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What not to do at a nursing license board hearing

If you make a living as a nurse, a time may come when you receive notification that someone made a complaint against you, even if you believe the complaint to be meritless. If you become the subject of an investigation by the Texas Board of Nursing, how you respond to the complaint and what you do in your hearing are likely to factor into any disciplinary actions taken against you.

As important as knowing what to do at a nursing board hearing is understanding what not to do that might potentially hurt your case, so know that if you receive word that you are the subject of a complaint or investigation, be sure not to:

Procrastinate

You should take any matter that has the capacity to hurt your career seriously and address it promptly. If you receive a letter detailing a complaint made against you, the most important first step is determining the scope of the inquiry. Generally, you will have to respond to the letter or phone call from the investigator within a certain timeframe. In most cases, having an attorney assist you can help you to determine your risk of exposure and appropriate next steps to protect your license.

Produce irrelevant or confusing documentation

Simply put, you are in an industry where record-keeping is critical, so if you suspect you might lack in this area, it may prove wise to enhance your skillset. Maintaining proper records should make it easier for you to produce documentation the board may request, and it may also help you plead your case, as such situations often come down to a matter of "he-said, she-said."

Represent yourself

As a nurse, you probably underwent considerable schooling, but developing nursing skills and arguing your side in a legal matter are very different. Your chances of beating the complaint from the nursing board will likely improve if you have an informed, educated attorney working on your behalf.

How and when you respond to the complaint matters. It may ultimately make the difference between a prompt complaint dismissal and a long, arduous and potentially very expensive ordeal.

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