A nurse’s professional license can come under scrutiny due to a variety of allegations, some more reasonable than others. The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) allows anyone to make a complaint about a nurse on their website, and they can do it anonymously.
It could be a complaint from a colleague or patient who has personal issues with you. Regardless, the BRN will investigate the matter, and an investigation could lead to evidence that can seriously impact your career. You may even lose your license. Therefore, you must take preemptive steps to defend your license immediately.
Seek legal guidance
A professional license defense attorney understands the law, especially the rules and regulations under the Nursing Practice Act, which can be challenging to navigate without legal training. Furthermore, they have experience in dealing with the BRN. They will be familiar with the procedures and can guide you on how to approach the complaint. Their help will be invaluable should you need legal representation in disciplinary hearings.
Understand the cause
The complaint may have little merit, depending on the legal circumstances concerning your case. To develop an appropriate defense strategy, you must understand the reason for the complaint and why someone would make it.
Gather evidence to support your defense
Now that you know the cause, you can determine if the complaint is valid and collect evidence to prove that it is not. You can gather patient records, training certifications, statements from colleagues and other witnesses, performance evaluations and other relevant documentation. The evidence you need will be contingent on the details of your case.
Provide a response
One thing you should never do is to ignore the complaint. You can consult your attorney on how best to respond to the complaint. Remember, the BRN has deadlines and formal requirements, and you must comply with them.
Comply with the Board’s instructions and investigations
A complaint will most likely lead to an investigation, but it could also result in meetings with the BRN and a disciplinary hearing. You must be ready to participate in the investigation and attend any hearings or meetings ordered by the BRN. Consequently, you must prepare and practice answering questions about the allegations without incriminating yourself.
Defending your nursing license will not be easy, and the steps you must take will depend on the details of your case. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it alone, and there are legal options that can help you save the license you worked so hard to obtain.