Nurses: You Do Not Have to Face Your Disciplinary Proceedings Alone

March 31, 2022
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Distressed nurse in hallway

Nursing is one of the busiest and most stressful healthcare professions in the country. With relentless demands on their time and ever-increasing responsibilities, mistakes can happen both at work and away that can lead to professional consequences. If you have received notice that the Maryland Board of Nursing is considering disciplinary action, you need to take immediate action to protect your license. A Maryland employment lawyer can help you navigate the process, understand your options, and get a fair result.

What Not to Do if You Are Charged with Professional Misconduct

Notice that the Board is considering disciplinary action typically comes as a shock. Most nurses simply do not know what to do. This can lead to serious mistakes that can jeopardize your license. Do not make the following mistakes if you have received a notice concerning potential misconduct: 

  • Do not ignore it and assume it will go away
  • Do not assume that it is a minor matter that will result in an inconsequential punishment
  • Do not assume that cooperation will guarantee leniency or a positive outcome
  • Do not refuse to cooperate

We realize that legal representation is expensive, especially when your career is in jeopardy. However, we strongly encourage you to at least talk to a Maryland employment lawyer – the disciplinary process can be extremely complex and difficult for non-lawyers to navigate. To make matters worse, the consequences can be severe and a simple mistake can jeopardize your entire career. 

The Potential Consequences You Face

Many nurses don’t realize the severe danger that disciplinary action poses to their ability to work as nurses. To understand the value that a Maryland employment lawyer can provide, it may therefore be helpful to review the punishments the Board can impose. If the Board of Nursing finds that you have violated the rules of professional conduct, you could face the following consequences: 

  • Public or private reprimand
  • Probation
  • Suspension of your license
  • Permanent revocation of your license

A suspension or revocation can be devastating to your career. Reprimand and probation are less serious punishments but can still harm your professional reputation and limit your future employment opportunities. A Maryland employment lawyer can provide an aggressive defense designed to protect your license and your career. 

Common Causes of Disciplinary Actions for Nurses

Nurses can face disciplinary action as a result of things that occur both at work and away. Some of the most common reasons why nurses face disciplinary proceedings include the following: 

  • Providing treatment that exceeds their training or competence
  • Delegating responsibilities to someone who lacks the necessary qualifications or training
  • Failure to supervise subordinates
  • Failing to report suspected child abuse
  • Discriminating against a patient based on the HIV status
  • Providing treatment while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Intentionally filing a false report for someone under your care 
  • Providing substandard care or engaging in gross negligence in providing treatment
  • Engaging in any false billing practices

This is not an exhaustive list and we should note that the Board of Nursing has broad discretion in deciding when disciplinary action is appropriate. As mentioned above, you can face disciplinary action as a result of things that happen outside of the workplace. For example: 

  • You could face disciplinary proceedings if you are charged with a DUI or drug offense that would indicate you have a substance abuse problem.
  • You could face disciplinary proceedings if you are convicted of a felony or other crime of “moral turpitude” such as fraud or theft. 

Even if you think the underlying issue is without merit, the Board will take it seriously and you should not assume that they will see things the same way you do. A Maryland employment lawyer can evaluate your situation and assess the potential outcomes you face. 

Contact Maryland Employment Lawyer J.W. Stafford to Protect Your Nursing License Today

If your license and reputation are at risk, invest in your future by talking to someone on your side. An experienced professional license defense attorney, Maryland employment lawyer Jay Stafford will work with you at every step in the process – he can evaluate the potential issues, assist you throughout the investigation, and represent you in any hearings. You don’t have to face the disciplinary process alone, but you do need to take action today to protect your career and reputation. Call us at 410-514-6099 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and how we can help.