How you initially respond to a Board of Nursing investigation may determine if you get sanctioned, or lose your license.

What not to do when you hear from the Board of Nursing:

Do NOT ever take a Board investigation lightly. You have worked hard to get your license and
most probably, your livelihood depends on your practice. The Board can take your license away.

Do NOT ignore a Board investigation. Regardless of what you think the merit of the complaint
is, take it seriously and remember that the Board’s job is to protect the public.

Do NOT assume that your innocence will be acknowledged. Never assume the complaint
lacks merit, and that as soon as you explain to the Board, it will be dismissed or forgotten.

Do NOT respond to a letter from the Board unless you have consulted with an attorney. Even
better, have the attorney respond to the Board rather than you.

Do NOT ever meet with the Board investigator without legal representation. Meeting with
an investigator without your attorney can be the single most professionally dangerous error you
can make. The reason to have an attorney present is she can protect your rights to respond to
certain questions, so you do not unknowingly incriminate yourself.

Do NOT assume that lack of harm to a patient will end the Board inquiry. You must
understand that the Board will focus on whether you operated below the standard of care or not
and not on harm to a patient.

What to do when you hear from the Board of Nursing:

Contact your malpractice insurance carrier as soon as you hear from the Board of Nursing
that you are being investigated. It is the smart thing to do and is often required by your policy.

Contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately who has dealt with the Board of Nursing
before on similar issues. When it comes to the Board of Nursing, not just any attorney will do.
I have represented many nurses in front of the New Hampshire Board of Nursing.

Prepare for the long run focus on self-care. Being under investigation by the Board of Nursing
is highly stressful. It also can take a long time to resolve.

Look for employment. The Complaint and the investigation process are confidential. You are
not required to inform any potential employer of the Board of Nursing Complaint until the Board
has decided if the Complaint needs them to take action beyond an investigation. This is, of
course, if your license has not been immediately suspended.

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