Should I Hire a Nursing License Lawyer if I am Under Investigation by the Minnesota Board of Nursing?
By Melissa Heinlein, Esq.
I can't tell you how many times I have been asked this question by prospective clients who call for a consultation after they have been notified by the Minnesota Board of Nursing that their nursing license is under investigation. When you receive allegations from your licensing board, it can be scary, confusing, stressful and create feelings of uncertainty about your future, both professionally and financially. Hiring an attorney costs money, so it is absolutely natural to wonder if hiring a lawyer is really necessary or worth it. And also, whether hiring an attorney will make you look "guilty" before your board.
We have represented more than 100 professionals just like you
At Lord + Heinlein we have represented over 100 licensed professionals before their licensing boards, including the Minnesota Board of Psychology, the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the Minnesota Board of Social Work and the Minnesota Board of Nursing, to name a few. It has been my overwhelming experience from all Minnesota state licensing boards that they strongly prefer when licensees are represented by a lawyer. Not only does this assure your board that you understand the process and your rights, but it helps the entire process go smoothly and guarantees to your board that your full side of the story as it relates to the allegations against you is conveyed to them.
The licensing boards are complaint driven. Although it can sometimes feel that you have been targeted by your board, it is only when your licensing board receives a complaint against your practice from a third party (often an employer), that they will open an investigation. And, if a complaint is received, your board is required by law to investigate. Similarly,you are required by law to cooperate with any investigation conducted against you.
We can help you through an investigation by the Minnesota Board of Nursing
A Board investigation may include being served with written allegations, being called for a hearing or conference before your board and sometimes appearing for an in-person interview with an Investigator from the office of the Attorney General. Just as your board will have a lawyer (an Assistant Attorney General) representing its interests during all phases of the investigation, you also have the right to have an attorney assist you with all phases of the investigation. This includes providing a written response to allegations or attending a conference or interview with you. You might be unsure what to say in your response or interview, how much to say, or how to say it; this is where your lawyer will help you.
Hiring an attorney to represent you if your license is under investigation is not an admission of guilt. It is your right to have an attorney represent you through an investigation by your licensing board. The investigation process is complicated, confusing and can be extremely stressful. With your livelihood at risk, it is a good idea to have a trusted confidant and partner who can help guide you through each step of the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
You don't need to do this alone
In all my experience representing nurses, psychologists, chiropractors and other licensed professionals before their licensing boards, I have never once had a client tell me that they regretted their decision to retain a lawyer to assist them. The number one piece of feedback that I hear from my clients is that I made the process manageable for them by clearly explaining each step of the process and outlining step-by-step tasks that they needed to accomplish along the way. Most importantly, they tell me that I relieved them of the stress of having to go it alone.
If you are in need of an attorney to assist you with an investigation into your practice by the Minnesota Board of Nursing or other Minnesota state licensing board or agency we would be pleased to assist you. We have a deep respect for the work you do, and are passionate about getting you the positive outcome you deserve. At Lord + Heinlein, we are your powerful legal voice.