Nursing Assistant Disciplinary Hearing Defense

Do not accept a settlement offer or attend a hearing without first consulting an attorney.

What should I do if my nurse license is in jeopardy?

If you are in danger of losing your nurse license, you should consult an attorney immediately. You might inadvertently make statements against your interests, or you may be unaware of how to preserve arguments to use in an appeal. Do not accept a settlement offer or attend a hearing without first consulting an attorney. Call the attorneys at Brill Legal Group for a consultation with an attorney who is experienced in disciplinary hearings and licensing issues.

New York Certified Nursing Assistant Disciplinary Hearing Defense Attorney

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) carry out important responsibilities in the care of patients. What happens when you are accused of misconduct in the course of your job? Nursing professionals in New York have important rights. When your career is in jeopardy, having experienced legal counsel in your corner is necessary to protect your interests.

Brill Legal Group has over 15 years of experience helping employees in the medical and nursing professions resolve legal issues. Our New York certified nursing assistant disciplinary hearing defense attorney will provide tailored representation based on the allegations you face. We will work hard to refute the charges against you and obtain the best possible outcome in your disciplinary proceedings.

Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in New York

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) plays a vital role on a patient’s health care team. CNAs are certified by the State of New York. They perform patient-centered tasks under the direction of onsite licensed nursing professionals such as a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.

The employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York has one of the nation’s highest levels of CNA employment. As of May 2021, the state had 85,490 nursing assistants employed.

More than half of CNAs work in nursing care facilities. Nursing assistants are also employed in hospitals, medical offices, outpatient care centers, and long-term care facilities. Although CNAs are not licensed nurses, they work closely with doctors, nurses, and other health care providers.

Nursing assistants provide non-medical, direct care to patients, such as helping them with bathing, dressing, and feeding. While responsibilities vary depending on where a CNA works and the type of patient they are caring for, other typical duties include recording and monitoring health concerns, measuring blood pressure and vital signs, repositioning patients in bed, and communicating with other members of the patient’s health care team.

Types of Disciplinary Cases Against CNAs

Nursing assistants work hard to provide patients with quality care, performing tasks that are crucial to their comfort and well-being. While CNAs are trained to be mindful of safety and adhere to high standards of care, they often work in stressful, demanding environments, which can give rise to errors.

Additionally, nursing assistants are sometimes made scapegoats for the shortcomings and failed policies of nursing homes or hospitals. Even the smallest mistakes can lead to disciplinary action that derails a CNA’s career. They can face penalties such as fines and administrative warnings or suspension of their certification.

The New York Board of Nursing may discipline CNAs who have violated the state’s nurse practice act. Disciplinary cases are frequently divided into the following groups:

  • Relevant to the practice of nursing
  • Related to drugs
  • Violation of boundaries
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Abuse
  • Fraud
  • Positive criminal background checks

Cases relevant to the practice of nursing involve a breach of the standard of nursing. They consist of the following mistakes:

  • Failure to evaluate changes in condition
  • Failure to carry out interventions
  • Failure to record information or the type of nursing care that was provided

The CNA and NSO Nurse Professional Liability Exposure Claim Report revealed that professional conduct was the top reason for disciplinary action, accounting for 32.5 percent of allegations against nursing staff in 2020. Nearly 25 percent of allegations were scope of practice violations, followed by documentation mistakes or omissions with 9.7 percent, failures in treatment and care with 9.3 percent, patient abuse with 8.8 percent, and medication administration with 6.2 percent.

Among the more common allegations CNAs may face is negligence. For example, causing a patient to suffer burns by failing to check the water temperature before bathing them or neglecting to reposition a patient in bed, leading to bedsores. 

CNAs may also be accused of abuse. Shaking a patient or using unnecessary force in handling them are just some examples. Many different types of abuse can occur in patient care settings, including physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual.

Additionally, New York has laws that prohibit patient abandonment. Abandonment involves a nursing professional neglecting or abandoning a patient who is in their care. One way in which abandonment might occur is if a nursing assistant tasked with patient care in a nursing home leaves the facility mid-shift without notifying anyone and fails to return.

Overview of the Disciplinary Process

In New York, the Department of Education’s Office of Professional Discipline investigates and prosecutes nursing-related professional misconduct. The disciplinary process is triggered once a complaint is filed with the office. The Board of Regents then makes a final decision on all disciplinary matters.

Anyone can file a complaint if they believe a nursing assistant has violated the state’s nurse practice act, engaged in unethical behavior, or poses a danger to patients. Complaints are often brought by employers and patients. 

A CNA may be contacted by an investigator who may request documents or arrange an interview. The investigator will gather information to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to file formal charges and present the Board of Nursing with a report. While some cases may be dismissed at this stage, others may proceed to a disciplinary hearing.

Another point to note is that an emergency action may be taken following consideration of a Board of Nursing complaint. Such actions generally involve a summary suspension of a nursing license. The usual standard for this action is clear and convincing evidence that any further practice by the nursing professional would create a danger of severe harm to the public.

Simultaneous with the summary suspension is the filing of a formal complaint and the start of an investigation. A summary suspension will generally remain effective unless there is a reversal by the Board of Nursing and a final order is issued by the board.

Brill Legal Group has experience handling all types of nursing assistant defense cases. When you hire us, your rights will be protected from the initial investigation until the disciplinary process concludes. Our CNA disciplinary hearing attorneys are skilled negotiators and will steadfastly protect your rights at every stage.

Disciplinary Actions

The Board of Regents takes final action in determining penalties for serious cases of misconduct. Disciplinary action can affect a CNA’s ability to continue working and caring for patients. Disciplinary actions taken by the Board of Nursing may include:

  • Fine or civil penalty
  • Referral to a discipline program to check on the CNA’s practice and recovery
  • Reprimand for a minor breach of the nurse practice act
  • Limitations of aspects of nurse practice, such as probation and hours worked
  • Suspension or revocation of license

Under federal and state regulations, nursing home aides must be listed in the State’s Nurse Aide Registry. Nursing homes cannot employ individuals who have a criminal conviction or documented findings of resident abuse, neglect or mistreatment as listed in the registry. Additionally, nursing homes are required to check the certification status of any individual seeking employment at their facility.

What Should I Do if My Employment as a Nursing Assistant is in Jeopardy?

If you are in danger of losing your nursing assistant certification, you should consult an attorney immediately. When you are accused of misconduct or notified of an investigation being opened against you, speak to an experienced New York CNA disciplinary hearing defense lawyer before taking any further action.

While you are obligated to cooperate with formal investigations, you have the right to consult legal counsel. Avoid speaking with investigators without having a lawyer present. Otherwise, you may inadvertently make statements against your interests, or you may be unaware of how to preserve arguments to use in an appeal.

Any information obtained by the investigator will become part of their report, which can harm your case. Additionally, the scope of the investigation can be widened at any time as new details come to light.

With the threat of disciplinary action looming over you, your reputation and ability to work as a CNA are all in jeopardy. When you risk losing so much, it only makes sense to ensure you have quality legal representation to protect your future.

Call Brill Legal Group for a consultation with an attorney who is experienced in New York disciplinary proceedings and administrative hearings. A New York certified nursing assistant defense attorney can advise you of the best course of action based on the facts of your case.

Contact Brill Legal Group Right Away

At Brill Legal Group, we understand that the stakes are high when your livelihood is on the line. Our legal team has deep knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern the nursing profession in New York. We are equipped to represent you in disciplinary hearings and other legal matters. Contact Brill Legal Group today for a free consultation to learn more and speak to a New York certified nursing assistant disciplinary hearing defense attorney.

Peter Brill and his group are very professional and caring attornies. They are willing to explain everything in detail, give you options and never pressure you for an immediate decision. They know the law and always give you insights to all possible outcomes. I am very grateful the Brill Legal Group represented me.

- L.V.