Every year, over 16,000 complaints are received by the Texas Board of Nursing, however, not all complaints result in disciplinary action or an investigation. Many of the complaints received either are not violations of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) or sufficient information about the nurse’s identity is not available. Of course, a portion of the 16,000 complaints are valid and it is important to understand what the Texas Board of Nursing disciplinary process is.
The BON is responsible for notifying the nurse of the allegations against him or her. In return, the nurse is responsible for responding to the allegation and proving that they are not in violation of the NPA act. Then evidence is gathered and reviewed by the board. In some cases, the evidence warrants the case to be closed the complaint and evidence will be removed at the appropriate time.
In other cases, it may be determined that a sanction against the nurse is necessary based on the investigation findings and evidence. The type of sanction that a nurse can face may include: remedial education, paying a fine, warning, reprimand, suspension of license, probation and revocation of nursing license.
The average time of an investigation can vary between 5-12 months.
Informal Settlement Process
The informal settlement process involves proposed agreed orders containing the investigative findings, conclusions of law, sanction, and stipulated requirements necessary to ensure that the nurse is not a threat to patients.
Once a nurse agrees with the proposed order, then the nurse needs to get the order notarized and return it to the Texas BON. Even though the majority of proposed orders are accepted, the board reserves the right to reject or modify any order that they do not agree with.
If the nurse does not agree with the proposed order, then the nurse can submit her/her suggestions to the board for review. There are also circumstances that require the nurse to attend the informal conference at the Texas BON in Austin.
Formal Settlement Process
If the BON is not able to come to an agreement in the informal settlement process or are unable to reach the nurse during the process; the board can file formal charges that would request the nurse to respond in writing. If you have not already done so, at this point it is sensible to consult an experienced Texas nurse attorney who can best guide you on how to respond to the BON and prepare for your case. If is also important to note that if you fail to respond in writing with answers to the BON, they do reserve the right to revoke your nursing license by default.
Consult a Texas Nurse Attorney Today to Protect Your Nursing License
Questions about the Texas Board of Nursing disciplinary process? Contact The Law Office of Yong J. An for a confidential consultation by calling or texting 24/7 at (832) 428-5679 and ask for attorney Yong.