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When a nurse passes the California nursing exams and receive a license, they are permitted to seek employment in any medical facility. It’s a beautiful moment after years of hard work, but facing the state nursing board is terrifying. Even when a nurse has done nothing wrong, anyone can file a complaint about them. If the complaint contains allegations of ethical violation, criminal activity, or even violation of the state health codes, a nurse is investigated. Being investigated causes emotional stress, a nurse’s reputation could be tarnished, and their license could be in jeopardy of revocation.
Penalties for Breaking Laws
Any nurse who is found guilty of willfully and knowingly breaking the law will be subject to penalties for his or her actions. These penalties begin with the board and are passed onto the state if the criminal offense calls for it. There are a few actions that might result in a nurse’s case being sent to the federal court in California. Possible penalties for breaking the law in nursing in Los Angeles include the following:
– License suspension
– Letters of reprimand
– License revocation
– Prison sentences
Each fine and each prison sentence is determined by the crime, the number of counts, and whether it’s a state or federal issues. Nurses’ aren’t always going to lose a license and move on. One complaint can change the entire course of his or her life. When a Los Angeles nurse receives word he or she is the subject of a medical board investigation, it’s time to call an experienced nursing license defense attorney. There are proper channels in which the investigation must go through, proper protocol must be used, and the nurses’ rights must not be violated at any time during the investigation. Don’t wait to call an attorney if you are being investigated by the board. Your license, your future, and your profession are on the line if you are investigated.
Anyone has a right to complain about a nurse. A patient, a family member of a patient, a coworker, an employee, a doctor, an insurance company, a law enforcement officer, or even a stranger you encounter at the local coffee shop who sees you in your scrubs and your nametag can file a complaint about you if they decide they think you’re wrong, or they simply don’t like you. It’s rather unfortunate, but that’s how many people operate anymore. If you cut someone off in traffic, they can pick up the phone and call the state medical board to report you for negligence or misconduct they made up in their own mind, and you’ll be investigated. Some of the most common investigations include:
– Professional misconduct
– Sexual misconduct
– Improper medical care
– Drug or alcohol use
When an investigation is filed, you receive notification. It likely includes patient information from the person or family who filed a complaint, and you will have to break patient confidentiality to provide those records. The patient already knows this is a possibility when they file a complaint. You are required to submit a response, as well as many personal records of your own. Don’t do anything until you contact an attorney to ensure you’re doing it correctly, providing only the information legal required, and you aren’t putting your career in jeopardy by providing too much or too little.
In many cases, the complaints filed by patients are not through any fault of your own, and your nursing license is not in jeopardy. It’s not always to prove this is true, however, and it might take serious time. During this time, your license could already be suspended, and you could be put on probation. This is why it’s so imperative to hire an attorney who knows the process, can speed it up, and can get you back to work as quickly as possible.
Your career depends on the administrative hearing scheduled for your defense, and having someone on your side who is familiar with the law and how it works is always appreciated. Call an attorney today to protect your nursing license.