Nursing Board Representation In Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota And Wisconsin
Nurses are well-aware of the strict rules enforced by their licensing and disciplinary board. They have worked hard for their professional licenses, and have a lot to lose if their licenses are restricted, suspended or revoked. Unfortunately, the task of defending a license is rarely an easy one. Certain patient- and employer-related situations can jeopardize a professional license, often for reasons that are beyond nurses’ control.
If you are a nurse who is under investigation by the board, you should know the lawyers at the Law Office of Sivertson and Barrette, P.A., are on your side. For more than 40 years, the attorneys at our St. Paul law firm have advocated for hundreds of nurses and successfully defended their licenses. We represent nurses from throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The attorneys in our firm have been recognized as leaders in defending nurses before the Minnesota Board of Nursing. We will guide you through the process, protecting your interests and helping the board to understand the true facts of your situation.
Our clients face various allegations, including:
- Documentation errors/improperly documenting medical care
- Diversion of narcotics or other medication
- Alcohol and addiction, including addiction to narcotics
- Negative interactions with peers and management
- Unprofessional conduct
- Mental health diagnosis
- Being unsuccessfully discharged from the Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP)
As experienced administrative law attorneys, we know there are often other factors involved. Nurses who are cited for misconduct or nurse malpractice are often the target of whistleblower retaliation. They may face employment-related or age discrimination in the workplace, or work in facilities that are understaffed. We investigate all the facts and collect evidence that we will use to build strong defenses for our clients.
Temporary License Suspension In Minnesota: A New Law
Minnesota law recently changed. A new statute now allows health licensing boards to bypass an informal investigation process and serve a nurse with a temporary suspension order if the board has probable cause to believe that the nurse presents an imminent risk of harm to others. The day you are served with the order, you can no longer practice and will have to defend your license in a contested case hearing.
At the Law Office of Sivertson and Barrette, P.A., in St. Paul, Minnesota, we represent nurses served with these temporary orders for suspension, which are being used more frequently by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. We also:
- Respond to letters of inquiry: Letters of inquiry are used in situations that have been deemed less severe. However, it is still critical that nurses take them seriously. If the board does not receive a timely response or is unsatisfied with your response, it may take action against your license or schedule a conference to meet with a board review panel. We can guide you through writing your response, and articulating the facts while protecting your rights.
- Respond to notices of conference: A notice of conference informs you that you must appear before a board review panel, outlines allegations against you and asks you to respond to them in writing 14 days prior to the conference. You may also be asked to provide documentation of your continuing education courses, employment history, performance evaluations, and mental health or substance use history. The written response is critical to your defense. We are here to assist you in drafting the document and determining what supporting evidence to include with the response.
- Represent providers during conferences with a board review panel: We can also extensively prepare you for the questioning from the review panel and represent you during the conference. You’ll know exactly what to expect and how to respond. The review panel will be represented by a lawyer from the Attorney General’s office. It is important that you are represented by an attorney as well to protect your license and livelihood.
- Provide contested case hearing representation and representation during board hearings: Sometimes it is necessary to take your case to a contested case hearing before an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The hearing is similar to a trial where evidence is presented and witnesses testify. The administrative law judge then makes a recommendation to the board of nursing on whether disciplinary action is warranted. A hearing is then held before the board to determine whether disciplinary action will be taken. Our experienced trial attorneys have over 40 years of experience defending health care professionals in these situations.
- Guide you through Department of Human Services (DHS) or Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) investigations: If your employer is licensed through one of these agencies, it must report alleged misconduct to DHS or MDH. The agencies will open an investigation, and will likely want to interview you. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer. It is never a good idea to enter into an investigation on your own. Talk with us before communicating with DHS or MDH. Your professional license is at risk.
- Guide you through Attorney General’s office investigations: When allegations are serious, the AG’s office may become involved. Providers can receive subpoenas and requests for interviews. Do not respond or participate until you’ve spoken with an attorney. We can help you.
Making The Right Choice: Hiring A Lawyer
Some nurses choose to forego the advice of an experienced attorney in favor of representing themselves. They mistakenly believe they can handle the matter without help. Others seek to cut costs or keep the matter private out of embarrassment. Whatever the reason, self-representation is rarely the best choice. When faced with discipline or the potential loss of your nursing license, it is critical to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to protect your reputation and livelihood.
Get started by making an appointment with a nursing board representation lawyer based in St. Paul. 651-964-6301 or toll-free at 800-563-3094 or contact us online. We can often help you handle the matter over the phone and via email, so there is no need for clients who are located far from our firm to travel to St. Paul for help.