Nurses often report to us that they are concerned that they will appear to the Nursing Board to be “hiding something” or trying to be uncooperative if they have an attorney represent them before the Ohio Board of Nursing in a disciplinary case or at a Hearing.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Obtaining experienced legal counsel to help a nurse through the Nursing Board’s disciplinary process can be beneficial for the Nurse to understand the process and to assist the Nurse with resolution of their case.
Nurses are often surprised to learn that if they proceed to a Hearing without their own legal counsel, in most cases, they will be the ONLY nurse in the Hearing room. At the Hearing, the Nursing Board is represented by their own attorney from the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, who is assigned to prosecute the case on behalf of the Nursing Board. In certain instances, a representative of the Nursing Board, who is also an attorney, will also appear at the Hearing on behalf of the Nursing Board. The Hearing is conducted in front of a Hearing Examiner, who is also an attorney. If the Nurse does not have their own legal counsel at the Hearing, the Nurse will be at the unfortunate disadvantage of having to present their case on their own without the benefit of their own independent legal counsel.
In some cases, nurses are offered a Consent Agreement, which is an agreed upon Contract which outlines disciplinary terms in lieu of proceeding to a Hearing. Consent Agreement are drafted and negotiated by the Board’s lawyers. If the Nurse does not have their own legal counsel negotiating the Consent Agreement, the Nurse will be at the unfortunate disadvantage of having to negotiation with the Board’s attorney a binding Contract without the benefit of having their own independent legal counsel to be able to more fully consider whether the Consent Agreement being offered is in their best interest..
Your worked hard for your Nursing license. The Nursing Board has its own lawyers. Representing yourself at Hearing or in negotiating a Consent Agreement could result in the Nurse taking an action not in their best interest or agreeing to a disciplinary term they did not understand. An nursing license defense attorney with experience in these matters can help the Nurse understand the process and assist the Nurse with resolution of their case.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, please contact one of the attorneys at Collis, Smiles &Collis, LLC at 614-486-3909 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.