As a nurse, there are numerous issues that can threaten your livelihood, your professional standing, and your reputation within the healthcare community. Our lawyers provide experienced defense representation for nurses whose licenses are in jeopardy.
Nurses are an integral part of our nation’s healthcare system; and, as a nurse, your role is indispensable to meeting patient’s needs in a timely, professional, and cost-effective manner. Of course, being able to go to work every day is important to you as well, as nursing is not only your career path but also your means of providing for your family.
So, what would happen if it was all taken away?
This is a risk that thousands of nurses across the country face every year. There are numerous issues that can lead to disciplinary action for nurses and other advanced practice providers, and disciplinary action can lead to temporary or permanent loss of you nursing license. However, there are also defenses that nurses can use to protect their licenses, and it is often possible to avoid license suspension or revocation with the representation of an experienced healthcare defense attorney.
Experienced Healthcare Defense Attorneys for Nurses Nationwide
At The Criminal Defense Firm, we represent nurses across the country who need to protect their licenses in state board disciplinary proceedings. As a healthcare compliance and defense law firm, we have extensive experience representing nurses and other medical professionals in all types of disciplinary and investigative proceedings. Regardless of the reason that your license is in jeopardy, our attorneys can use their experience to protect you, and we can help ensure that the allegations against you do not lead to unnecessary, career-threatening consequences.
We Represent Nurses in Licensing Matters Involving All Types of Allegations
With experience representing nurses and other medical professionals in state and federal matters, we are able to provide effective defense representation for nurses regardless of the specific allegations that are putting their licenses at risk. We have represented thousands of healthcare providers in matters ranging from Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigations to state-level DWI cases, and our attorneys are highly skilled at providing defense representation for administrative, civil, and criminal proceedings involving both healthcare and non-healthcare matters.
We represent nurses in state licensing board disciplinary proceedings involving matters including (but not limited to):
1. Prescription Drug Fraud, Theft, and Diversion
Nurses who are accused of forging prescriptions, stealing prescription drugs, or diverting medications intended for sick or injured patients can face severe consequences. This includes not only loss of their nursing license, but federal criminal charges as well. The DEA takes swift action against healthcare providers suspected of unlawfully obtaining or diverting controlled substances; and, even if a DEA audit or investigation does not ultimately lead to criminal prosecution, it could still lead to state licensing board disciplinary action.
2. Failed Drug Tests
Nurses who fail required drug tests can also face disciplinary action. While one potential option is to seek placement in an approved impairment or intervention program, this is not an option under all circumstances, and it carries certain risks as well. If you have tested positive for alcohol, marijuana, pain or sleep medications, or any other prohibited substances, you should consult with a healthcare defense attorney promptly in order to determine your best path forward.
3. Failure to Complete a Nurse Impairment or Intervention Program
For nurses who inter into impairment or intervention programs in order to protect their licenses, failure to complete the program can carry severe consequences. These consequences include, but are not limited to, the immediate loss of your nursing license. Our attorneys have experience defending nurses who have needed to seek help for drug use and drug dependence, and we can use this experience to help protect your license and preserve your reputation.
4. Failure to Self-Report License or Ethics Violations
Nurses have an obligation to self-report license and ethics violations under a variety of circumstances. However, prior to making a self-report, it is critical to both (i) confirm that self-reporting is necessary, and (ii) understand the potential implications involved. There are various ways to defend against alleged self-reporting violations, and our attorneys can work to protect your license if you are facing disciplinary action due to an alleged failure to self-report.
5. Sister-State Licensing Issues
If you are licensed to practice in multiple states, facing disciplinary action in one state could mean facing disciplinary action in all states in which you are licensed. This can present complicated issues, particularly since the requirements for maintaining licensure are not necessarily uniform from one state to the next. Our healthcare defense attorneys can deal with disciplinary matters in all states in which you are licensed, and we can represent you with respect to any self-reporting requirements for sister-state disciplinary proceedings as well.
6. Healthcare Fraud
Facing allegations of healthcare fraud is an extremely serious matter that can lead not only to loss of your nursing license, but potentially to civil or criminal prosecution under federal law. Nurses can face healthcare fraud allegations under a variety of different contexts, including:
- Alleged participation in Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare billing fraud schemes
- Alleged deductible waivers and other insurance fraud schemes
- Alleged offering or acceptance of illegal kickbacks or referral fees
- Alleged fraud in relation to billing for telemedicine and telehealth services
- Alleged participation in “pill mill” operations and other unlawful healthcare practices
Oftentimes, nurses will be implicated in healthcare fraud schemes as a result of their affiliation with facilities or other providers that are engaged in criminal activity. Even if you were unknowingly complicit, you will still need to present a strong defense in order to avoid licensing action and other penalties.
7. DEA Registration Violations
If you are registered with the DEA, registration violations can lead to licensing action in addition to putting your DEA registration in jeopardy. At The Criminal Defense Firm, we have extensive experience in matters involving the DEA, and we work with consultants who previously served as DEA Special Agents in Charge. We can use our experience to protect your nursing license and your DEA registration, and we can help make sure that the allegations against you do not lead to other negative consequences as well.
8. Nursing Malpractice
Accusations of nursing malpractice can give rise to disciplinary action as well as potential civil liability. We provide defense representation for licensing matters and civil malpractice claims, and our attorneys can work with you and your malpractice insurance company to ensure that the allegations against you do not have unnecessary consequences.
9. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol or Drugs
In addition to matters pertaining to your nursing career, issues in your private life can potentially lead to license suspension or revocation as well. One of the most common issues we see in this area is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have been charged with DWI or DUI, you will need to fight to protect your nursing license separately from your criminal trial, and our attorneys can represent you effectively in both proceedings.
10. Other State or Federal Criminal Allegations
Marijuana possession, reckless driving, petty theft, and other crimes also have the potential to put your nursing license on the line. Different states have different standards for what level of offense is sufficient to warrant license suspension or revocation; but, regardless of the allegations against you, asserting a comprehensive and strategic defense is likely to be critical for preserving your nursing career. With former state and federal prosecutors available to represent you, our firm is fully capable of fighting your criminal charge while also fighting to protect your nursing license.
Your Nursing License is at Stake: What Should You Do Next?
If your nursing license is at stake as the result of an arrest, a federal healthcare fraud or drug diversion investigation, allegations from a patient or colleague, or any other issue in your professional or personal life, what do you need to do? At The Criminal Defense Firm, we recommend:
- Do not do anything else that could get you into trouble. If continuing to practice as usual could be risky, consult with an attorney before you go back to work.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of the issue(s) at hand. In order to present a strategic defense, you will need to have a thorough understanding of the relevant facts.
- Avoid discussing your situation with friends, family members, and colleagues. At this point, you should not discuss your situation with anyone except your legal counsel.
- Make sure you are aware of any deadlines that apply. If you have received a letter from your state licensing board or any other form of communication from any state or federal authorities, make sure you are aware of any deadlines you need to meet in order to preserve your defense.
- Consult with a healthcare defense lawyer promptly. You should schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced healthcare defense lawyer right away.
Speak with a Healthcare Defense Lawyer at The Criminal Defense Firm Today
If you would like to speak with one of our healthcare defense lawyers about your situation, we encourage you to contact us promptly. We are available 24/7 to speak with nurses nationwide. To schedule a free and confidential consultation in person or remotely, call 866-603-4540 or tell us how to contact you online now.