Nursing license defense

Nursing License Defense

Nurse or Physician? If you have received a Notice of Complaint/Investigation read the following information from Ms. Singh:

This information is from the Law offices of Tracy L. Singh, LLC. Please be advised of the following:

Timothy J Pickens LawYOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT:

As with all legal matters, you have the right to remain silent AND anything you say CAN and WILL be used against you. It is important to understand that the Board and its staff are not your friends and they are not there to protect you. The Board’s role is to protect the public and they will investigate all matters involving potential violations of the Nurse Practice Act.

If you have received a Notice of Complaint/Investigation, the Board will typically provide you with a certain amount of time to respond in writing to the allegations. However, this is optional and in most circumstances, we do not advise that you respond without seeking advice of legal counsel first to ensure that you fully understand and protect your rights.

The investigation will proceed whether you respond to the allegations or not. In some cases, the matter will be closed if there is not enough evidence to support the allegations. If you break your silence, you could be placing yourself at additional risk, even when you know in your heart that you have done nothing wrong.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK ADVICE FROM COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL:

You have the right to seek advice from competent legal counsel. Legal advice includes whether or not you will need an attorney to assist you in defense of your license. If anyone at the Board office tells you that you do not need an attorney for your matter, ask to speak to Board Counsel immediately as this advice would be improper. If anyone else tells you that you do not need an attorney, be sure this is verified with an attorney who routinely handles Board related matters. (This would not typically include union representatives or criminal, personal injury or even general practice attorneys.)

There are times when we advise clients that having legal counsel to assist providers with their matter would be optional, depending on the client’s needs and the facts and circumstances of the case. However, in most instances, legal counsel is advised.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REQUEST A CONTINUANCE:

As mentioned above, you have the right to remain silent. If preferred, you may request an extension of time to submit a response to the allegations until after you have consulted with an attorney who handles Board-related matters. If you have been denied a continuance, you will still have the right to remain silent and they cannot force you to submit a written response, especially if you request to speak with counsel first.

If you are scheduled for a hearing, meeting with staff or have received a notice for any other meeting with the Board, you may request a continuance in order to seek legal counsel. However, it is advised that you do so promptly to avoid waiting until the last minute and to avoid the appearance of simply trying to delay your matter.

In my experience, true emergent matters requiring a denial of a continuance are rare. If you have been denied a continuance, be sure your request is in writing and request the denial of your request in writing. You will still have the right to request a continuance when you are seen by the Board in person.

IF YOUR MATTER IS URGENT:

For example, a hearing, meeting with staff or DAC has been set for within a couple weeks and you CANNOT get an extension in order to seek the advice of competent legal counsel, then you should seek counsel with an attorney who deals with Board-related matters as soon as possible.

BOARD MATTERS EXPLAINED:

· Complaints:

STAGE I (Notice of Investigation)-Typically, we handle all Board matters in three stages. The first stage begins with the Notice of Complaint and Investigation. This is a letter presented to you which simply serves to let you know that someone has submitted a complaint against you and provides you with the option to submit your side of the story if you so choose. During this stage, the Board’s investigators will conduct their investigation with or without your response. They will subpoena records from your employer and interview potential witnesses who may or may not support the allegations.

In some cases, you may receive a second letter indicating additional information has been obtained and they may issue an addendum to the original complaint to which they will also be seeking a response. Again, you have the right to remain silent.

STAGE II (Negotiations)-Following their investigation, you will typically receive a letter advising you of their findings. This letter will usually contain one of three options.

1. Not enough evidence exists to support the allegations and the matter is closed.

2. Request for classes.

3. Enough evidence exists to support the allegations and they will make an offer for discipline.

This letter prompts Stage II if the matter is not closed. Generally, if they close the matter, nothing further is required. However, it is important to understand that while a matter may be closed, the original complaint will remain permanently in your file for future reference. If another complaint is received in the future, they may try to use this information to establish a pattern of behavior.

If the Board is requesting that you take classes, and you comply with their request, chances are they will close the matter without disciplinary action. Again, this information will remain in your file for future reference and they would not likely offer this option again. If you have remained silent about your case, and you are offered classes to take, it is generally recommended that you take the requested courses and remain silent about your matter. (You will need to have the courses approved before taking them.)

If you receive an offer of settlement, request to sign a stipulation of facts or a notice of hearing before the Board, you have the right to request a continuance to seek advice and representation from competent legal counsel. I would NOT recommend that you sign ANYTHING without reviewing it with legal counsel first to ensure your rights (current and future) are protected and to ensure you understand the full gravity and consequences of what you are signing.

Any of these letters, if your matter is not closed, will trigger STAGE II for the purpose of further negotiations. This is when we will discuss your matter in more detail with Board Counsel and those with authority to settle or close your matter upon receipt of additional information. All negotiations are typically handled by us as counsel of record and would not involve you unless deemed necessary. During this stage, all contact with the Board would be handled by your attorney of record and you would remain silent.

STAGE III (Hearing)-If the matter is not closed, and we are unable to reach an agreement that is satisfactory for you and the Board, we would likely request a hearing with the Board.

· Applications:

If you are applying for a license for the first time and/or you are renewing your license and may need to answer “YES” to one of the screening questions regarding disabilities, criminal history or other matters, you may wish to seek the advice of legal counsel prior to submitting your application.

RENEWALS: If you are due to renew your license we advise and you must answer “YES” on the application, you may wish to schedule an appointment for consultation as soon as possible to discuss your application prior to submission.

Most applicants for renewal are now required to submit fingerprints. If you have ever been arrested, even if the charges were dropped, you may be requested to submit additional information and proof of the final disposition for your criminal matter(s). At times, even “sealed” records are available to the Board and if you were to answer “NO” to the question related to criminal convictions even when your record has been sealed, you may be guilty of submitting a fraudulent application which will be grounds for staff denial of your application. It is important to seek advice from competent legal counsel if you have any doubts about your record or if you have ever received a conviction in the past. This is especially true if you previously answered, “NO” and are now submitting a “YES” answer.

If you receive a letter regarding staff denial of your application, you will be scheduled for hearing for Board review. In some cases, the Board may provide you with a limited renewal period in order to seek Board review. We would be happy to represent you at the next available hearing should you wish to seek a continuance for legal counsel.

NEW APPLICATIONS: All applicants for new licensure will now be required to submit fingerprints along with their application. You will also be asked certain screening questions about your past. If you need to answer “YES” to any of the screening questions, or if you are unsure how to respond, we advise that you seek the advice of competent legal counsel prior to submitting your application to ensure that you fully understand the ramifications of your answer and to protect your rights.

Often times, providers have been advised by their criminal counsel that they may answer “NO” to questions regarding criminal convictions either because their records have been sealed or because a certain amount of time has passed. However, this is not true when it comes to applications for licensure and many applications have been denied for fraudulent application when following this advice.

Again, you must obtain legal advice from counsel who routinely handles Board-related matters and applications, not attorneys who handle criminal or other general matters.

If you have already submitted your application and the staff has indicated that your application will be denied, you have the right to request a continuance to seek legal counsel before proceeding with a hearing or meeting with the Board. If time is of the essence and you need a consultation you may wish to schedule your appointment with us as soon as possible to avoid further delays.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. We look forward to meeting with you in the near future and wish you all the best.

If you plan on practicing in Nevada please consider contacting the Law Offices of Tracy L. Singh, LLC.

Best Regards

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