Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Board Hearings in Kansas and Missouri

The nursing profession is committed to assisting in the care and to easing the suffering of patients stricken with physical and emotional illnesses and injuries.  The road to service in this noble health care role involves a commitment to education, practical training, and experience that often entails significant individual and family sacrifices.  Given the obstacles and challenges that must be overcome on the road to obtaining a nursing license in Kansas or Missouri, nurses facing allegations that jeopardize their professional license and livelihood should never have to confront such charges alone.

Lawrence Kansas Nursing License Attorney Danielle Sanger draws upon her extensive experience in the Kansas Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General. She handled many professional licensing and disciplinary issues on behalf of the Kansas State Board of Nursing.  Our Kansas and Missouri Professional License Defense Law Firm has provided answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) from nurses facing investigations and proceedings related to professional discipline and licensing:

How do unfounded charges become leveled against nurses?

The Kansas State Board of Nursing and the Missouri Board of Nursing is focused on its primary objective of protecting the public.  Unfortunately, overzealousness in pursuing this function can result in the rights of individual nurses being trampled.  Consequently, you need an attorney with experience handling nursing board cases defending your license and rights in front of the nursing board.  Because Ms. Sanger has extensive experience prosecuting these case, she has the experience and expertise to diagnose and defend against unjustified charges and to prevent disproportionate penalties.

What penalties can be imposed for nursing board violations?

A nursing board has fairly wide discretion when imposing penalties, but punishments most typically imposed include:

  • Public reprimands
  • Monitoring
  • License revocation
  • Monitoring
  • Restrictions on nursing activities
  • Probation of a license suspension
  • Administrative fines

What are the most common grounds for discipline imposed by the nursing board?

Broadly, the Nursing Board investigates two types of cases: (1) behavioral cases; and (2) practice-related cases.  While there are a wide range of facts and circumstances that might result in disciplinary charges, some of the more common examples include:

  • Drug and alcohol dependency
  • Falsification or lying
  • Standard of care violations
  • Engaging in a criminal offense
  • Theft
  • Other Acts intended to or likely to defraud the public
  • Mental health or psychiatric disorders

How do investigations by the Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN) get initiated?

The majority of disciplinary complaints against nurses are initiated by employers pursuant to the Risk Management Act.  Hospitals and other employers are required to report nursing conduct that deviates from the appropriate standard of care.  The reported conduct must have a reasonable probability of resulting in harm to a patient.  Employers also are obligated to report any conduct that might constitute a basis for discipline.  However, there are many other sources that can spur complaints including news media reports, law enforcement, court proceedings, family members of patients, individual health care providers, other agencies, and neighbors.  However, these reports can be used as a means of pursuing a personal vendetta since the agency does not identify the sources of reports.

Who conducts the investigations?

Complaints investigated by the KSBN are actually investigated by licensed nurses.  Each case is assigned to one of several investigators.

How long does the disciplinary process take?

The general rule is that the process will be wrapped up within approximately 6-9 months, but the process can drag on longer depending on the specific facts and circumstances.  Factors that can slow the resolution process include uncooperative witnesses, slow responses to requests or subpoenas for records and documents, challenges in locating witnesses, and similar issues.

Kansas Professional Licensing Lawyer Danielle Sanger is prepared to investigate the allegations against you and aggressively pursue available defenses to protect your nursing license.  If you are facing allegations of misconduct or substandard care by the nursing board, Attorney Danielle Sanger represents attorneys facing disciplinary proceedings in Missouri or Kansas.  We invite you to call us today for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.