Every complaint made against Texas nurses is reviewed by the Texas Board of Nursing. At times this Board will offer an Agreed Order, which sets forth particular sanctions against a nurse.
The Agreed Order is explicitly designed to describe the type of discipline to which a nurse who accepts it will be subjected. This includes any requirements the nurse under consideration will need to complete, such as any sort of remedial education, or a set term of license probation or suspension, or some other form of disciplinary action.
Accepting the Agreed Order may put an end to the complaint, and conclude the investigation. But the question becomes: Is that necessarily a good thing, considering the facts of the case and the relative severity of discipline offered in order for something a nurse did not, in fact, do?
Every case is different. Some may find the answer to the above question from their perspective to be an obvious yes, for any variety of reasons. Indeed, it is the case for a significant portion of the population that having a complaint investigation hanging overhead is onerous enough—given all the uncertainty it embodies—that resolving the case by any means possible is preferable to letting it linger. This is a response the Board of Nursing is relying on, because it’s the option that utilizes the fewest of its organizational resources. The Board tends to default to a punishment of the licensee over the alternative.
A nurse should not be forced to absorb the BON’s desire to do as little as possible to find the truth of a complaint by paying for it with her livelihood. An Agreed Order becomes part of a nurse’s permanent license record, which has effects on present and future employment prospects.
And it must be said: If a nurse signs an Agreed Order, they must fulfill the responsibilities found in it. If they fail to do so, the Board is likely to open a noncompliance investigation, which is likely in turn to subject the nurse to further discipline—including possible license revocation.
That’s why it’s a good thing that nurses have the option to defend their licenses.
Any nurse learning they are the subject of a complaint against their license should contact us immediately. Our law firm helps professionals keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack. Our experienced professional license defense attorneys have successfully helped clients resolve a wide range of complicated legal matters involving professional license defense. We know how to navigate the complaint process, gather evidence, question witnesses, and prepare powerful defenses against allegations of misconduct.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your professional license and reputation.