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How do I challenge a nursing board’s decision?

As noted in previous posts, it is important to take a notification from the state nursing board seriously. These notifications are generally a sign of an impending investigation and can lead to serious repercussions. Depending on the details of the allegations, potential disciplinary action can include a reprimand, citations, cease and desist order, warning, fine, probation, practice restrictions, or revocation of one’s nursing license.

What happens if I accept the disciplinary action? Can I just move on afterwards?

These actions reflect negatively on the nurse long after they meet the requirements of the sanctions and the board restores their license to good status because it can tarnish the nurse’s professional record. Unfortunately, the actions can follow the nurse almost everywhere as the board could report these measures to other state nursing boards throughout the country.

How can I fight back if the nursing board’s decision is unfair?

Because of the long-reaching negative impact of a disciplinary action from the state nursing board, it is important for nurses to challenge a decision if they believe it is unfair. The first step is to appeal an adverse decision. This generally goes one of two ways. In some cases, the appeals process is done internally by petitioning for a rehearing or review by the board. In others, the appeal may require going to court and requesting judicial review. Courts will generally review a nursing board’s decision if the nurse believes the decision was a violation of the state’s constitution, the board made an error of law or exceeded its authority, or if there was not enough substantial evidence to support the board’s decision.

What happens while I wait for the appeals process?

The appeals process can take some time. It can help to request court intervention in the form of a temporary injunction or stay. These actions can keep the board from moving forward with the disciplinary actions until the appeals process is complete.