Minnesota Board of Nursing
By Barbara Forshier on February 17th, 2023 in
The Minnesota Board of Nursing governs nursing licensure in the state. The Board has the authority to investigate any report or complaint against a nurse regarding any allegation of violations of statutes, rules, or any standards associated with a nursing license. An employer will also report to the Board when a licensed nurse has been terminated for certain reasons, is suspended, resigns in lieu of termination, or fails to complete the orientation period. The investigation process will depend on the severity of the allegations as well as the nature of the allegations.While Minnesota Law states that a nurse must be notified that they are under investigation within 90 days, a nurse may not learn of a complaint until they receive a document known as a “Notice of Conference with the Board of Nursing Review Panel,” which sets forth the specific allegations. This document also contains the date and time the nurse must appear before the Review Panel, specifying the required response and detailing potential outcomes. If you have received such a document, it is imperative that you immediately speak to the knowledgeable nursing license attorney at Forshier Law. Attorney and former nurse, Barbara Forshier will work tirelessly to advocate on your behalf.
What Kind of Discipline Can Be Imposed by the Minnesota Board of Nursing?
The form of disciplinary or administrative actions that may be taken by the Minnesota Board of Nursing will depend on the specific situation and facts. The following are the most common disciplinary actions taken by the Board:
- A reprimand may be issued by the board when the nurse is found guilty of specific conduct. A reprimand means the nurse is admonished or censured and could potentially be fined monetarily.
- The scope of the nurse’s practice could be limited in some way until specific requirements are met. Limitations can be combined with conditions (below). Limitations might include prohibition from access to controlled substances or the requirement of working under the direct supervision of a registered nurse.
- Conditions may be imposed that compel the nurse to meet specific requirements to keep his or her nursing license. These requirements might include certain courses to be taken or reports submitted by a supervisor. If the allegation concerns inebriation on the job, the conditions could include regular drug and alcohol testing.
- A nurse may be allowed to retain his or her license but may lose active registration during a suspension. A suspension prevents the nurse from practicing nursing—either for a specific length of time, or, in some cases, an indefinite period of time. Reinstatement requirements and procedures will be outlined in the disciplinary order of suspension. Depending on the circumstances, a temporary suspension may be issued while the allegations are being investigated.
- A nurse’s license can be revoked, meaning the nurse is no longer licensed in the state of Minnesota and may not work as a nurse. Revocation of a nurse’s license is taken only in extremely serious circumstances. In order to ever return to nursing, the nurse must retake the NCLEX licensure exam.
- The Board may issue a Stipulation to Cease Practicing to the nurse. While similar to a suspension, this type of Stipulation is usually for a short time while an investigation is in place. As with a suspension, the mechanisms for reinstatement will be outlined.
- An Agreement for Corrective Action means the nurse agrees to take corrective measures to rectify the situation, and once corrective action is taken, the complaint will be dismissed. Even though this is considered a non-disciplinary action and is dismissed upon completion of the action, it currently remains a public document forever.
How Do I Prepare for a Complaint with the Minnesota Board of Nursing?
If you have received a letter from the Minnesota Board of Nursing, it is extremely important that you speak to a knowledgeable nursing license attorney as quickly as possible. Once you’ve spoken to an attorney, you should let their experience in these matters guide you. You may want to determine whether your malpractice insurance coverage includes board investigations and ensure all your records pertaining to the investigation are complete and up-to-date. Make sure you respond by all the stated deadlines. If you fail to respond to a complaint by the deadline, you could face sanctions—and could damage your credibility regarding the original issue. You must take a complaint filed with the Minnesota Board of Nursing very seriously.
Your goal will be to protect your nursing license and your reputation. The Minnesota Board of Nursing is represented at the conference by one board member, one registered nurse staff member, and an attorney from the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. During the conference, the panel will ask you questions regarding the allegations against you. When the conference is complete, a recommendation will be made regarding the dismissal of the complaint, corrective action, or a proposed stipulation and consent order for disciplinary action. If you oppose the determination, you have the option to go to a contested case hearing, a trial-like procedure with an administrative law judge.
How Forshier Law Can Help
Attorney Barbara Forshier has represented hundreds of nurses before the Minnesota Board of Nursing. Barbara has more than 35 years of experience as an RN in an acute care setting before starting her law practice dedicated only to this specialized area. Barbara will work tirelessly to advocate for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Unlike most law firms, Barbara provides practical, professional advice for a flat fee. If you have received a notification from the Minnesota Board of Nursing, contact Forshier Law today.