The rise in nursing board investigations

The rise in nursing board investigations is evident both nationally and at the state level, particularly from 2019 to 2023. This period has witnessed a significant increase in disciplinary actions against nurses. Of concern is the frequent initiation of investigations based on anonymous reports from diverse sources, including competitors, ex-employees, current employees, and dissatisfied clients.

States such as Florida, North Carolina, New York, California, and Ohio have experienced a noticeable shift towards heightened enforcement, where investigative activity was previously limited. Nursing boards nationwide are actively pursuing complaints against nurses, even in cases where evidence of non-compliance is minimal. This aggressive stance has resulted in the imposition of fines, public settlement agreements, license suspensions, revocations, and other disciplinary measures.
A crucial concern raised by nursing advocates is the perceived lack of due process protections in the disciplinary processes of these boards. They argue that decisions are often retaliatory, fostering a culture of fear among nurses. This prevailing anxiety is adversely affecting nurses’ ability to practice their profession confidently and without apprehension.
Nurses undergoing investigations face a spectrum of reasons, encompassing various facets of professional conduct, such as improper contracts with medical directors, inadequate supervision, improperly formed legal entities and Management Service Organizations (MSOs), deficiencies in good faith exams and protocols, as well as lapses in board filings and required contracts. The multitude of issues being investigated underscores the complexity and breadth of challenges nurses confront from regulatory bodies.

Recognizing the high stakes involved, nurses undergoing board investigations are urged to have legal representation from the outset to ensure due process is adhered to and to provide a fair opportunity for corrective measures. Given the significant implications of nursing board investigations, nurses are advised to treat these proceedings seriously from the beginning. In the event of inquiries from board investigators or visits from board members, it is essential to promptly contact a legal team and inform the board about legal representation, directing them to communicate through the attorney.

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