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License at risk? Three things for nurses to know when under investigation.

Being a nurse is a noble profession, but it also comes with significant responsibilities. If your nursing license is under investigation by the licensing board, it is crucial to understand the legal implications. Here are three essential things every nurse should know:

#1: You can keep working

In Texas, nurses who have a current nursing license can generally continue within their nursing profession during an investigation. There are some exceptions, such as the issuance of an immediate suspension because the board has discovered information that it believes means the nurse puts patients at risk.

#2: You are not alone

This is true on two fronts. First, you are not the only nurse to go through this process. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), thousands of nurses go through this process every year.

Second, you do not need to be alone during your investigation. You can seek legal counsel to help represent your interests and advocate for your rights during the process. An attorney experienced in this niche area of law can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help to better ensure that you do not inadvertently incriminate yourself.

Legal representation can assist throughout the investigation process. This can include during the following stages:

  • Paperwork. The investigators will likely request documentation. It is important to provide all requested documents.
  • Interviews. The process may include interviews. You will need to attend these interviews and answer questions truthfully. Failure to cooperate can escalate the situation and potentially lead to disciplinary actions.

It is also important to note that the board’s final determination is not final. You can appeal their decision and continue to fight for your license.

#3: Maintain boundaries

It is important to maintain professional boundaries during the investigation. Avoid discussing the case with colleagues, patients, or anyone not directly involved. It is also wise to refrain from any social media posts related to the investigation.

Keeping the investigation confidential and focusing on your duties as a nurse can help to uphold your professional reputation.

Remember, an investigation does not automatically mean guilt. By cooperating, seeking legal advice, and maintaining professionalism, nurses can protect their licenses and continue providing quality care.

Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.