Nursing License Defense Attorney in Kansas and Missouri

The nursing profession is noble and challenging but can be very rewarding. Nurses are at the vanguard of healthcare in the United States. They bear the responsibility of meeting with patients and earning their trust. Nurses can provide an ailing patient sense of calm and peace when the person is at their most vulnerable. Nurses understand that they must maintain the highest ethical standard. As with all humans, nurses can make mistakes. Stress, fatigue, substance abuse or momentary inattentiveness can cause a situation to spin out of control. These issues can lead to facing professional discipline. Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger has dedicated her practice to fighting to protect nurses from disciplinary action on their nursing licenses.

Who Issues Rules for the Nursing Profession?

In Kansas and Missouri, the respective state boards of nursing establish the standards of nursing practice and monitor the nursing profession. In conjunction with that authority, the legislature of each state has conferred the authority to their boards of nursing the authority to discipline a nurse for ethical violations. In Kansas, the statute governing nursing is called the “Nurse Practice Act.” Similarly, in Missouri, the state law is known as the “The Nursing Practice Act.”

What Can Trigger a Disciplinary Action?

Although each statute’s specific language is different, the goal is to protect the public. Failure to meet the standards outlined in the law or derogation of duties established by the statutes will trigger disciplinary action. Some examples of actions that can trigger disciplinary action are:

  • Failing to maintain nursing competency;
  • Being convicted of a criminal offense;
  • Jeopardizing patients’ safety;
  • Exercising undue influence over a patient or patient’s family;
  • Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse of a patient;
  • Abuse of illegal narcotics or such alcohol abuse that impairs the nurse’s ability to practice nursing safely;
  • Failing to keep accurate nursing records or falsifying records;
  • Stealing or misappropriating drugs;
  • Making misrepresentations or lying to the nursing board;
  • Delegating nursing duties to unqualified medical personnel; and
  • Failing or refusing to cooperate with the nursing board.

What Happens If Someone Accuses Me Of Unethical Behavior?

Contact your attorney immediately if you receive a complaint from the licensing board. You have very limited time to respond. Do not delay. The board will review the complaint and may dismiss it without further action, or the board will commence an investigation. The board will assign an investigator to look deeper into the allegations against you. The board may proceed to a hearing to determine whether you violated the law governing the practice of nursing. You have many rights at a hearing because the board, acting as an arm of the state government, is trying to take something of value away from you, that is the practice of nursing. They are:

  • The right to be informed of the allegations against you;
  • The right to have counsel of your choosing represent you;
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you and call witnesses who may testify favorably on your behalf;
  • The right to a fair and impartial hearing; and
  • The right to appeal adverse rulings against you.

What Are The Potential Disciplinary Consequences?

The licensing authority may impose a variety of penalties against you. The board must consider the egregiousness, if any, of the act, your prior history of ethical practice of nursing, your steps to address the issues leading to your complaint such as substance abuse or mental illness, and any other factors the disciplinary authority deems relevant. After considering those factors, the board may issue any one of the following disciplinary decisions:

  • Censure;
  • Probation with conditions designed to address the underlying problem;
  • Suspension; or
  • Revocation of license.

Call Attorney Sanger If You Are Facing Disciplinary Action

Kansas and Missouri professional nurse licensing attorney Danielle Sanger possesses vast experience in representing healthcare professionals. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 (Kansas) or 816-520-8040 (Missouri) to schedule a consultation