Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Provides a List of Tips for Nurses Under Investigation

Receiving a certified letter from your state licensing board indicating that they are opening an investigation into your performance as a nurse is a harrowing experience. Most nurses I know go through several stages of emotion—terror, embarrassment, anger, and fear are all common. I have helped hundreds of similarly situated nurses through this process and can assure you that many of those representations, while stressful, had positive outcomes. While I cannot provide specific legal advice for every possible situation in a blog-post, I thought it would be helpful to give an overview of general counsel that I regularly offer nurses who call me frantically upon opening a letter indicating that they are about to be investigated.  The list of general tips follows.

If you are a nurse in Kansas or Missouri facing an investigation, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Do not agree to speak with an investigator without an experienced attorney by your side. Your career, reputation, and livelihood are at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot navigate alone.

Advice for Nurses Receiving Notices of Investigation

  1. Hire an experienced licensing attorney immediately. The biggest mistake you can make now is trying to “go it alone” or to “work with” the investigators. Both of these are horrible strategies that routinely result in catastrophe.  Hire an expert to help you gather evidence, deal with investigators, and present the best picture of your actions.
  2. Focus on telling the truth and being transparent. Like most things in life, it is far more serious to be caught lying than caught making a mistake. Given the extensive record keeping in most medical facilities, it is extremely unlikely that you will get away with any lie you tell, and the ramifications of lying are usually significant.
  3. If you have one, contact your professional insurance carrier. If you do not have one, it is too late to attain insurance for whatever conduct is being investigated.
  4. Keep silent. As you have seen on television, “anything you say can and will be used against you.” This is a serious situation and is no time for posting about your problems on social media. All too often I see my clients’ unfortunate statements, written in a period of anger or frustration, come back to haunt them as admissions in administrative hearings. Do not speak about your case with coworkers or friends either; any of these people can be called as witnesses to testify about your statements.
  5. Do not copy patient records, even if you need them for your defense. A licensing attorney can attain the documents you need when the time comes to put on your defense. Making copies of or otherwise improperly accessing patient records is likely a HIPAA violation and will further harm your case.
  6. Do not speak to investigators, former patients, or family members of former patients. These folks are likely fishing for information from you; speaking with them hurts your case.
  7. If an investigator contacts you, refer the investigator to your attorney and do not make any statement.
  8. Remain professional. You are a member of a profession honored for its professionalism. While you may have every right to be frustrated or angry, now is not the time to give investigators the impression that you fail to meet the standards of your profession.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

You have worked too hard to attain your nursing license.  An inquiry from a licensing board means that your livelihood is in jeopardy. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients or clients 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 licensing issues.