San Antonio Nursing License Defense Lawyers
A nurse’s job is extremely important, as he or she helps people who are sick or injured get the medical care they need. Unfortunately, some nurses find themselves facing the loss of their nursing licenses because of accusations against their conduct or treatment. At the Leichter Law Firm, we understand that such allegations can be particularly hard for a nurse in San Antonio to deal with, both because of a nurse’s role as a care provider and the potential to have their license suspended.
Nursing License Defense Issues
As a nurse who is facing the threatened loss of one’s license, there are several legal aspects that one should consider. For instance, you might need legal help with the following issues involved with nursing license defense:
- The Disciplinary Process
- Chemical Dependency
- Criminal Conduct
- Standard of Care
- Peer Review Actions
The entity that handles any accusations of misconduct is the Texas Board of Nursing, once known as the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas. This entity is responsible for the regulation of nursing practice in regards to the Nursing Practice Act, the Administrative Code, the Health and Safety Code, and Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code. Additionally, the Texas Board of Nursing is responsible for classifying nursing practitioners as RN (Registered Nurse), LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse), and more advanced classifications like a nursing specialist.
The Board is the entity that holds the ability to grant, deny, or revoke a license for a nurse, and is the controlling enforcement entity for all punishments for misconduct. The Board consists of thirteen members, nine of which are nurses and four who are public members. The entire Board appoints a Director of the Board who manages day-to-day activities and documents.
Though the Board is the governing entity for those who are facing the loss of their nursing licenses, those facing this will likely not actually deal with the Board itself, but rather the Board Staff, which takes charge in investigations of misconduct accusations. The Board Staff is made up of investigators, an enforcement team, and the Texas Board of Nursing Attorneys. The only time someone facing the loss of a nursing license will meet with the Board itself is if an invitation to the Eligibility & Disciplinary Committee is issued to him or her, or if the accused nurse has undergone the hearing process at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. It is within a nurse’s right to appear before the Board, but this right is rarely explained to nurses, or exercised by them.
The extent of discipline and punishment for a nurse being investigated will be determined by a number of people, including the Director of the Board, the Enforcement Division, the Division on Nursing Practice, and the attorneys representing the Board Staff. Any appealed decision moves beyond the orders of this level, and go to the office of the Attorney General.
There are generally two types of cases that the Board evaluates. These include practice related cases and behavioral cases. Behavioral cases might involve accusations regarding:
- Chemical Dependency
- Criminal History
- Mental Health / Psychiatric Disorder
- Pain Management / Required Narcotic Consumption
The Board handles each of these accusations differently, but in all cases, prides itself on being extremely “tough” on those under investigation. While enforcement of medical and nursing integrity is undoubtedly important, sometimes the Board implements punishments or standards that exceed their legal responsibilities or that one could easily call into question regarding legitimacy. Sometimes the way the Board handles investigations is completely de-personalized, and they treat every accused nurse like a number, rather than an individual person. This can mean that nurses who don’t deserve unfair treatment end up receiving just that kind of treatment before the Board. Punishments can be severe, and can include license revocation, surrender, probation, or suspension, and this can mean that a nurse cannot support himself or herself financially.
Grounds for Discipline and Possible Penalties
The Board considers certain actions as being grounds for discipline. These actions might involve:
- Standard of Care Violations
- Sexual & Personal Boundary Violations
- Fraud, Theft & Deception
- Chemical Dependency & the Intemperate Use of Drugs & Alcohol
- Lying & Falsification
- Failure to Comply with CE Requirements
- Failure to pay Licensure Fees in a Timely Manner
- The Commission of a Criminal Offense
- Malpractice Suits & Judgments
- Other Conduct Likely to Deceive or Defraud the Public
These actions could result in the loss of a nurse’s license, not to mention various other types of penalties as well, including:
- Administrative Penalty or Fine
- Directive to Fulfill Neglected Obligation (Specific Performance)
- Public Reprimand
- Restriction on License or Practice Impositions
- TPAPN Directive
- Probation on a License Suspension
- Active Suspension as a Requirement of Probation
- License Revocation
Each of these penalties is a possibility when a nurse is being investigated for misconduct or malpractice. Additionally, a nurse who is found to be guilty of either might also be subjected to undergo counseling services, required additional training for his or her practice, or additional restrictions on his or her license to practice. Facing these potential penalties is daunting, and no nurse should have to face such a threat without proper legal defense.
Contact a Nursing License Defense Attorney in San Antonio
If you are a nurse and you are facing accusations of misconduct, then you need an experienced legal team on your side to make sure that you are fairly and accurately represented. The attorneys of the Leicter Law Firm have years of experience helping nurses defend their licenses from revocation, making us particularly adept at handling such cases. Learn how we can help you today by calling our offices at (512) 495-9995.