Defense Attorney for Licensed NYC Nursing
OPD Investigations, Criminal Matters and Hearings
Years of hard work go into earning a nursing license, there are many quicker ways to have it revoked. Professional misconduct charges are likely to trigger an investigation and if the accusations are substantiated, nursing disciplinary actions are sure to ensue, frequently a nursing license suspension or worse.
Nursing is difficult. It is an honorable profession. Arguably, few healthcare professionals work harder than nurses. That said, no other position in the healthcare industry is more under valued.
All too often we witness hard working nurses being accused of misconduct in hospitals and nursing homes – many times in such cases, the nurse becomes scapegoat for the facility’s incomplete or faulty policies and even under some circumstances when their supervisors dislike them. We have seen nurses accused, terminated, and disciplined for convenience or when hospital administrators deemed it an easy way to protect their own agendas. Over the years, NYC nurse license defense attorneys at Joseph Potashnik have provided the most aggressive and successful representation to our clients. They have achieved spectacular results for a multitude of nurses.
Our lawyers have successfully represented numerous NYC nurses, including Registered Professional Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and Nurse Practitioners, in all disciplinary matters before the Department of Education, Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) and the Department of Health against various allegations of professional misconduct, and even in criminal matters.
Reasons Nurses Can Get Disciplined
The NYC nurse license defense attorneys on our team are well aware that the stakes are high when your license is in jeopardy. We have insight into the rules and regulations that govern the nursing profession in New York and we are well prepared to represent you if you are facing a criminal matter or an administrative hearing.
In New York, the NYS Department of Education’s Office Professional Discipline (OPD) is the authority that investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct of nurses. It is the Board of Regents that is responsible for the final disposition of all disciplinary cases against registered nurses.
A nurse practicing in a New York medical institution or facility can be charged with professional misconduct for any of the following:
Getting convicted of any crime;
Practicing with gross incompetence or negligence;
Practicing beyond the authorized scope of practice;
Practicing while being intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or mental disability;
Habitual drug use;
Unlawful fee splitting;
Filing false reports;
Failing to maintain proper records;
Allowing professional duties to be performed by unauthorized persons;
Sexually or physically abuse of patients;
How nurses are investigated for New York professional misconduct cases
Disciplinary procedures can be triggered by the filing of a complaint at the Regional Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). They open an investigation into the complaint. Additionally, in the case of a criminal conviction, the state Department of Probation notifies the Department of Education of the case disposition and they investigate the matter further. Every year the OPD takes in almost to 10,000 complaints, many of them involving nurses.
The lion’s share of complaints are generated by employers and by patients also. An OPD investigator may contact the nurse and asked to submit documents or demand a personal interview. Upon completion of the investigation, a report is prepared and submitted to an OPD attorney and the Board of Nursing. At that point, they need to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with disciplinary action or not. There are cases that get dismissed at this stage. Other cases move up to the next level. Our New York OPD attorneys are well versed in handling defense cases for nurses against the OPD and we are skillful negotiators when it comes to arriving at the best outcomes for our clients.
Is it best for a nurse to hire an attorney to fight a disciplinary case?
Obviously, we do suggest strongly that nurses who are under investigation by the OPD seek legal counsel right away. indeed we are in the business of defending nurses. Nevertheless, there are more reasons for our recommendation. Many nurses fail to realize how their license, reputation, and ability to earn a living are all in jeopardy at this point. Attempting to repair the problems by yourself is not the best course of action. Your training is in nursing. You are an expert at what you do. That training has not, unfortunately, prepared you to protect your interests as well as an experienced attorney would. It is almost as bad to hire an inexperienced lawyer. Often, if you do, you could in fact find yourself in the same hot water as if you handled the case yourself. There is a big difference between having the assertive, skillful, and experienced attorney on your side and not having one. The lawyers at our firm have established us as the go-to law firm for New York nurses investigated by the OPD. Give us a call for some advice.
Best course of action when an OPD Investigation letter arrives
Right now it is crucial to get a legal consultation with an attorney experienced in the OPD. Any information the investigator gets from you will become part of the investigative report, which is frequently badly damaging to your cause. Refrain from speaking with the investigator. If the letter requests that you disclose documents, then you may be obligated to furnish them but you have no obligation to honor an interview request. When an investigator contacts you concerning a misconduct accusation, reach out to our experienced New York nursing license defense attorneys quickly. We will discuss your case with you and begin handling the details on your behalf.
This advice also applies when you are being investigated by a law enforcement agency for any criminal activity. Giving statements, confessions, and admissions voluntarily will not appease the OPD or help your plight, rather, it will make things that much more difficult. When you are approached by law enforcement investigators, insist on first speaking about the matter with an attorney before giving up any information at all. Call our New York nursing license defense team for a confidential consultation.
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