplinary investigations. If you have professional liability insurance with HPSO or NSO, we will handle your case after payment of a true retainer and bill the insurance company upon resolution of the complaint for the remainder of the amount due. We are also available to assist nurses who have professional liability insurance with a license defense benefit with NSO, Marsh Affinity/Chicago Insurance Company, and other insurance companies.
The majority of our clients unfortunately do not have a professional liability insurance policy with a defense protection benefit and must pay their own legal fees. Before assuming that retaining an attorney will cost too much money, contact us regarding your case. Ms. Wright represents nurses in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
We also find nurses who are enrolled in a State Alternative to Discipline Program for substance use and abuse and alcohol dependency benefit from legal representation, counseling, and advising.
You can rely on the general information you receive online via a website, chatroom, and forum for only so long. If you want legal advice and counseling regarding your specific situation, you should speak with an attorney who represents nurses before the State Nursing Board and who has experience counseling and advising nurses in regulatory matters.
As a LPN, RN, APRN, Nursing Student, or NCLEX-Applicant, you need an attorney with experience in administrative law and procedure if:
A complaint has been filed against your license with the Nursing Board or the Office of Attorney General;
Your license has been suspended and you need assistance meeting the terms and conditions for reinstatement;
Formal charges are filed against your license with the Nursing Board;
An administrative hearing is scheduled in your case and you are formally charged with violations of the Nurse Practice Act;
You received a Potential Violation Report from the Ohio Board of Nursing;
You are planning to self-report to a State Nursing Board Alternative Program for Chemical Dependency;
You are involved in a disciplinary investigation in State A and you reside in a Nursing Licensure Compact State or you are licensed by endorsement in other states;
You are asked to sign a Consent Agreement, Consent Decree, or an Agreed Order and don't understand the terms and conditions in the legal document and you don't know how the document will impact your nursing license and your nursing career;
You receive a Notice of Opportunity for a Hearing from the Ohio Nursing Board;
You are being encouraged by your employer or colleagues to "self-report" an incident to a State Nursing Board;
A Nursing Board investigator contacts you and want to meet with you to discuss a complaint filed against you;
A Nursing Board investigator asks you to provide a written statement regarding the allegations in the complaint filed against you;
You received a temporary, summary or automatic license suspension by the Board;
You were terminated from your employment and told that you are being reported to the Board for allegedly violating the Nurse Practice Act and/or Board rules; and
A Board investigator or agent wants to conduct an telephone interview of you.
If you have been contacted by federal, state, or local law enforcement and you are being "encouraged" to admit guilt or confess to criminal conduct, you need to retain a criminal defense attorney ASAP. You want to make informed decisions therefore you should seriously consider invoking your right to legal counsel and contacting an attorney before you answer any questions or provide a written statement to your employer, law enforcement, and/or the State Board of Nursing.
For example, theft of drugs is a crime and it is a felony offense that may have criminal, licensure, employment, regulatory, career, and personal ramifications for you.
If you are a LPN, RN, APRN, Nursing Student, or NCLEX-Applicant and you have been charged with a crime; retain a criminal defense attorney and consult with a nurse license defense attorney ASAP. DO NOT assume your criminal defense attorney is familiar with State Nursing Board, nursing practice, and licensure implications of a guilty, no contest, or Alford plea.
We do not handle criminal matters however, we will work with you and your criminal defense attorney (in a manner that preserves attorney-client privilege for each matter) as needed because the final disposition in the criminal case impacts the Nursing Board case.
LaTonia Denise Wright, R.N., B.S.N., J.D.
Law Office of LaTonia Denise Wright, LPA
PO Box 15756, Cincinnati, Ohio 45215
Ms. Wright is a licensed attorney in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and a licensed RN in Ohio.