Anyone can file a nursing complaint, from patients and colleagues to members of the public. Such complaints are taken very seriously, given the health and well-being of others may be at risk in the hands of a negligent healthcare provider.
When the nursing board receives a complaint pointing to a possible violation of nursing rules and regulations, it will conduct investigations to ascertain the allegations. You may be asked to respond or provide further information as part of the investigation.
You could face a raft of penalties depending on the outcome of the investigations or other legal proceedings. A terrifying prospect is having your nursing license permanently revoked. Therefore, it helps to understand what you need to do if you have received a summons or are under investigation by the board.
1. Be cooperative (but do not make unnecessary statements)
It is advisable to respond to a nursing board inquiry. A default judgment may be entered if you ignore the board’s request to appear before it or give further information about the complaint in question.
That said, you should be careful with your words. Do not give more information than is necessary since you may provide incriminating statements.
2. Document everything as completely as possible
It is crucial to keep a record of all correspondence with the board and other material related to the nursing complaint against you. Given the high stakes, you cannot afford to misplace important paperwork or give inconsistent or inaccurate information.
3. Seek experienced legal guidance
Looking out for your rights and interests is crucial in the face of such grave allegations. As soon as you learn you are under investigation, it’s wisest to seek legal guidance — even before responding to any inquiries from investigators or the board.