When you receive a notice from the Office of Professional Discipline at the New York State Education Department about your nursing license, you may feel confusion, anger and stress. You likely feel furious that a patient or someone else reported you to the nursing board instead of resolving issues with you first.
However, you should be careful not to act on your emotions. How you respond to a threat of losing your nursing license can significantly impact the outcome. Here are some tips for how you should react when you face discipline or investigation as a nurse.
1. Respond promptly with legal consultation
You do not want to ignore the letter and pretend it does not exist. If you do not respond as quickly as possible, it is likely that further action against you will ensure before you get a chance to share your side of the story. Talk to an attorney about exactly how you should respond. Just make sure you reply within the timeframe provided to you.
2. Provide adequate documentation
If the nursing board asks you for documents, be mindful of what you send. You only want to send records that are relevant to the situation at hand. Good recordkeeping is crucial so you have enough evidence to back up your case.
3. Stay calm during the hearing
According to the American Journal of Nursing, a common disciplinary action by a nursing board is conducting a formal hearing, similar to a civil trial. Whatever you do, do not blow your cool during a hearing. Answer questions directly, professionally and thoroughly. If you are compliant, calm and helpful, you can reduce or eliminate potential actions against you.
The thought of losing your nursing license can be devastating, but do not lose hope. Take these three tips to heart and you can increase your chances of getting a better outcome from the investigation.