Nursing License Disciplinary Hearing in Virginia

Receiving information that you are subject to a nursing license disciplinary hearing in Virginia may make it seem like your professional career is over. While it is true that a poor outcome in these hearings can result in a license suspension or even revocation, the fact remains that these are rare outcomes.

Even more encouraging is the fact that you have the right to obtain counsel to represent your interests during these sessions. Furthermore, these sessions operate with strict rules of procedure that allow you to promote a defense while questioning the veracity of any witnesses or evidence that the Board brings against you.

An attorney could help to even the odds during a nursing license disciplinary hearing in Virginia. An experienced nursing license defense lawyer help to prepare you for the hearing, to gather evidence that may help your defense, and attend the session with you in person to protect your rights.

When May a Hearing Take Place?

The Virginia Nursing Regulatory Board cannot hold a hearing at their own discretion. A hearing can only result after a person files a complaint. The Board has the obligation to perform an investigation after the receipt of a complaint, and it is only when there is good cause to believe that a violation of the professional code of conduct has occurred that a hearing can take place.

Examples of these potential violations are found in VA Code §54.1-3007 and include:

  • Fraud or deceit in procuring a nursing license or certificate
  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Willful violations of the nursing code of conduct
  • A conviction for a felony or other crime of moral turpitude
  • Practicing nursing in a manner contrary to ethics standards
  • Use of alcohol or drugs that leaves the nurse unable to serve their patients
  • The denial, revocation, or suspension of a license in another jurisdiction

An accomplished attorney could provide more information about the reasons why a hearing could occur.

What are the Forms of Hearings?

Not every nursing license disciplinary is the same. In general, there are two forms of these hearings. The first and more likely is that the Board will hold an informal conference. Here, the Board makes no recording of the session, there are no witnesses who testify under oath, and both sides can present evidence. In essence, this is a chance to talk about the allegations in an informal way.

These sessions can still result in a negative outcome, however, as the Board can issue fines, order a reprimand be placed on the nurse’s record, or refer the case to a full hearing for license suspension or revocation.

More serious cases take place before formal administrative hearings. These sessions are much more like a traditional trial as all witnesses testify under oath. Court reporters record these sessions, and they are open the public.

The actual Virginia nursing license disciplinary hearing is much like a trial as both sides can make opening and closing statements, can present evidence and witnesses and have the chance to cross-examine the other side’s evidence. These sessions are much more serious as penalties can include a license suspension or revocation.

In sum, the outcome of either form of the hearing will have a profound effect on your professional future. While an informal hearing may appear to simply be a chance to talk about the situation with a hearing officer, that officer will provide their recommendation to the full Board for any discipline. As a result, it is essential to approach either session with a clear defense strategy. An attorney could help to devise and implement these strategies.

Speak with an Attorney About Nursing License Disciplinary Hearing in Virginia

If you have received information that the Nursing Regulatory Board is holding a license disciplinary hearing concerning your conduct, you need to take immediate steps to protect yourself. Even in cases that recommend an informal conference to discuss the allegations, the outcome may require you to pay heavy fines, to attend educational classes, or place a formal censure in your file.

Even more concerning are formal administrative hearings. Much like trials, there are strict rules of evidence and procedure that determine which witnesses can testify and how a nurse may cross-examine those witnesses. A finding of responsibility in these sessions can involve severe penalties up to and including a loss of license.

A lawyer may be able to help you during any kind of nursing license disciplinary hearing in Virginia. You have the right to counsel during all versions of these hearings, and an attorney could help to organize your defense, to find flaws in the Board’s case, and to present your evidence in a powerful manner. Contact an attorney to protect your ability to continue working as a nurse in Virginia.