If you are a nursing student or are considering nursing school, but have a criminal record, diagnosis of mental illness, or chemical dependency, your ability to obtain a nursing license from the Texas Board of Nursing might be in jeopardy. What is the best course of action, and will hiring an attorney help?
In many cases, an experienced professional license defense attorney can give advice as to whether the Board of Nursing is likely to issue a nursing license. In many cases, the license will be issued with restrictions. For example, undergoing drug screenings, attending recovery program meetings, being supervised, and receiving a provisional license for a specified term, are some of the restrictions that may be imposed. An attorney can help to negotiate the terms of any restrictions that are not unduly restrictive. The Board of Nursing may try to impose terms that the nurse finds unpalatable, but having an experienced attorney at your side could lead to better results for your career.
The Texas Nursing Practice Act contains a list of the serious criminal offenses that will cause refusal to issue a license. Minor offenses, such as those that are not felonies, should not cause refusal to issue a license. Rather, a probationary license that carries with it specified practice restrictions is the more likely outcome. In that case, an experienced attorney can help minimize the severity and/or duration of the restrictions.
In the case of a prospective nurse who is attending or considering nursing school, a Petition for Declaratory Order of Eligibility for Licensure may be filed in advance of applying for a license. This procedure allows the Board of Nursing to assess an individual’s eligibility for a license based on information provided by the individual as to their history and current fitness to practice. Since a decision proposing to find the individual ineligible for licensure can result in an administrative hearing or even an appeal, it is advisable for an experienced attorney to be involved at the beginning of the petition process.
When your professional career is on the line, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Texas professional license defense attorney for advice and assistance in navigating the declaratory order process. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for a consultation today.