Where do I begin? I have been following this site for years and it has been a source of both comfort and anxiety. I have been a nurse for over 30 years. I was working as a Nursing Director for a non-profit organization supporting adults with intellectual disabilities. I had worked there for several years but the stress was taking its toll, so I decided to move on to something less stressful. A full two months after I left, I received a letter from the board of nursing stating that there was a complaint against my license.
I was almost physically sick as I read page after page of allegations of neglect, poor judgment, failure to follow nursing standards -the list went on. To be honest I could not believe what I was reading, much less begin to understand where all this was coming from. Many of the complaints were about areas that I was not even responsible for. The letter gave me 10 days to respond to the allegations. My first instinct was to get a lawyer; I let my husband talk me out of it. He was convinced, as I was, that I simply had to respond to the allegations and they would go away. HOW WRONG I WAS!! Foolishly I thought that if I simply explained what really happened the situation would be resolved.
I submitted my carefully crafted response and waited for the board to exonerate me. After four months with no response, I contacted the board to find out what the status of the complaint was. After some transfers, I was informed by the board's lawyer that they were moving forward with disciplinary action. I did not know what to say or do - I was in complete shock. I managed to ask what recourse I would have, I was told that I would be able to request a settlement hearing once I was formally notified of my charges. I immediately contacted a lawyer. BEST MOVE I MADE. She carefully reviewed the information and submitted a letter to the board that all further communication was to come through her. I then sat and waited for nine long months for the formal charges. I prayed, worried, stressed, and cried my way through those months. If it had not have been for the support of my husband I would not have made it through the whole ordeal.
Finally, I received an email outlining the charges - all eleven of them. I was devastated, but once I got myself together I sat down and carefully read them. Charge, after charge I had clear evidence to refute. I contacted my lawyer who had already requested a settlement hearing. I went over the charges and my evidence to refute the charges. She spent two days carefully crafting a response to each allegation and attaching supporting evidence.
The settlement hearing came a month later - I can't explain how I felt looking into the faces of the board members and explaining complaint after complaint. I was an exemplary nurse, who had never had a bad report or performance evaluation and here I was practically begging for my license.
The board had not conducted ANY type of investigation, had not contacted my former employer, requested records, or interviewed me -NOTHING! It took all of 30 minutes and I was dismissed to wait for their decision.
Later that afternoon, I got the best phone call from my lawyer, all charges were dropped - case closed. That's it - it was finally over. Needless to say this has left a bad taste in my mouth. The board could just as easily have taken my livelihood away from me without doing their due diligence. Looking back I am so disappointed in an entity that supposedly is in place to protect the public yet failed to conduct a proper investigation on allegations that turned out be completely false.