I have posted about requesting a hearing with the Nursing Board in the past, but this information is so important to Ohio licensed nurses that I thought it was important to run this post again.
The Ohio Board of Nursing meets six times per year for regularly scheduled Board meetings. At these Board meetings, the Members of the Board vote to initiate disciplinary actions against a nurse. This can result in a nurse being issued a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, which outlines charges that have been brought against the nurse or can result in an Immediate Suspension or Automatic Suspension of a nursing license. The Board met last week (January 16-17, 2014) and issued dozens of notices to nurses throughout the state.
Nurses who are subject to a potential disciplinary action by the Nursing Board will receive the Notice of Opportunity for Hearing or Notice of Immediate or Automatic Suspension of their licenses by certified U.S. mail. If you are issued a Notice, you have thirty (30) days from the date the Notice is MAILED to request a hearing. Failing to request a hearing within thirty (30) days will bar the nurse from being able to present any defense of his/her license to the Board.
To request a hearing with the Nursing Board, you simply need to submit a request in writing to the Board that states: “I am writing to request a hearing with the Ohio Board of Nursing”. The request should be submitted as instructed in the Notice. I also recommend that you call the Board a few days after you submit the request to verify that it was received.
You do not have to submit a written explanation or defense to the Board when you request the hearing. This type of information can be submitted to the Board after the hearing is scheduled. After the Board receives the hearing request, you will be sent a letter scheduling the hearing with the Board.
In many cases, nurses are able to negotiate a settlement agreement with the Board that will avoid them having to proceed to a hearing. This agreement, known as a Consent Agreement, is a binding agreement between the nurse and the Board that provides an opportunity for the nurse to present mitigating information and sets forth the discipline taken against the nurse. However, even if the nurse wants to attempt to negotiate a Consent Agreement with the Board, they still MUST first request a hearing as outlined above.
Nurses are not required to have an attorney to help them through the Board’s disciplinary process. However, whether the nurse goes to hearing or negotiates a Consent Agreement, the Board will be represented by an attorney or by an Assistant Attorney General who will be assigned to the case. So, I always advise that the nurse seek experienced legal counsel to represent them before the Board. You worked hard for your nursing license. You should work just as hard to defend yourself before the Board.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, feel free to contact me at 614-486-3909 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.