Our Experience — Nurse License Defense Before the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the Ohio Board of Nursing

Elder & Good attorneys offer effective nurse license defense before the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the Ohio Board of Nursing. As stated on our Firm Overview page, Chad Elder and Brian Good have combined their experiences and skills as a former Kentucky Medical Board litigation lawyer and a seasoned medical and nursing board defense attorney to provide the highest quality nurse license defense. We have successfully defended nurses from revocation, suspension, probation and restriction of a nurse license in Kentucky and Ohio. If you are a nurse under investigation by the Kentucky Board of Nursing or the Ohio Board of Nursing, Elder & Good lawyers are prepared to defend your nurse license. Moreover, if the Kentucky or Ohio Board of Nursing is attempting to discipline your nurse license through an Agreed Order, Consent Decree or litigation, we can defend you and your nurse license.

Elder & Good attorneys are well equipped to provide effective nurse license defense in Kentucky and Ohio for any disciplinary issue or complaint. The most common nurse disciplinary issues that require our attorneys to engage in nurse license defense before the Kentucky or Ohio Board of Nursing include:

  • Drug diversion issues
  • Drug or alcohol addiction, dependency or abuse
  • Working while impaired due to drugs or alcohol
  • Forging prescriptions for controlled substances
  • Standard of care violations
  • Patient abuse or neglect
  • Acting outside of the scope of nursing practice, including prescribing issues for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (“APRN”) relating to House Bill One.
  • Ignoring or deviating from physician orders
  • Documentation errors or deficiencies (often such errors or deficiencies give the appearance of drug diversion issues)
  • Sexual misconduct or boundary violations, including a sexual relationship or any sexual contact with a patient (whether or not consensual), sexually explicit language or language that can be considered to be a sexual proposition to a patient
  • Sexual misconduct or boundary violations, including inappropriate or unwelcome touching or sexual comments directed at a co-worker
  • Criminal convictions

In addition, our attorneys are available to assist nurses with licensing and application issues before the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the Ohio Board of Nursing. Some examples of licensing and application issues include:

  • Assisting nurses obtain or renew a nursing license despite a criminal conviction, hospital disciplinary history, alcohol or drug abuse, addiction or dependency issue or prior board disciplinary action
  • Assisting nurses obtain reinstatement of a nursing license after suspension or revocation by the Nursing Board or after allowing a license to lapse for a prolonged period of time
  • Assisting nurses obtain modifications of restrictions or limitations placed on their nursing licenses by the Nursing Board as a result of disciplinary action
  • Assisting nurses in having agreed orders and consent decrees terminated

Why Hire an Attorney?

If you are under criminal investigation or charged with a crime, would you represent yourself? If you were the subject of a civil lawsuit, such as a malpractice action, would you represent yourself? A prudent nurse would retain an attorney with experience and expertise in those areas of law.

If your nursing license and livelihood were in jeopardy due to a nursing board investigation or formal nursing board disciplinary action in Kentucky or Ohio, would you represent yourself?

  • Do you have experience in dealing effectively with nursing board investigators and board attorneys?
  • Have you ever negotiated with a nursing board attorney regarding an appropriate outcome of a “Notice of Complaint” filed against you?
  • Do you have experience in knowing a great resolution of a nursing board investigation or action from a poor resolution?
  • Are you familiar with the collateral consequences of certain nursing board agreements, such the impact an agreement could have on your employment or an out of state license or other state license?
  • Do you know the concrete and proactive steps you can take during a nursing board investigation to avoid formal disciplinary action even if the board attorney can prove a violation?
  • Do you have legal experience?
  • Do you know what evidence and documents you are entitled to review relating to a nursing board investigation or action?
  • Do you know how to conduct a formal disciplinary hearing, what evidence is admissible in a hearing, or how to preserve certain errors for appeal to a court of law?

In short, a nursing board investigation or formal nursing board disciplinary proceeding in Kentucky or Ohio can be every bit as complex and adversarial as a criminal action or a civil lawsuit.

If you are a nurse under investigation by the Kentucky Board of Nursing or Ohio Board of nursing, it is imperative for a nurse license attorney to defend your nurse license immediately upon your receipt of a Notice of Complaint. Of course, the same holds true if you are contacted by law enforcement pertaining to a criminal investigation or by government authorities, such as Adult Protective Services (APS).

You should never make any statements to a nursing board investigator, law enforcement officer or other government agent in Kentucky or Ohio without consulting with a nurse defense license attorney. We advise you to respectfully decline a meeting, interview, or telephonic conversation or to provide a written response to an inquiry without retaining a nurse license defense lawyer. When you retain a nurse license defense attorney, the Kentucky or Ohio Nursing Board, law enforcement and government agents investigating you will be advised of your representation and prohibited from contacting and questioning you directly. Should you retain our attorneys to defend your nurse license in Kentucky or Ohio, any questioning or exchange of information will go through us.

While it is tempting for a nurse to believe that he or she can engage Kentucky or Ohio nursing board members in a friendly and professional dialogue to work out any concerns about his or her practice or conduct, the Kentucky and Ohio nursing boards simply do not operate in that manner. If a nurse attempts to contact a nursing board member directly about an issue with his or her nurse license or pending investigation, the inquiry will be diverted to the legal and investigative departments. Moreover, the Kentucky Board of Nursing will often invite a nurse to meet with its investigator and attorney during an investigation to discuss the allegations against the nurse. We recommend that a nurse under board investigation attend such a meeting or have contact with the Kentucky or Ohio Board of Nursing only with and through a nurse license defense attorney.

First, it is important to note that the nurse is subject to questioning by the nursing board investigator or attorney, if present, about any subject. Second, sometimes a nurse will candidly admit an error and steps he or she has taken or will take to avoid the same error, or alternatively, the nurse may innocently or unintentionally characterize the allegation as less serious than the nursing board members of staff view it. Unfortunately, some of these well-intentioned nurses who believed they were providing candid responses to relatively minor infractions complicated their cases. In short, we strongly urge a nurse to retain experienced nursing board defense attorneys at the onset of a nursing board investigation in Kentucky or Ohio to work and speak on their behalf.

When you contact Elder & Good attorneys at the onset of a nursing board investigation in Kentucky or Ohio, we can work to defend your nurse license throughout the entire disciplinary process. We defend a nurse license during board investigations in several ways. We deal directly with nursing board attorneys and investigators, handling all correspondence and communication with them. We also obtain and evaluate the evidence against our nurse clients, assess the strength and weakness of the evidence, collect important documents that may be vital to engaging in nurse license defense and, most importantly, attempt to ward off formal nursing board discipline and litigation by negotiating favorable resolutions during the investigative stage. Often, our attorneys advise nurses to undergo certain evaluations or to take certain nursing board approved classes and courses during the investigative stage that prove critical in warding off a formal board complaint or discipline.

A case will be resolved during a nursing board investigation, or at any other stage, only if the nurse believes it is in his or her best interest after a thorough vetting of the case, during which we weigh the evidence and explore every possible defense.

There are several advantages to resolving a case during the investigative stage before a nursing board attempts to impose discipline. First, demonstrated flaws in the allegations, certain nurse license defenses or mitigating circumstances can sometimes result in the complete dismissal of a Notice of Complaint or in informal Board action that is not reported to the National Practitioner Databank or published in the KBN Connection or Ohio Momentum. Second, nurses can avoid the common costs of reimbursing the nursing board for its costs of successfully prosecuting a case (including reimbursement for expert consultants and compensation for hearing officers). Third, a speedy resolution can facilitate employment opportunities for nurses who cannot obtain employment while under investigation or litigation in Kentucky or Ohio.

While Nursing Board investigations in Ohio remain confidential during the investigation, they are not kept confidential in Kentucky. The Kentucky Board of Nursing uses its website to flag a nurse who is under investigation by placing an “alert” next to his or her name. Potential employers commonly check this website before making hiring decisions. Often, a potential employer will not hire a nurse who is under investigation. As nurses who have been through the process know, nursing board investigations can last for months. Chad Elder and Brian Good work to speed up the process for their nurse clients and resolve their cases favorably so they can move on with their personal and professional lives.

Of course, there are cases that simply cannot be resolved during the nursing board investigation. Moreover, in some instances, a nurse who is the subject of a board investigation fails to retain an attorney until after the nursing board seeks to impose discipline or an emergency restriction or suspension on the nurse license. Elder & Good attorneys are experienced at joining a case in midstream to defend your nurse license before the Kentucky Board of Nursing or the Ohio Board of Nursing.

In order to maximize your nurse license defense in Kentucky or Ohio, you should contact or lawyers immediately upon learning that you are under investigation and especially before you make any statements — verbal or written — to nursing board investigators or law enforcement.

Elder & Good attorneys offer effective nurse license defense before the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the Ohio Board of Nursing. Contact us to learn more.