Last week, I attended the Ohio Board of Nursing’s bi-monthly meeting where the members of the Board issued final sanctions against dozens of Ohio nurses. At that meeting, the members of the Board also authorized the issuance of over sixty Notices of Opportunity for Hearing to Ohio licensed nurses. The Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (or Notice of Automatic Suspension or Notice of Immediate Suspension) outlines specific charges against the nurse, which, if proven, can form the basis for the nurse to have their license revoked, suspended, placed on probation or reprimanded.
There are legal timelines that must be followed for a nurse to request a Hearing in order to defend their professional license. Failure to timely request a Hearing can bar the nurse from presenting ANY defense to the Board.
There is no routine disciplinary matter when it comes to a nurse’s professional license. Disciplinary sanctions imposed by the Board may affect a nurse’s ability to practice nursing in the short-term and can also impose permanent practice and/or narcotic restrictions.
If you receive a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (or Notice of Automatic Suspension or Notice of Immediate Suspension), it is highly recommended to obtain experienced legal counsel to assist you before the Board. When hiring legal counsel, here are a few things to consider:
- Does the attorney have experience with the type of matter for which you need representation?
- Is this type of matter a usual part of the attorney’s practice?
- Has the attorney handled any cases similar to your particular matter?
- If it is a matter where a settlement or hearing may be involved, how many of those matters has the attorney handled?
- In general for this type of matter, what does the attorney consider to be a good result?
- Can the attorney explain the process to you?
- What is the best way to communicate with the lawyer and how will he or she communicate with you?
- When can you expect to hear from the attorney?
- Are there other people in the attorney’s office who can assist you should an emergency arise while your attorney is unavailable?
- How will you know what work the attorney has done or will be doing on your matter?
- Will you be comfortable sharing your information with the attorney?
- Do you understand the information the attorney is telling you?
- Are there different approaches to your situation, and if so, how will the attorney decide which to take or recommend to you?
- How does the attorney charge you? Based on hours worked? Fixed fee? Or some other method?
- Is payment required up front? If so, how and when is that money applied to your account?
- Will you receive statements for the work performed?
- Will you be charged for expenses (ex: travel, hotel, postage, copy charges)?
- Does the attorney accept credit card payments?
This is a general guide and is not legal advice. Of course, there may be other questions or concerns you may want to discuss with a potential attorney based on your individual circumstances or issues.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, please feel free to contact one of the attorneys at the Collis Law Group LLC at 614-486-3909 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.