NYC Nursing License Defense Attorney
OPD Investigations, Hearings, & Criminal Matters
While it takes years of hard work to obtain a nursing license, there are many shorter and faster ways to lose it. A charge of professional misconduct is likely to trigger an investigation and if the accusations are substantiated, nursing disciplinary actions are certain to follow, often in a nursing license suspension or worse.
Being a nurse is not easy. It is an honorable profession and no one the healthcare industry works harder than nurses. This said, no other healthcare profession is more under appreciated.
Time and again we see hard working nurses accused of misconduct in hospital and nursing homes settings – in many of these cases a nurse is made a scapegoat for shortcomings for the facility’s failed policies and even when their supervisors don’t like them. We have seen nurses accused, terminated, and disciplined simply because it was convenient or because hospitals found it easy to protect their own agendas. Over the years, NYC nurse license defense lawyers at Joseph Potashnik have been providing the most aggressive and successful representation to NYC nurses achieving spectacular results in for many of our clients.
The attorneys at our firm have successfully represented many 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 involving allegations of professional misconduct, as well as in criminal matters.
Why Nurses Get Disciplined
Our NYC nurse license defense attorneys understand that the stakes are high when your professional license is on the line. We are skilled in rules and regulations that govern the nursing profession in New York and we are ready to represent you in any criminal matter or an administrative hearing.
In New York, the NYS Education Department’s Office Professional Discipline (OPD) investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct of nurses. The Board of Regents, on the other hand, is responsible for the final disposition of all disciplinary matters on all registered nurses.
A nurse practicing in New York may be found to have committed professional misconduct for any of the following:
- Being convicted of a crime;
- Drug Diversion
- Practicing fraudulently;
- Practicing beyond the authorized scope of practice;
- Practicing with gross incompetence or negligence;
- Practicing while being intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or mental disability;
- Habitually using drugs;
- Unlawful fee splitting;
- Allowing professional duties to be performed by unauthorized persons;
- Sexually or physically abusing patients;
- Filing false reports;
- Failing to maintain proper records;
How nurses get investigated for professional misconduct in New York
A disciplinary process may be triggered by filing of a complaint with the Regional Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) which will then investigate the complaint. Also, upon a criminal conviction, the state Department of Probation will notify the Department of Education of the case disposition and the matter will be further investigated. Each year the OPD received close to 10,000 complaints, many of them involving nurses.
Most complaints are generated by employers and some by patients. The nurse may be contacted by an OPD investigator who may request documents or insist on a personal interview. When the investigation is completed, the investigator will prepare the report for the OPD attorney and the Board of Nursing. At this stage it is decided whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the disciplinary case or no. Some cases are dismissed at this stage. Others progress to the next level. Our New York OPD lawyers are experts on handling nursing defense cases with the OPD and we are skillful negotiators when it comes to reaching the best results for our clients.
Should a nurse hire an attorney to help with the disciplinary case?
Obviously, we will recommend that nurses investigated by the OPD seek legal help immediately. After all, we are in the business of defending nurses. However, this is not the only reason. What many nurses fail to realize is that their license, reputation, and ability to earn a living are all at stake at this point. Trying to fix the problem on your own is not the best solution. You were trained as a nurse, not an attorney and there is no way you can protect your interests as well as an experienced attorney would. It is also a mistake to hire an inexperienced attorney. In many cases, if you do, you’d be in the same predicament as if you handled the case yourself. The difference between having the aggressive, skillful, and experienced attorney on your side and not having one may be dramatic. We have established ourselves as the go to law firm for New York nurses investigated by the OPD. Call us for advice.
What to do when you receive an OPD Investigation letter
At this point it is absolutely crucial to seek legal consultation with an attorney experienced in the OPD actions. Any information obtained by the investigator will become part of the investigative report, which is often extremely damaging to your case. Don’t speak with the investigator. If the letter seeks disclosure of documents you may be obligated to provide them but you have no obligation to speak with the investigator. When contacted by an investigator concerning a misconduct matter, call our experienced New York nursing license defense attorneys immediately. We will discuss the case with you and take over the handling of the case.
The same applies when you are under investigation by a law enforcement agency for any criminal activity. Voluntary statements, confessions, and admissions will not alleviate your plight but will only make it more difficult. When approached by law enforcement investigators, insist on discussing the matter with an attorney before providing any information at all. Contact our New York nursing license defense lawyers for a confidential information.
Attorney For Nurses In New York – Criminal Matters
The same applies when you are under investigation by a law enforcement agency for any criminal activity while you are employed as a nurse. Voluntary statements, confessions, and admissions will not alleviate your plight but will only make it more difficult. When approached by law enforcement investigators, insist on discussing the matter with Defense Attorneys for Nurses before providing any information at all.
Contact our New York City nursing license defense lawyers for a confidential information.