Today I met with my attorney, which somewhat eased the anxiety of the whole situation, but then got me a little fearful again because he said, "I have to admit, this is my first time defending this many misdemeanors, but I am excited to see how the BON decides to handle this".
What do you mean you're excited?!? Nonetheless, he did clarify the whole process to me.
So the meeting on the 16th of July is not my "Trial by Fire" (as I like to now call it). It's actually called an "interdisciplinary hearing" or just an IDP. This would be like the interrogation phase of an investigation. I will be in a conference room with 2 nurse investigators, some guy whose duty is to make sure that the questions and answers are in compliance.... I don't know... something like that, the BON's attorney, and my attorney. They will ask me questions regarding the situation and how it came to be. What I did to try to fix the situation, etc, etc. My attorney basically said that this is where they're going to scrutinize me and my character and decide whether this incident was indicative of my character and what type of threat that poses to the safety of my future patients (if I get any), or decide if this incident was an aberrant lapse in my judgement. From this interrogation phase, several things can happen:
- These two women can make the decision themselves to allow me to take the NCLEX without any further punishment/reprimand (on my application to test-- the license thing is a whole other situation that I just learned about today too).
- These two women can make the decision to allow me to take the NCLEX, after a reprimand/punishment (the attorney said it is usually a $500 fee), or after I take some sort of class that they feel would make me a safer nurse. I'm not sure what class I could possibly take? Maybe an accounting course? My checkbook was actually balanced-- I just didn't realize that additional money was being withdrawn.... I don't know.
- These two women can decide that this is a decision that they can not make on their own and will put it before the entire committee at a hearing-- at a later date-- I learned this later date would be the last week of July.
Whatever decision is made, I still won't be able to do anything until the beginning of August, because just like at the hospital, these ladies will write an order describing the decision that they've come to, and it has to be processed-- which is a 2 week long ordeal. So even if they say I can take the NCLEX-- it's not like I can go home and set a date for it that day-- nope, I have to wait for it to be processed and entered into Pearson Vue. Oh, and if they give me a fine-- I can't pay the fine until I receive the paperwork to pay the fine-- then send it back to them-- then they'll process my application to test.
The best case scenario would be that they let me just take the NCLEX without reprimand. The worst case scenario would be that I would have to appear before the committee.
AND HERE'S THE KICKER: Once I take and pass the NCLEX...... they can repeat this whole process with my license. That would suck. To go through all that, pay attorney fees, pay my punishment fee, take and pass the NCLEX, and then be told that the BON wants to consider
my license to practice as an RN. I'm no lawyer, but isn't that Double Jeopardy? Being charged and punished for the same crime twice? I don't know.
So far my lawyer fees are: $250 for the consult, $750 to attend the IDP with me, and an additional $1000 if my case goes before the entire committee and I need him there- I'm thankful he doesn't charge by the hour....... don't forget that I'll probably get a fine-- of anywhere from $500-$1000 from the BON. So, the rule is: if you want to make bad decisions when you're young and later you want to be a nurse-- start saving up-- it's pricey to prove that you're worthy of being a nurse.
And thank you everyone for the prayers. It really does help!