New York Licensed Practical Nurse Disciplinary Hearing Defense Attorney
Disciplinary action against nurses, including licensed practical nurses (LPNs), can be taken by the Board of Nursing (BON). The Board may perform an investigation and discipline the license of nurses who are in violation of the provisions of the Nurse Practice Act (NPA). Some of the typical reasons for which disciplinary actions are taken against a nurse license include:
- Unprofessional conduct
- Unsafe practice
- Unethical practice
- Criminal convictions
- Alcohol or substance abuse
Unprofessional conduct is behavior that is likely to consist of deception of, or harm to, the public. An example of such conduct is where a nurse tries to acquire a nursing license, and forges documents, or speaks or behaves in an inappropriate manner toward patients or co-workers. Unsafe practice consists of negligent behavior in providing care, or being physically or mentally incapable of giving safe care.
State BONs can impose disciplinary actions against nurses for mistakes made in practice, including errors in dispensing medication, negligence and malpractice. Unethical and unprofessional practices include such violations as breach of patient confidentiality, and harassment of patients or members of the staff. In addition, nurses can be subject to discipline for being convicted of a crime, including a felony or one concerning moral depravity. Due to the rise in the abuse of alcohol or substances by nurses, there has been an increase in the number of such cases requiring disciplinary action.
Under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or the Due Process Clause, BONs are required to conform to constitutional protections prior to subjecting a nurse’s license to discipline. The Board of Nursing is prohibited from taking unjust action against a person without granting them specific rights, in accordance with procedural due process. The state is required to inform the nurse of the accusations and the reasons for them. The nurse possesses the following rights:
- The right to a hearing
- The right to hear the evidence against him or her
- The right to question witnesses
- The right to present evidence and witnesses who will testify on the nurse’s behalf
In addition, the charges against the nurse must have substance. An arbitrary decision is in violation of the nurse’s substantive due process.
Seek the advice of counsel
If you are in danger of having your license revoked, seek the advice of counsel who is versed in administrative hearings. The regulations controlling such hearings are not as stringent as at civil or criminal trials, and thus, hearsay evidence may be permitted. Call the attorneys at Brill Legal Group to handle your licensing and disciplinary hearing matter.