It IS scary, and at the time it all occurred, I also had no idea what a "letter of admonition" was either! I am now quite WELL aware of what it is, and how much power it holds. I don't know if every state has this form of license discipline, but here in Colorado, it is alive & kicking! When employers look at an application for employment, they see that I have a discipline against my license, and they toss the app in the trash and move on to the next applicant. They have no time nor interest in finding out what it was about.
A letter of admonition is a discipline against your license, where they do not suspend your license or your right to practice as an RN, but it is a "slap on the wrist" telling you "you were a bad girl, and don't you ever do that again!" I told the investigator at the time, I did not realize I was responsible to report to the board, things which occurred while I was on my own time and that had nothing at all to do with Nursing or my career, her response to me was, "We expect our Nurses to live their lives at a higher moral standard than the average citizen, and remove themselves from any situation which could potentially become a moral problem." I told her I was camping. I had rode with my friends to the camp area, I did not have a way to leave there, even if I had wanted to, and I asked her what she thought I should have done. Her response to me then was, "Walk away from the situation, just leave." I said, "just walk away from our camp, in the pouring rain, into the dark night (this occurred at 11:30pm!) alone, just to not be a part of this campfire?? really?" She said, "Yes."
I appreciate all of the input and your suggestions. I had wondered about contacting a lawyer, but wondered if I had any case, and honestly, I had no idea there were attorneys who are specifically for nurses! I again, appreciate the advice and will begin the process immediately.
Thank you all for taking the time to read and respond to me!