Texas Board of Nursing Formal Charges
If it is not possible for a case to be resolved informally, the Texas Board of Nursing will file formal charges, beginning the litigation process. Formal charges are often filed after Board staff has presented a proposed Agreed Order that has been rejected by the nurse. In certain high profile cases, such as those involving deliberate harm to a patient or cases receiving media attention, Board Staff also file formal charges soon after the start of their investigation and prior to any attempted resolution.
If you have had formal charges filed against you by the Texas Board of Nursing, you need a highly skilled and experienced Texas nursing license defense lawyer of the Leichter Law Firm defending you. Call us at 512-495-9995 today to discuss how we may be able to help.
Specifics of Formal Charges
Formal charges will include the name and license number of the licensee, a description of the alleged violations, and citations to the Board rules and statutes allegedly violated (see Board Rule §213.15(b)). After review by a Board of Nursing attorney, the charges will be forwarded to the nurse licensee by certified mail. A failure to accept or respond in a timely manner to the formal charges can result in default revocation of the nurse’s license.
With the filing of formal charges the Texas Board of Nursing’s disciplinary process ceases to be confidential. The existence and filing date of the charges will be posted on the nurse’s online licensure verification page on the Board of Nursing’s website. Additionally, should a member of the public or an employer contact the Texas Board of Nursing to inquire about the formal complaint, Board Staff are legally permitted to disclose and discuss the charges. Not surprisingly, this often causes difficulties with a nurse’s employer. Depending on the seriousness of the charges, employers who find out about the formal charges may have questions for the licensee, and in the most extreme cases, may terminate the licensee or place them on leave. Finally, for a nurse who is not currently working, the presence of formal charges generally makes the person unemployable.
The licensee has twenty-one days from the date formal charges are filed to respond. As stated above, a failure to do so can result in the Board of Nursing setting the case on the Board’s Eligibility and Disciplinary Committee’s default docket and revoking the nurse’s license. If a nurse has hired or is considering hiring a nursing defense attorney, they should allow their lawyer to file the response, as an answer drafted by the nurse could cause unintentional and unnecessary damage to their case. Moreover, formal charges are often drafted in a hurry by Board Staff and can contain important legal deficiencies which a seasoned administrative law attorney will be quick to discover.
If the Texas Board of Nursing has filed formal charges against your license, do not hesitate to contact our Texas nursing license defense attorneys at the Leichter Law Firm for a free consultation by calling 512-495-9995.