Virginia Nursing License Defense Lawyer

You worked very hard and attended many years of college to be able to serve your community as a nurse. However, all it takes is a single allegation of abuse or professional misconduct to throw that career into jeopardy.

The Commonwealth’s Nursing Regulatory Board has the authority and responsibility to investigate any allegations of professional malfeasance. If they come to the conclusion that it is possible that this poor behavior has occurred, they have the authority to hold hearings that can result in serious penalties.

A Virginia nursing license defense lawyer may be able to help you when you receive notice that the Nursing Regulatory Board is holding a hearing. An experienced criminal attorney can work to investigate the claim, formulate a defense to protect your rights, and appear in person at a hearing to put that defense into action.

Examples of Potential Professional Misconduct

All nurses in Virginia have a professional responsibility to provide proper care for their patients. In addition, this responsibility extends to the requirement to act in an ethical way. The Nursing Regulatory Board is the oversight agency that creates these rules and enforces their continued adherence.

Specifically, according to VA Code §54.1-3007, there are a number of behaviors that may trigger a claim alleging professional misconduct. These include:

  • Fraud in obtaining a nursing license
  • Willful violations or repeated accidental violations of the code of conduct
  • Convictions for felonies or misdemeanors involving poor character
  • Practicing nursing in a way that is contrary to ethical standards
  • Use of alcohol or drugs in a way that jeopardizes a nurse’s ability to care for patients
  • The loss or suspension of a license in another jurisdiction

Clearly, many of these allegations are more serious than others. But regardless of the seriousness of the situation, the Board has the obligation to investigate every complaint that they receive from the public. If these investigations turn up evidence of professional misconduct, the Board may initiate a hearing.

Disciplinary Hearings and Potential Results

In many investigations, the first time that a nurse learns that there is a problem is when they receive notice of a scheduled disciplinary hearing. These hearings come in two forms.

The most common is an informal conference. Nurses are not required to attend these sessions but be aware that the hearing officer may still recommend discipline to the Board if a defendant does not attend. During these sessions, both sides have the chance to present evidence that speaks to the issue at hand.

It is also an opportunity for both sides to discuss a potential remedy to the situation that avoids a formal hearing. In either event, the outcome here can include a dismissal of the charges, an agreed-to diversion program, or a recommendation that the case go to a formal hearing.

A formal administrative hearing is a much more serious event. Here, the proceedings look much more like a trial. A court reporter will record the session, and anyone from the public is free to attend. Both sides can make opening and closing statements, and witnesses testify under oath.

Much like an informal conference, the Board may decide to dismiss the charges. However, a finding of responsibility can result in a variety of penalties that may include:

  • A formal censure in the nurse’s record
  • The payment of a fine
  • The requirement to attend educational classes
  • A suspension or revocation of the nurse’s license to practice

The receipt of notice of any sort of disciplinary hearing is a serious issue. A nursing license defense lawyer in Virginia could help to provide guidance and a powerful defense moving forward.

How a Virginia Nursing License Defense Attorney Could Help

If you have received a notice that the Nursing Regulatory Board is holding a hearing about your professional conduct, you should act quickly to protect yourself. The Board has broad powers to investigate allegations, to hold sessions to discover evidence, and to punish nurses who violate the code of professional conduct. Penalties can include formal censure letters, the payment of fines, or even the loss of a license.

Fortunately, you have the right to legal counsel at every stage of the process. A Virginia nursing license defense lawyer could help from day one to explain the nature of the allegations, to provide information about your specific hearing session, and to formulate a defense that fits your needs.

The outcome of a session can have a profound impact on your professional future; contact a Virginia nursing license defense lawyer today to discuss your case.