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How to Manage a Complaint (and Protect Your Nursing License!)

How to Manage a Complaint (and Protect Your Nursing License!)

Don't let a complaint end in license revocation...

Tania Khadder

Did you know that anyone – your employer, a co-worker, a patient, even a jilted lover – can file a complaint against your practice?

Handle it well, and you could turn it into a valuable learning experience. Handle it poorly, and you could lose your license.

NursingLink spoke to a Sheryl Oakes Caddy, a nurse, nursing faculty instructor and an attorney who represents nurses facing possible license suspension and revocation.

She helped us come up with a “must do” list for nurses dealing with a complaint — it’s certainly not an easy situation to find yourself in. “Nurses identify very strongly as nurses,” Caddy says. “So it can be jarring when we’re told we’re not a good nurse.”

But hopefully, with our eight tips, you can overcome a complaint, avoid losing your nursing license and continue to practice for many years to come.

The Board Comes First >>


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    efrost

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    very informative

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    Carolyn05

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I wish I had had this 14 years ago when I went through it. I went through a situation. The BON gave me a Stipulation To Informal Disposition and closed the case 14 years ago. 2 years ago they started publishing nurse licenses on line. Even though the STID specifically states that it is not "formal disciplinary action" the nursing board has a bright red YES beside my name under the column of "action taken on license". Since that time I have had a terrible time finding a job. Even though I have never lied about this- and am happy to present documentation I have been told "they don't want to risk it".. I have called the state (WA) and had my concerns discounted. One man literally told me "No one pays attention to those things now". The only reason I settled for a STID all those years ago is that it took the BON 4 years to resolve the fact I did not give someone 2 APAP when she asked for them. Needless to say I did not have a lawyer at the time- didn't know I needed one then. Of course the internet wasn't available then. I feel like this has destroyed years of hard work. I've thought about moving to another state, but wonder if this will follow and if I will have the same burden? Is there anything I can do now?

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    ccolburn

    over 3 years ago

    1970 comments

    I just went thru a situation with unfortunate circumstances caused me to lose my job,due to carelessness of 2 CNAs I was working with, & the DPR investigated my license which took almost 1 yr to clear. For my Peace of Mind, I did obtain a Good Lawyer ,she helped me to clear my RN License & receive Unemployment..

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    onepowerfullady

    almost 4 years ago

    260 comments

    I am just a student, but have seen complaints filed on a student before and the student was sued! WOW!

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    mathewkiran

    almost 4 years ago

    16 comments

    helpful!!

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    neerukp

    about 4 years ago

    7424 comments

    The Principle "Cover Your Ass" to protect ourselves we have to follow in day today professional activities

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    lralkhatib

    about 4 years ago

    2094 comments

    its provide good information and teach you how to deal with different type of patients.

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    neerukp

    about 4 years ago

    7424 comments

    very nice article, it is informative., provides the current information, useful for beginners how to maintain their license safe., thanks for posting it

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    divad722002

    over 4 years ago

    26 comments

    hi,

    just new here at nursing link. do you still have the saunder review. if in case you should lend me my address is 8309 cedros avunue apt 209, panorama city , los angeles california, usa. my email divad722002@yahoo.com. landline-1818-894-2688.just arrive as immigrant and certifiied nurse in the philippines and planning to take the nclex to have licensed here in california. thanks and regards and advance merrychristmas and happy new year. your new co friend in the nursing link website.

    dave

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    cindy_heath

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Great advice! I forwarded it on to the other nurses in my office to review as a self-directed inservice.

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    kjagnew1

    almost 5 years ago

    134 comments

    This article was great! Very informative and it just reminded me how important it is to protect yourself and your license. One of my nursing school instructors told me something I will never forget, "Your license is your baby. Its your first born and you protect it as such!"

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    Paula_Davies_Scimeca

    almost 5 years ago

    6 comments

    This is important information for every nurse to know and be reminded of periodically, but I take exception to one suggestion offered: acting proactively. In matters of DWI or chemical dependency it may be better if prior to confessing to an employer, the nurse discusses the matter with an attorney specializing in professional issues in the applicable state. As noted in the book "Unbecoming A Nurse" all states have different statutes regarding professional practice and the handling of chemical dependency in nurses licensed. While acting proactively regarding either DWI or chemical dependency usually includes pulling out all the stops and getting a professional evaluation and following up with treatment recommendations ASAP, rather than allowing the disease to progress, discussing the exact nature of the situation with an attorney prior to making any formal statements is a good idea. Many attorneys will confer on the phone for up to a half hour to ellicit pertinent information and provide some information without charging a fee. Some nursing associations do have lists of attorneys competent in this area of law. If able, get a referral from a nurse who used an attorney rather than the yellow pages. If an attorney seems a bad fit, for whatever reason, talk to another. The selection of the right attorney, early-on, may save you money, job and license. Paula Davies Scimeca, RN, MS

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    AustinNurse12

    almost 5 years ago

    94 comments

    Super advice! You can never be too safe, so it's good to hedge your bets and think twice.

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