Don't Lose Your Job, Too: The NP Disciplinary Process and Your Employer

Very few nurse practitioners face disciplinary action from a state board of nursing, but for those who do, the implications can be serious. From losing face professionally to losing a job or even a license to practice, the consequences of noncompliance with professional, prescribing, or scope of practice guidelines are career changing. They way NPs handle an allegation or investigation into their practice often dictates the outcome. 

If you are faced with an investigation by the board of medicine or board of nursing in your state, your initial actions in regards to the matter are of utmost importance. First and foremost, hiring an attorney is advisable to prevent any missteps. If you hope to keep your job, handling the process professionally and managing your relationship with your employer throughout is also a must. What should nurse practitioners facing an investigation and possible disciplinary action disclose to an employer?

Today, I've called in an expert to help answer this question. Alex Fisher is an attorney who works with nurse practitioners when it comes to licensing and prescribing issues. She has represented NPs, MDs and PAs before boards of medicine and nursing helping guide them through the investigation and disciplinary process to achieve the best possible outcome. Here's what Alex had to say about involving your employer in the disciplinary process. 

Remember, an investigation into your practice does not mean that you are guilty of committing a violation. Acting as such may work against you. An investigation into your practice as a nurse practitioner is stressful and may feel like a personal attack. Handling the matter intentionally and professionally, however, is a must.

 

Alex Scarbrough Fisher is an associate attorney at Frost Brown Todd LLC. Her practice area focuses on litigation and administrative law. Alex's administrative law practice's emphasis is in health care related boards, including the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and the Tennessee Board of Nursing. 

 

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Comments

One thing to be aware of with disclosure of the disciplinary process to an employer that I should add - as an exception to the "generally, wait to tell your employer rule" about an investigation:

Many hospital bylaws require that a healthcare provider with hospital privileges disclose the status of an investigation against the provider within a certain window of time. Be aware of any hospital bylaws or employer requirements that may require you to disclose the status of an investigation as soon as you become aware of it.
Erin Tolbert

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