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How can a nurse resolve a 3-year-old complaint with a state BON?

Dear Nancy,

I had a complaint filed against me in 2012 by the director of nursing at my previous employer because I asked a CNA to give a Novolog injection while I held the patient’s wrist to prevent him from physically assaulting us. The CNA did not give the injection because she was uncomfortable. Nonetheless, she reported me and I was let go from my job. Nearly three years later, the complaint is still pending. This has cost me some job opportunities. Is there a statute of limitations for these types of complaints?



Dear Nola,

It is unfortunate that the complaint filed against you with your state board of nursing is still pending. Have you received any communication from the board about the complaint? It may be that the complaint is still being investigated and those who might have information the board needs are no longer alive or have not yet been found. Or, it may be that there are so many complaints filed with the board that its investigative processes are backlogged.

You stated the complaint has cost you job opportunities. How do the potential employers know about the complaint? Are complaints filed with the board and not yet resolved public information in your state? In many states, complaints to a state board of nursing are confidential. Only when the board acts on those complaints, and either dismisses them or imposes discipline, do the complaint and resolution become public information.

Statute of limitations is the time frame within which a board is required to take action on a complaint against a nurse licensee. This is included in a state’s nurse practice act or other applicable state law. It would be best for you to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state to get this question answered and also determine how, if the attorney so suggests, to move this matter to a resolution. Seek this advice as soon as possible so that your professional and personal lives can move forward. Being in limbo is not a good place to be for many reasons, including the inability to obtain work.


By | 2015-08-31T15:29:13-04:00 August 31st, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

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