The Process Of Defending Your Nursing License In Texas
In Texas, anyone can file a complaint against a nurse with the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). This includes patients, patient family members, co-workers, employees, and other professionals. The source of the complaint is kept confidential, which makes it easier for complaints to get filed. On average, the Texas BON handles more than 16,000 complaints per year against nurses.
Once a complaint is filed, the nursing board opens an investigation to determine if there have been any violations of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA). If violations are found, the board decides whether disciplinary action is appropriate.
If you're the target of a BON investigation, this can be a scary experience – one in which the outcome could affect not only your current employment, but also your nursing career. All disciplinary sanctions by the Texas Board of Nursing become public record, which means they could follow you for years to come.
Throughout the entire license defense process (investigation to resolution), you've the right to an attorney. And having an experienced nurses attorney by your side can potentially make a big difference in the outcome, which could take some time. BON investigations, on average, stretch out over six to twelve months.
The basic steps in the nursing license defense process include:
- an allegation or complaint is filed with the BON
- the BON initiates an investigation
- if nursing violations are found, the BON proposes disciplinary sanctions through an Informal Settlement notice
- if a negotiated agreement (settlement) can’t be reached, the nurse has the right to appeal the board’s decision
If disciplinary action is taken against you by the nursing board, it could impact your ability to practice nursing in Texas, as well as the other 24 states that participate in the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). It could also affect your nursing career in the states that aren’t part of the NLC.
If you have questions about the process of defending your nursing license, or if you would like to schedule a free legal consultation, please call (512) 829-5619, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Kevin Keaney has more than 30 years experience as an attorney, and he’s a member of TAANA (The American Association of Nurse Attorneys). He earned his BSN from UT Austin and practiced as a nurse for four years before becoming a lawyer. He’s licensed to practice law in Texas, Oregon, and Washington.