On Friday, July 27, the Ohio Board of Nursing held its bi-monthly meeting. At that meeting, the Board voted to take disciplinary action against dozens of nurses in the state of Ohio. Nurses who face discipline by the Board will be mailed a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, Notice of Summary Suspension or Notice of Automatic Suspension of their nursing license by certified mail. This is not a final decision by the Board. These Notices outline the charges that the Board has alleged against you.
If you receive notification from the post office that you have a certified letter from the Nursing Board, immediately go to the post office and collect the letter as there are important time sensitive deadlines which, if not met, can have a permanent effect on your license.
If you want the Board to hear “your side of the story” you must request a hearing in writing to request a hearing by the deadline in the Notice. This can be done by following the instructions in the Notice. A request for a hearing is a simple letter sent to the Board stating that you would like a hearing. You do not need to list your defenses or reasons why you want a hearing. You simply need to state in the letter that you would like a hearing.
You only have thirty (30) days from the date the Notice was MAILED to you to request a hearing. The 30 day time frame starts on the date that the letter was mailed to you and not on the date that you received the letter. Failure to request a hearing will prevent you from providing any evidence on your behalf to the Board.
I am often asked “why should I even request a hearing … the Board has already made a determination.” This is not correct. These Notices only list allegations raised against you. While the Board has conducted an investigation prior to issuing the Notice, in most cases they have only considered one side of the evidence. By requesting a hearing you will be able to present your side of the story.
Even in cases where the nurse has violated the Ohio Nurse Practice Act, by presenting your side of the story and explaining what challenges you faced or what you were thinking when the error occurred, you increase the chances of getting a lighter sanction from the Board than if you simply do not even request a hearing.
You worked hard for your nursing license. There are always two sides to any story. If you receive a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, a Notice of Summary Suspension, or a Notice of Immediate Suspension, request a hearing within the deadline and make sure the Board hears your side of the story before they make a final determination.
You should also consider hiring experienced legal counsel to defend you before the Nursing Board. When considering how to hire an attorney, check out my previous post on “How to Hire an Attorney”. Your livelihood depends on you finding experienced legal counsel that you trust to help in your defense.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, feel free to contact me at (614) 486-3909 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.