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texas nursing license review, professional license lawyerLearning that you are the subject of an investigation from the Texas nursing board can be a frightening experience, but knowing what to expect, and how to best approach the situation can help to ease your stress and worry. The following information can provide you with the knowledge and power you need to navigate an investigation effectively and help you better understand the investigation process. In turn, this can help you to protect your nursing license

The Investigation Process

Generally, nurses are given notice that they have received a complaint, but if the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) determines that such notification would jeopardize the investigation, you may not know that an investigation is taking place until it has actually begun. Either way, it is critical that you contact a skilled nursing license defense attorney the moment you realize that you are under investigation. This ensures that contact with the Board is handled by a legal professional that is skilled in the legal process, and it increases your chances at a favorable outcome in your case.  

The Texas Board of Nursing, who handles the complaint investigation process, will give you time to provide an initial response to the allegations against you. Your attorney can help you craft a professional response and ensure you meet the deadline. In the following days or weeks, a request for more information will be made. Again, your attorney can help you in submitting this information while ensuring, at every turn, that your best interest is protected. Furthermore, your attorney will handle calls from the Board and attempt to head off possible drop-in visits at your place of employment. In short, your attorney will protect you in every way possible, minimizing the intrusion in your day-to-day life, and the stress that can ultimately result.

When Investigation Processes Are Taken Further

If the Board finds enough information and evidence to take further action against you, an Order of the Board will be made, and you may be referred for an Informal Settlement Process. Depending on the outcome, your license could be suspended or revoked. Alternatively, you may receive a warning, reprimand, or probation. If you have received notification of this process and have not contacted an attorney by this time, then it is absolutely imperative that you do so now, and without any further hesitation. It may be possible to gather evidence that shows you did not violate the Nursing Practicing Act, but even in circumstances where this is not possible, an attorney can still ensure that your rights are protected, work to mitigate any potential consequences.

Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, has more than 20 years of medical-legal experience. Knowledgeable and highly skilled in the investigation and disciplinary process of the Texas Board of Nursing, he can protect your rights, and your best interest, every step of the way. Prepared to take swift, aggressive, and immediate action on your behalf, he offers comprehensive services to nurses throughout Texas. Call 512-228-7946 and schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced Texas nursing license defense lawyer today.

Source:

https://www.bon.texas.gov/discipline_and_complaints_what_happens_when_a_complaint_gets_filed.asp

nurses sanctioned in Texas, Austin nursing license lawyerThe Texas Board of Nursing (BON) is responsible for licensing and disciplining nurses in the state. The nursing profession has seen a marked increase in the number of BON disciplinary actions in recent years. Texas nurses should understand why that is happening, how to avoid a disciplinary action, and what to do if an action is initiated.

According to an investigation, the number of complaints filed against nurses skyrocketed from 2,378 in 2003 to 9,411 in 2014. The number of license revocations increased from 150 in 2003 to 259 in 2014, and the number of sanctions imposed against nurses increased from 940 to 1,766 during that time period. While license revocations and sanctions rose by 85 percent during those years, the number of licensed nurses rose by only 55 percent.

The majority of sanctions imposed as a result of criminal activity were imposed for drug or alcohol-related offenses such as DWI and prescription drug theft. This should be a red flag for nurses. In the last decade, the BON has required fingerprints to be provided during the license renewal process. Prior to that, nurses had to report criminal activity to the BON.

The rise in sanctions and license revocations should put nurses on notice that the BON will take a hard stance against nurses who commit crimes or violate the Nursing Practice Act or BON rules. Any nurse who is contacted by the BON regarding criminal activity or a possible law or rules violation should contact an attorney immediately to discuss the discipline process and review all options.

If you have been contacted by the Texas Board of Nursing about a complaint and are facing disciplinary action, you need a skilled Texas nursing license defense attorney by your side to protect your interests. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for the best chance at a positive outcome in your case. Call 512-949-5061 to schedule a consultation.

Texas Medical Board remedial planSeveral years ago, the Texas legislature added a method for the Texas Medical Board to resolve some complaints against physicians in a non-disciplinary manner. Under this provision, a remedial plan may be used in lieu of other available measures for resolving complaints.

Before enactment of the remedial plan provision, the Texas Medical Board could dismiss a complaint or impose disciplinary sanctions against the physician. By contrast, a remedial plan is a settlement agreement that sets forth corrective measures and is considered to be non-disciplinary. It is typically used for minor violations, such as administrative violations of the Medical Practice Act or Texas Medical Board rules.

Under the Texas Medical Board rules, a remedial plan is used only in cases of minor violations. It cannot be used in cases involving the death of a patient, the commission of a felony, or inappropriate sexual behavior or conduct or financial involvement with a patient. A physician may agree to a remedial plan only once, and a remedial plan carries a $500 administrative fee.

The main benefits of the remedial plan option are that it is considered non-disciplinary, is not reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, and does not require an admission of guilt. However, it is still a public order, and can give the impression of wrongdoing even if it resulted from a minor administrative violation that did not pose a risk to public health.

There is also the possibility that it may be offered by counsel for the Texas Medical Board even when there has been no wrongdoing. Thus, it is important for a physician to approach a remedial plan with the assistance of an experienced professional license attorney. Before you face the Texas Medical Board as the result of a complaint or consider agreeing to a remedial plan, you should contact an experienced Texas professional license defense attorney to determine your best course of action. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, at the first sign of trouble.

incident-based peer reviewEvery nurse works hard to earn and maintain a state license to practice nursing, and should be aware of the various disciplinary measures and procedures that can be used when patient care is in question. Peer review for nurses is a mechanism for evaluating the services being provided by a nurse, the nurse’s qualifications, the quality of care delivered to patients, and the validity of a complaint. Peer review can be conducted at the request of the nurse (“Safe Harbor peer review”) or commenced by the facility (“Incident-based peer review”).

Incident-based peer review is used to determine whether a nurse’s conduct should be reported to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Nursing peer review procedures must contain certain due process and good faith requirements. Due process requirements must include, at a minimum:

  • Notification of the date the peer review committee will meet at least 21 days but not later than 45 days from the date the notice is given;
  • Receipt of a copy of the facility’s peer review policy;
  • Receipt of information about the event being evaluated;
  • Information about where to send a response;
  • The ability to review pertinent documents at least 15 days before appearing before the committee;
  • The opportunity to appear before the committee, including making a statement, call and question witnesses, and ask and answer questions;
  • Completion by the peer review committee within 14 days of the hearing;
  • Receipt of written notification of the committee’s conclusions within 10 days of completion; and
  • The opportunity, within 10 days of notification, to rebut the committee’s findings in writing.

The peer review committee must report to the BON if it believes in good faith that the nurse has violated the rules subject to reporting under the Nursing Practice Act. These rules include standards of practice and unprofessional conduct. If the event qualifies as a minor incident, it may not be reportable to the BON unless the nurse:

  • Ignored a significant risk of harm to the patient;
  • Was not conscientious or accountable in his or her practice;
  • Was not knowledgeable or competent to act appropriately; or
  • Constitutes a pattern of repeated minor incidents that, if allowed to continue, could harm patients.

Nurses should be aware that a nursing peer review committee cannot take actions relating to a nurse’s employment or discipline. The facility may, however, take the committee’s decision into account in making employment or disciplinary decisions.

Any nurse who is notified of an event giving rise to the peer review process should immediately contact an attorney for assistance in preparing for and attending the peer review hearing. Having an experienced Texas professional license defense attorney on your side could make all the difference in continuing in your job and livelihood. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for a consultation today.

psychologist fingerprint requirementThe Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (the Board) has announced that, beginning with license renewals in January 2015, it will require a fingerprint criminal history check in connection with renewals of license applicants before October 2007 but who did not go through such a check when they applied.

This requirement is one time only and will be introduced gradually beginning with January 2015 license renewals. About one-quarter of licensees who are eligible for the required check must submit a fingerprint criminal history check during calendar year 2015. The remainder will have to comply with the fingerprint criminal history check during the following three calendar years.

The Board will notify licensees that they must submit the fingerprint criminal history check before their license renewal date. Under Board rules, the Board must receive the fingerprint criminal history check by the designated renewal date. If it is not received on time, the Board will not renew the license. It is therefore critical to comply with the requirement by the renewal due date or face nonrenewal of a license to practice psychology in the State of Texas.

Fingerprint criminal history checks are currently a normal part of the licensing process, and new applicants are required to obtain a fingerprint criminal record check using the Fingerprint Applicant Service of Texas (FAST). Presumably the licensees who are required to complete the fingerprint criminal history check as part of the renewal process will be directed to use the FAST program for submitting fingerprints, although that hasn’t been specified. The Board has stated that instructions for completing the fingerprint criminal history check will be included in directions mailed to the licensees prior to their renewal dates.

If you have any concerns about submitting to a fingerprint criminal history check as part of your psychology license renewal, you need the help of an experienced Texas professional license defense attorney to protect your practice. Contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, as soon as possible for the best outcome.

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Austin, Texas Professional License Defense Attorney Oscar San Miguel represents clients who are located in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Amarillo, Lubbock, Brownsville, Laredo, Harlingen, McAllen, Round Rock, Longview, Travis County, Harris County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Bexar County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Cameron County, Nueces County, El Paso County, Potter County, Lubbock County, Grayson County, Collin County and throughout Texas.
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