Reinstatement of license after voluntary surrender?

  1. I'm an RN in Texas and I "voluntarily surrendered" my license due to an incident, with the possibility of applying for reinstate after 1 year. Well, one year has passed, and I'm trying to get my license reinstated, but I have no clue what I'm doing and the BON website is very confusing and not very helpful. Can someone help me out? Has anyone gone through the same thing? I'd appreciate any help I can get!
  2. Poll: Should I lawyer up?

    • Yes

      95.83% 23
    • No

      4.17% 1
    24 Votes
  3. Visit paulschwinn profile page

    About paulschwinn

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 30; Likes: 8


  4. by   jackstem
    Without knowing the reason(s) behind your decision to "surrender" your license (surrendering can be considered a permanent action by some boards of nursing as opposed to placing your license on inactive status) it's difficult to determine how much difficulty (i.e. "hoops" you'l have to jump through) in order to reinstate your license. If the reason for surrendering was due to something that potentially violates the Nurse Practice Act (NPA), you could be required to sign a consent agreement with specifications required for obtaining a full and hopefully unencumbered license. The practice of nursing, medicine, pharmacy, law, etc. are all determined by specific rules and regulations. Actions against licensure are determined by the laws of the state where the NPA is in force. Every state legislates their own NPA which means some things which are permitted for nurses in one state may not be permitted in another. An administrative law attorney with EXPERIENCE before the Texas BON is the expert in interpreting, counseling, and advising you on the subtleties of the Texas NPA. When your future abilities to practice nursing are at stake, I would seek the counsel of an experienced administrative law attorney. You can find the names of license defense attorneys in Texas by going to the American Association of Nurse Attorneys referral page. Just type in "TX" in the state code box to get all the TAANA members listed. You do not have to live in the same city as the attorney to get effective representation. I work with a license defense attorney representing nurses in three states. 80 - 90% of the work necessary for effective representation can be done by mail, email, phone, Skype, and online meetings (like go to meeting).

    One of the most important things to remember when working with an attorney is to be completely honest with them about your situation. Trying to keep some information "private" because of embarrassment, shame, whatever, makes it difficult (if not impossible) to obtain effective representation. Their job is to defend you to the best of their ability within the boundaries of the law, protecting your rights under the law. They can't do that if they don't have all your information.

    When you weigh the cost of retaining an attorney with the potential income over your career, it doesn't seem quite as costly. There are those who will (and have) disagreed with me about retaining an attorney, but I have seen far too many nurses end up with permanent restrictions on their license which most likely wouldn't have been there had they retained a defense attorney before the "defecation hit the ventilation", not after.

    Good luck! Let us know how things proceed.

  5. by   backtowork
    Can't really add anything to Jack's wisdom except dealing with board proceedings without a lawyer, for me, would be like rewiring my house while wearing wet socks. I would just be counting on the kindness and understanding of the electricity, which I totally do not understand, to not harm me. Follow all the advice that says to hire an mean lawyer. Wishing you smooth sailing ahead..better days are coming.
  6. by   paulschwinn
    thanks jack! that was super helpful!
  7. by   jackstem
    Anytime! Glad it was useful. I also sent you a private message with some additional information. Hope that's useful as well.

    Keep us posted.

  8. by   mona1023
    Jackstem, do you think that someone should retain an attorney if asking to have probation lifted? Is it worth the expense of an attorney even if the licensee was completely compliant during the monitoring period?
  9. by   jackstem
    Quote from mona1023
    Jackstem, do you think that someone should retain an attorney if asking to have probation lifted? Is it worth the expense of an attorney even if the licensee was completely compliant during the monitoring period?
    It depends on the complexity of your case, how long your remaining probation is, the board of nursing you're dealing with, how well (meaning how compliant) you're doing up to this point, what the Nurse Practice Act and other administrative laws in your state say about the topic, etc. In states in which the board of nursing is very strict or "random" in their decisions, it might be a good thing to consult an attorney. Some states have very specific guidelines for requesting early termination of probation, and many consent agreements spell out when and how to request early termination of probation, in which case an attorney may not be needed. Hard to say without all of that information.

    As far as the "worth" of consulting an attorney for licensure cases? A general rule of thumb I use is to compare the cost of consultation or representation (not the same things) versus the potential money lost over the remainder of your career if you make a mistake while representing yourself (which is what you're doing if you don't retain an attorney). A consultation may cost several hundred dollars while retaing an attorney could run several thousand dollars. But if you're earning potential is $40k+ per year for another 10 - 20+ can see where I'm going. Just as having a medical procedure is about risk vs benefit, so is the decision to have legal representation vs representing yourself.

    I see nurses represent themselves with a great outcome. I also see nurses represent themselves end up with permanent restrictions that limit their ability to find employment. Restrictions that were not levied against other nurses because their attorney knew they were excessive and legally inappropriate and negotiated with the board of nursing's attorneys to have the restrictions removed. Remember, boards of nursing must follow the law and have lawyers advising them (these lawyers are called state Attorneys General). I think the nurse deserves the same thing. Unfortunately, only criminal defendants receive a public defender if they can't afford an attorney. Everyone else must pay for representation.

    Long answer for a short question.

    Good luck!

  10. by   jackstem
    paulschwinn...I tried to send you a private message but was unable to do so. It said you have chosen not to receive private messages or are unable to do so. Interesting since I sent you some in the past. Anyway...I think you're on the right track.Keep heading in the direction you're going and take things one day at a time.

    Keep us posted.