Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Discusses the Standard of Care in Nursing Cases

After years of work, attaining a license to practice nursing is a tremendous achievement. That achievement means having a good livelihood and your community’s respect. All of that can be derailed by a disciplinary issue resulting in a suspension or revocation. I frequently see “standard of care” cases result in that sort of derailment. Many of these allegations can be resolved without any punishment if a nurse hires expert licensing counsel, but whether out of shame or ignorance, may nurses fail to attain representation and needlessly deal with serious consequences.

If you are licensed medical professional in Kansas or Missouri facing an investigation or nursing board disciplinary action, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career is at risk and you cannot work your way through this alone.

The Standard of Care

As a nurse, you must meet the “standard of care” in your patients’ treatment.  That standard is very vague, and is usually defined what a reasonable and prudent nurse would do when caring for the same or similar patient in the same or similar circumstances. The rationale for having such a vague standard is that it allows for constant advancement in the profession. Unfortunately, it also allows for an ever-changing and ever-increasing standard for nurses to meet.

The “standard of care” is a subjective standard, meaning it does not have absolute, objective criteria. Rather, it is judged based on what an observer feels is reasonable given certain circumstances. A nurse treating a dozen wounded soldiers on a battlefield will be held to a lower standard than one working on a single patient in a well-funded hospital.

In my practice, standard of care allegations come to light after a negative outcome or sentinel event. They often include questions regarding record keeping, medication administration, or competency in various procedures. Whether the nurse is a talented veteran or rookie, their conduct will be scrutinized if it may have had a negative effect on patient care.

Again, remember that the duty of care is a highly subjective standard. You will need to describe your actions in a light most beneficial to you.  Were you provided sufficient training?  Were you practicing as you were instructed to do? Did you meet the approved standard in place in your workplace at the time? Were there supervening events beyond your control?  You will need experienced counsel to make these arguments meaningfully on your behalf. Because this is all I do, I have a good understanding of how the nursing board will react to these arguments in your case. I also have access to expert witnesses that can help establish exactly what is the standard of care in your nursing field.

You should not speak to an investigator from either your employer or the Missouri or Kansas nursing board without a skilled licensing attorney by your side, protecting your interests. If you receive an official accusation, you must file a defense in your response; counsel can help you do that. Failing to file a defense may lead to a default judgment against you, which may lead to an automatic suspension or termination of your license. As a licensing attorney, I have prepared hundreds of statements of defense and can tailor a winning strategy to protect your interests.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

Any nurse in Kansas or Missouri contacted by an investigator or licensing board should contact experienced counsel immediately. Your license to practice nursing is in jeopardy, and these initial moments are crucial. Trying to be helpful or “playing along” may seem like the easy way to go, but it may not be in your best interest. You have no obligation to speak to anyone without counsel present, and speaking to an investigator without counsel may be a fatal error. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients and a suspension or revocation of your license.

If you are a nurse in Kansas or Missouri and are worried about allegations of misconduct costing you your career, call Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger now.

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with licensing issues.