At the recent TAANA (The American Association of Nurse Attorneys) Conference here in Minneapolis, one of the speakers told a story of a nurse who wanted to save some money and had her uncle, a real estate attorney, help her with her a letter she received from the State Nursing Board. His advice? Don’t answer it, you don’t work in that state anymore, so why bother? Well let’s just say, tens of thousands of dollars later, this nurse learned a difficult lesson. A lesson that an attorney who specializes in professional license defense would know: an action in one state will likely affect your license(s) in another state. This nurse had multiple state licenses and ended up defending in every state; a very costly lesson.
When choosing an attorney for your Minnesota Board of Nursing matter, be sure it is someone who knows what they are doing and has done this type of representation before. Law, like Nursing, is very specialized. If you work in ICU you would not likely be competent to work in Labor and Delivery. Find an attorney who specializes in the area in which you need representation. There are a handful of attorneys who do this work consistently in the twin cities.
Why choose a Nurse/Attorney?
Just ask your insurer. Hopefully by now you have your own malpractice insurance. Nurses Service Organization (NSO) refers cases to nurse/attorneys who are members of TAANA to represent their clients. A nurse attorney is first of all, a nurse. That means that you will receive the same care, compassion and advocacy as you provide to your patients. Additionally, as a nurse/attorney, I often ‘test’ my clients to ensure critical thinking skills in various practice scenarios. This is often what the nurse is exposed to at the Board hearing where the staff are all RNs. I know how a Pyxis/Omnicell works, I know how safe staffing is often an issue, and I know whether the nurse had a real issue or was thrown ‘under the bus,’ as happens so often in this profession. I also know that nurses often fail to take care of themselves leading to issues where they land in front of the Nursing Board. Trust a nurse, trust a nurse attorney.