The Nurse Practitioner Disciplinary Process: How it Works

In an ideal world, none of us as nurse practitioners would face legal action. Our decision making would be sound and our actions entirely in line with legal principles. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. 

Nurse practitioners may be brought before the Board of Nursing (or other health regulatory board depending on the state) for a variety of reasons. The NP may have illegally prescribed a medication to a friend of family member. The nurse practitioner may be guilty of something minor like neglecting to complete a few continuing education credits. In some cases, an angry ex may even file an unfounded complaint against the NP for purposes of personal revenge. 

It's important to note that the disciplinary action I'm talking about here is different than malpractice. Disciplinary action deals with issues like licensing and prescribing violations rather than clinical actions and their outcomes. Ethical and moral issues such as romantic relationships with patients, practicing in violation of state licensing standards or committing a crime such as getting a DUI, to name a few, fall under the scope of disciplinary action.

So, what exactly happens when you as a nurse practitioner find yourself the subject of disciplinary action?

Healthcare law attorney Alex Fisher sat down with me to give us some insight. Heres what she had to say.

 

To see more of Alex's thoughts on legal issues affecting nurse practitioners, check out MyMidlevelU's video content. Simply create a login and click 'eCourses'. 

 

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