Nurses have a responsibility to practice in a certain way in order to maintain their license. However, there are times when they may not meet the expectations of the law and their nursing license could be jeopardized. When this occurs, discipline can be taken against them by their employer or the Nevada State Board of Nursing. The Nevada State Board of Nursing consists of a Board that is comprised of appointees made by the Governor of Nevada. While nurses are expected to maintain a high standard of professionalism, many wonder what triggers disciplinary action against nurses in Nevada? If you are a nurse and received a notice that you are under investigation, consider visiting with the experienced Nursing License Defense Attorney at Spartacus Law Firm at (702) 660-1234 to ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Areas of Interest for Nursing Disciplinary Actions in Nevada
There are several events that may trigger a disciplinary action against a nurse in the state of Nevada.
Negligence or mismanagement is when a nurse fails to render adequate care due to neglect, incompetence, or inattention. This can occur when a nurse fails to follow the standards of care for nursing.
Patient Rights Violations
Nurses are responsible to protect patient rights. This typically involves providing patients with adequate privacy, protection from mistreatment, and overall patient safety. Failure to do so could result in an investigation by the Nevada Board of Nursing, or a nurse’s employer.
Impairment/Physical or Mental Condition
If a nurse is impaired in some way, they may have trouble performing their job at the desired level of quality. Alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness are all impairing conditions that could lead to disciplinary action against nurses.
Misconduct Involving Prescription Drugs/Narcotics Theft
While nurses are expected handle prescription drugs appropriately, there are several cases where they are involved in wrongfully obtaining drugs for personal use or for others that they know.
Possession of Drugs/Weapons/Illegal Substances
Nurses may be in violation of hospital policy and credentialing standards if they are found to be in possession of drugs, weapons, or other illegal substances. In these cases, there also may be criminal charges brought against the nurse depending on the circumstances.
Abuse and Neglect of Patients
When a nurse abuses or neglects a patient, the patient’s safety may come under risk as well as the reputation of the facility. These types of behavior are seen as an infraction that is not tolerated by most hospitals, units, and facilities as they require nurses to provide high-quality care at all times. In some cases, depending on the circumstances, nursing may face criminal charges in additional to an investigation by the Nevada Board of Nursing.
Noncompliance With Medical Practice Standards
When certain medical standards are breached by an act of omission or commission; the act may not be intentional, but it does violate established standards. For example, if a patient reports that they have not received their medication yet there is no record on file with documentation showing otherwise; this could be considered noncompliance.
Results of Disciplinary Action Against Nurses in Nevada
There are several different types of results that may happen when a nurse receives a disciplinary action in Nevada. It is important to also note that the Nursing Board will make any disciplinary action public.
The most common form of discipline that nurses face is being placed on probation. This can occur with or without limitations being placed upon their ability to work as a nurse.
Suspension or Revocation of Nursing License
Other forms of discipline include the suspension or revocation of a nursing license. If this occurs, the nurse may not be able to work as a nurse in the state of Nevada.
Other Forms of Disciplinary Action
In other cases, a nurse may receive a fine, reprimand, or even a denial of licensing applications for up to five years or more. The Nevada Board of Nursing also will place the nurse’s name on a list of those nurses that have received disciplinary action on their website.
Reinstatement of Nursing Licenses
When a disciplinary action is completed, the Nevada Board of Nursing will evaluate a nurse’s case to determine whether they can reinstate their professional license. If they are reinstated, then the nurse must adhere to certain conditions that have been put in place. These could be related to issues involving substance abuse or mental health. Additionally, there may be other stipulations imposed upon them before they are allowed to work again as a nurse.
Steps to Take if You Discover You Are Under Investigation in disciplinary action against nurses
If a nurse is being investigated by a board, they should consider taking the following steps.
Do Not Panic
The licensing board in Nevada is legally required to start an inquiry into a nurses’ behavior after receiving a complaint, even if it is not true.
Do Not Ignore Letters or Timelines
If you receive a notice of investigation from the Nevada Board of Nursing or your employer, you must respond in writing to the letter within a certain timeframe, and you may be asked to supply documents or other materials at the same time. Do not allow this deadline to pass, or you may lose some of your legal rights.
Do Not Be Argumentative or Adversarial
You may believe you did nothing wrong, and as a result, feel defensive regarding the allegations made. Remember that the Nevada Board of Nursing and the investigators are simply doing their job and investigating an alleged complaint and/or incident. Behaving in an adversarial or argumentative way will not help resolve the situation any faster and may work against you.
Consider Obtaining Legal Advice
Visiting with an attorney knowledgeable about nursing license defense cases from Spartacus Law Firm can ensure that appropriate steps can be taken on their behalf, due to the fact that there are certain things that nurses cannot do when they are under investigation for wrongdoing.
Contact an Experienced Nursing License Defense Attorney Today in disciplinary action against nurses
Unfortunately, many nurses experience someone who is frustrated with their care or feels a need to retaliate against them. While there are several circumstances that could trigger a disciplinary action against a nurse in Nevada, visiting with an experienced nursing license defense lawyer at Spartacus Law Firm at (702) 660-1234 can help ensure that you understand all of your legal options. We can help answer all of your questions and ensure your legal rights remain protected.