If you are a RN and have received a letter, phone call, email or if an BRN investigator from DCA shows up on your door step, know that you will not have the option to decline participation in the interview. That is NOT to say that you are not still entitled to representation, and with the new rules being imposed by the BRN, it is more critical than ever that you are represented at a BRN Investigation Interview. This is a brand-new development that we just became aware of. According to certain Deputy Attorney Generals and BRN Investigators, if a nurse declines a request for a BRN investigation interview, that RN can now be subpoenaed.
STATEMENTS ARE REQUIRED- BE CAREFUL
This is a big deal. This means that you MUST meet with the investigator and you must give a statement. I cannot tell you how many clients we have defended at the Accusation stage when their RN Licenses were in jeopardy of being revoked because they made statements they shouldn’t have during a BRN investigation interview. I can also tell you that we have represented just as many clients at the investigation stage who were exonerated and the case dismissed by the BRN without further disciplinary action.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that just because you have to participate in the interview and are required to cooperate with a BRN investigation that you must make statements that incriminate yourself. You are still entitled to decline to respond. You are still entitled to decline to answer, and very often you should do exactly that. Remember the Miranda Rights? “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney…” You will never be Mirandized by a BRN investigator, but you certainly can still invoke the rights.
This will be most important and applicable for nurses who are being investigated for allegations of Diversion of Medication by their employer, especially if you did in fact, divert. We do not want you admitting to diversion, because at that point you have also admitted to committing a crime. If you are within the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, your statement to the BRN can be used against you and you can be charged with a felony.
There is a great deal of information on this blog regarding investigation interviews and what to expect and there is a great deal of information regarding diversion or allegations of diversion. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the process.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO- FREE ADVICE
The best advice I can give you if you have received a request for a BRN investigation interview is to get an attorney on board as soon as possible, and whatever you do, do not participate in the interview itself without one. I used to tell my clients that it was about 1000 times better to decline the interview itself than it was to go without an attorney, but that is no longer a viable option for nurses. If you’ve received contact from a BRN investigator, please give me a call. We can determine some additional details regarding the complaint, explain the process and what you can expect and offer you expert representation at the interview itself. You may have to defer that trip to Cabo, but you will not have to mortgage your house to defend yourself. We understand what it means to you to be a nurse and how passionate you are about your career. That is why we have made it our career to passionately defend yours.