Three Steps Every Nurse Should Take After Receiving an Order of Summary Suspension from the Maryland Board of Nursing

September 25, 2018
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

It is every nurse’s worst nightmare.  After investing thousands of dollars and a significant number of hours into not only obtaining your nursing license but building your nursing career, the prospect of receiving an Order of Summary Suspension and Notice of Agency Action from the Maryland Board of Nursing is too much to even fathom. It’s like a dagger in the heart.  All it takes is a lapse in judgment, an unfortunate accident or an addiction relapse. Being served with an Order of Summary Suspension, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that your nursing career is over. You’ve worked too hard for your license and it is absolutely worth fighting for. It is what you decide to do now in this moment of fear and anxiety that can make the difference between you being able to practice nursing again and having your license revoked.  

If you have received an Order of Summary Suspension, there are three (3) steps that every Maryland nurse should take to ensure that they are doing everything possible to protect their nursing license.  

Step #1:  Attend and participate in the Show Cause Hearing

It is absolutely essential that you attend and participate in the Show Cause Hearing. All too often, some Maryland nurses do not even attend the Show Cause Hearing.  This is a mistake that you should not make. If the Maryland Board of Nursing has issued you an Order of Summary Suspension and Show Cause Hearing, then that means that they have reason to believe that the public health, safety or welfare requires emergency action on their part. While it is unlikely the Board will reverse its decision to impose a summary suspension at the Show Cause Hearing, your focus is on the ultimate resolution by the Board which will take place months from now. If you decide not to attend the Show Cause Hearing, you miss an important opportunity to rebut the narrative that you are a risk to public safety.   

Step #2:  Take actions to mitigate the Board of Nursing’s concerns

The next step you should take is to make concerted efforts to mitigate the Board’s concerns about your nursing practice.  For example, if the Board’s Order of Summary Suspension is based on your alleged use of drugs, you need to take immediate steps to demonstrate to the Board that you take their concerns seriously and are taking meaningful steps to deal with your drug addiction.  Do not underestimate the importance of this point. If that means seeking admission into the Board’s Rehabilitation Program or entering into drug addiction counseling, then do it. You want to be the nurse who proactively takes steps to address any and all of the Board’s concerns.  The more you demonstrate you acknowledge the seriousness of the Board’s concerns and are willing to take the steps needed to show that you are not a risk to public safety, the better positioned you will be when it comes time for the Board to issue their final order on your license.

Step #3:  Retain an experienced Board of Nursing attorney immediately

Dealing with such a serious licensing issue requires an experienced Maryland nurse lawyer that is familiar with the Maryland Board of Nursing and its procedures.  This is not a do-it-yourself project. There are many nuances and procedural issues that you likely are not familiar with, as you probably have never had any reason to come before the Maryland Board of Nursing before. As our previous blog post on dealing with disciplinary action before the Maryland Board of Nursing makes clear, you need strong and competent representation to help you navigate through this.   

If you are serious about trying to preserve your ability to continue practice nursing, then you should contact The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. today at 410-514-6099 to schedule a confidential consultation.