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What Happens When A Complaint is Filed Against a Nurse in Texas?

Texas medical license defense attorneyThe Texas Board of Nursing (BON) enforces the Texas Nursing Practice Act and its Rules and Regulations by setting minimum standards for nursing practice and education in Texas. The BON receives more than 16,000 complaints each year. When it has jurisdiction, the Board conducts investigations of allegations against nurses and adjudicates complaints.

When the BON receives a complaint against a nurse in Texas it first reviews the complaint to determine if:

  • A violation occurred.
  • Whether the BON has jurisdiction.
  • The complaint should be referred to another agency.
  • The complaint should be referred to the Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (TPAPN) if the complaint is related to substance use or mental health.
  • An investigation should be opened, and evidence collected.

When an investigation is opened against a Texas nurse the BON provides due process to the nurse, giving him or her notice of the investigation and allegations, the opportunity to respond to the alleged conduct and to show compliance with the Texas Nursing Practice Act.

The majority of investigations are conducted through the mail or over-the-phone, though it can be conducted on-site. It is important to mount a strong defense against allegations of misconduct even during phone interviews and in written correspondence. We encourage you to consult with an experienced BON license defense attorney as soon as you are notified of a complaint pending against your nursing license. Having an attorney review the allegations of misconduct from the start helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.

Once all relevant evidence is obtained it is reviewed by the investigations team to determine if a violation of the Nursing Practice Act has occurred. At this stage, the case is either closed, the BON files formal charges, or the BON offers a proposed Agreed Order which may include sanctions such as remedial education, fines, reprimand, or license suspension, probation, or revocation. It is up to the nurse to decide whether to accept or reject an Agreed Order from the BON.

If the nurse does not agree to the contents of the proposed Order, he or she may suggest revisions for the Board's consideration, or in some cases, be invited to attend an informal settlement conference. In instances where the informal settlement process fails, the case will proceed to a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

You can review the BON Investigation & Disciplinary Process flow chart here. Know that during all stages of the BON investigation process you have the right to be represented by an attorney. Hiring an attorney to help you mount a strong defense serves to protect your license, reputation, financial interests, and your career; it does not make you look guilty.

Complaints Filed Against Nurses with the Texas Board of Nursing

You have worked for years to become a licensed nurse in Texas. If you are under investigation by the Texas BON, your license, reputation, and career are on the line. It's critically important that you take the complaint seriously from the start and address the allegations head-on.

If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Board of Nursing, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced BON license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate BON's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.

For more information, please review The Do's and Don'ts of Appearing Before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) and our FREE eBook When Your License is Under Attack: A Survival Guide for Texas Professionals.

Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.

BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (800) 210-0126 and schedule a case evaluation.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our law firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

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