By Attorney Kristen Nelson

Nurses provide an invaluable service, especially during a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Becoming a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Wisconsin requires the dedication of significant time, energy, and money, and it can be concerning to learn that your nursing license may be under threat due to the possibility of disciplinary action. Wisconsin nurses should understand the violations that can result in discipline, as well as their options for defending against allegations of these violations.

Nursing Violations in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s legal and administrative codes both include a list of actions that can result in disciplinary consequences to a nurse’s license. These violations include:

  • Fraud related to a patient’s medical records or billing, or the process of obtaining or renewing a license
  • Negligence in the performance of one’s duties
  • Substance abuse, including of alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs
  • Practicing unsafely due to a physical or mental impairment or disorder
  • Prescribing or dispensing a drug in violation of state or federal law
  • Practicing without a license or beyond the scope of what is legally permitted
  • Violating a patient’s privacy or confidentiality, including viewing a patient’s health care records without a legitimate purpose
  • Professional misconduct, including physical and sexual abuse, financial exploitation, or any other inappropriate relationship with a patient
  • Discriminating against a patient on the basis of age, gender, race, or any other protected category

Responding to Allegations of Nursing Violations

If you are under investigation by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing (BON) or the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) for an alleged violation, you are required to comply or cooperate with their requests, as failure to comply can itself be considered a violation that may result in further discipline. You are entitled to be represented by an attorney during any investigation or request for information by the BON or DSPS. An attorney can also represent you at a hearing and help you present evidence that may exonerate you from culpability for the allegations you are facing.

It is important to note that not all disciplinary action results in the revocation of your nursing license. If you are subject to disciplinary action, your attorney may be able to help you negotiate for an administrative warning, a temporary suspension of your license, or a requirement that you attend counseling, treatment, or an educational course, depending on the nature and severity of the alleged violation. These options can allow you to keep your license and continue to practice as a nurse.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI Health Care License Defense Lawyer

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we defend licensed professionals, including nurses and other health care providers, from allegations and disciplinary actions that may threaten their careers. If you are under investigation or are facing imminent discipline, contact an experienced Milwaukee professional license defense attorney today at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/441

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/n/7

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