In order to practice as a nurse, all graduates must apply to the South Carolina Board of Nursing. The board needs all applicants to pass the US exams for licensure within three years of graduation from a recognized program. Applicants from other US states are screened for any pending disciplinary or malpractice cases. Applicants who speak English as a second language are required to prove proficiency in English also. Once licensed, all nurses are expected to act in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards demonstrating at all times the competency to execute the duties of providing health care to those entrusted to their care. If these standards of professional and ethical care are not met, the board can take disciplinary actions. If you are a licensed nurse practicing in Columbia, South Carolina, and if a complaint has been filed against you, it is important that you speak to a nursing license defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Anyone affected by the nurse in any way can complain. This can be a patient, a caregiver of a patient or even colleagues. There are twenty-six grounds for discipline-specific to nursing practice and twelve that apply to all licensed professionals.
If you have received notification that a complaint has been filed against you or that the South Carolina Board of Nursing is taking action against you, you need to speak to a nursing license defense attorney immediately. Remember, failure to take action or any delay in outlining a defense strategy can result in a license suspension or license revocation. You do not want to take any risks as you don’t want to let your years of hard work and effort go in vain. Talk to a nursing license defense lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing any disciplinary action or any charges from the Board.
Possible sanctions depend on the nature, extent, and history of the violation. These include public or civil reprimand. This requires the defendant to undergo further training or courses, imposing specific restrictions at site of work, suspension or revocation of license. The disciplinary action can affect the multistate status of a nurse’s license under the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. Depending on the violation there can be criminal charges as well. Talk to a nursing license defense lawyer immediately.
The disciplinary process with the South Carolina Board of Nursing begins with a complaint. Anyone can file a complaint against a nurse. This could include a patient, a member of the patient’s family, a supervisor, or a fellow nurse. In fact, nurses, nurse supervisors, and nurse employers have a legal duty to report violations to the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
How to respond to a complaint against you?
In responding to a complaint, due process applies. This means you should be notified on time. You can present your side of the case and any evidence to support your statement. Another right involves questioning and cross-examining the complainant. You have the right to use legal counsel throughout the complaint proceeding. While some people think they can handle the Board on their own, the fact is that most professionals are unaware of the legal technicalities of defending their license. They might know a great deal about their profession, but when it comes to dealing with the Board, presenting your side of the story and defending yourself in front of people who will eventually decide your fate, it is best to consult a nursing license defense lawyer.
Experience has shown that proceedings with the board can be long and frustrating. Using an experienced nursing license defense lawyer early in the complaint process can greatly benefit. For example, administering an incorrect dose of a drug constitutes a violation but proving that it was not wilful will change the nature of the violation. On the other hand, a complainant who presents evidence to support that this error as a pattern, the violation will stand. A second example is that of a nurse that delayed care to a patient. The nurse can prove it was a busy time of the day. In this argument, the nurse prioritizes patients based on their medical condition. Instead of a violation, this can prove exercising discretion and skillful practice of nursing care. On the other hand, falling asleep at your desk and neglecting a patient’s care is a violation. In this scenario, the nurse can expect a penalty to the full extent of the law. Call our nursing license defense lawyer at Kendrick & Leonard, and they will be happy to assist you.