I don’t remember looking for anything exactly, but was surfing the web and came across a slide show regarding RN license protection. One of the main points it made was that the state regulatory boards for Nursing often prefer nurses to not have professional legal representation when dealing with them. The slide show went on to say that when a nurse has been reported to their states Nursing Regulatory Board, it is usually because some sort of error or perceived error was made by the nurse under investigation and that nurses, by their nature, are honest and will admit they committed an error and feel that since they are being honest they do not need to have any legal representation. According to the author, that is the first mistake they make, because they then are at the mercy of the regulatory board and have to abide by whatever conditions or punishments are meted out in order to retain their license and livelihood. Nurses are nurses, not lawyers and not trained or experienced in the laws pertaining to them to the degree an attorney is and just as attorneys do not provide bedside nursing care, a nurse is handicapping themselves if they have the ability to have legal representation when appearing before the Regulatory Board and do not do so.
Shortly after reading this I came across another website for RN Guardian and spent some time there reading it.
It was addressing the exact point that the slide show had made. That for license protection legal professionals should be used. I found the idea of it and low cost of it a “No Brainer”, and signed up immediately.
If you have malpractice insurance, there is sometimes a license defense part of it, but it is usually only reimbursable with a financial limit that could run out very quickly. To me the idea of having legal representation for a low cost is one less thing to have in the back of my mind when at work.
In late 2008, I was contacted by an investigator, on behalf of the Board of Registered Nursing, who informed me that I was being investigated for an incident that had occurred at work almost a year prior and wanted me to sign a release of my personnel file for my employer so she could review it. When I asked what the incident was, I was told that she could not tell me any other information but want to set up a meeting to interview me regarding it. I responded by asking her to send me something in writing regarding this and that until I talked to my legal representation I would not be able to meet with her. She then set a time to call me back after I had spoken with RN Guardian. Thank goodness I did, because I was feeling like one of the nurses mentioned in the slideshow I had found on the web. I was an honest person and had nothing to hide, so what could be the harm in meeting with her and responding to any questions she had.
Nursing is my profession and livelihood, and I knew that anything that could jeopardize that could be a major problem since so much of my life, mortgage, car payment, bills, gas, etc. depended on that income. I immediately called RN Guardian and spoke with one of the staff attorneys who advised me to decline the invitation to meet with the investigator and to not sign the release of my personnel file. He went on to mention that often, the decision of what the Board is going to do is going to happen anyway and that Nurses are often in a better position to appeal any decision rather than to meet with an experienced investigator who might get the nurse to offer to much information and use it against them later. He then told me to let the investigator know that if she had any further questions they could be directed to RN Guardian. What a stress relief!
When I spoke late with the investigator and told her of my decision to decline the interview, she told me that it was simply an interview to get my side of the story, I declined anyway.
It is now 2010. To date, I have not heard whether or not the investigation is still pending or if the matter was resolved. I was never formally informed by the Board of Registered Nursing and have been working in the Nursing field ever since the “incident”, whatever it was, and continue to work as a Registered Nurse. I will admit it is stressful to not know what is happening, but it would have been much, much more stressful to have gone through this alone, without the legal representation that RN Guardian has provided for me.