Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains What Nurses Should Do if They Receive a Notice of Investigation

Nurses often come to my office for a consultation after they have received a notice of investigation from either their employer, a medical center, or the state licensing board. They are worried that allegations against them will result in a loss of their nursing license.  In some cases, these nurses have already made a full statement to a member of the human resources staff investigating the allegations or to an investigator from the state nursing board. Unfortunately, in these situations, the damage to their license is often already done. Investigators are trained to be friendly and disarming, so it is natural to think speaking with them may help a nurse’s case—it won’t.

But what should you do if you are a nurse contacted by an investigator regarding allegations of misconduct? I wrote the following blog post to explain the steps you should take, and more importantly avoid if you receive a complaint from your state licensing board or employer. If you are a nurse in Kansas or Missouri facing an allegation of misconduct or an investigation, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career, reputation, and livelihood are at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot work your way through alone.

Don’t Do the Investigator’s Work

The stakes are high.  The investigator looking into an allegation against you may have little or no evidence, only an accusation. Your statement may be the only evidence to support a claim, and it is easy to misconstrue your comments made under pressure in a manner that makes you look guilty. To defend yourself, you may accidentally disclose some other misconduct.  For example, I have seen nurses accused of abusing opioids. In a misguided attempt to defend themselves, they denied using opioids but conceded that they do use marijuana after work to relax.  While they may have been right to deny the opioid use, they are now under investigation for using other illegal drugs.

Remain Silent

Always remain silent until you have spoken to an attorney. As you have seen numerous times on crime dramas, “you have the right to remain silent,” and you should exercise that right.  Simply put, do not make any statement to anyone without an attorney by your side. It is a massive mistake to think you can handle an investigative meeting alone or that you can play along with the investigation to make things go away. You are just digging yourself into a deeper hole and playing into the investigating agency’s hands when you attempt that sort of foolish strategy.

Do Not Ignore the Allegations Against You

While you should not speak with investigators or give any statement, you also should not ignore the allegations against you. Failing to respond to any complaints against you will only bolster the argument that you are not performing your work professionally.

Do Not Speak About the Matter with Friends, Family, and Coworkers

Only speak to your attorney about the claims against you. Your statements to your attorney fall within the attorney-client privilege and do not have to be disclosed. Anyone else can be questioned and must disclose your comments.  Your coworkers are likely to be asked about your conduct and statements, so especially avoid making statements to them about anything related to your case.

Nurse Under Investigation? Contact a Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

As a nurse, you have worked too hard to attain your nursing license to lose it because you spoke too freely to an investigator. Contacting an experienced professional license defense attorney to help you through the investigative process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients and losing your career forever.

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 professional licensing issues.