Investigated as a nurse for having disciplinary action taken against your license in another state?
Are you licensed to practice nursing in the State of Florida but have had disciplinary action taken against your license in another state? The law may affect your ability to practice in Florida even though you were disciplined in another state. It is very important to contact an experienced health care license attorney as soon as possible should you receive an Administrative Complaint or face a criminal hearing on these charges.
Nursing License & the Law
The law says that if you have had disciplinary action taken against your license in another jurisdiction, you can be disciplined in Florida. Disciplinary action includes having your license suspended or revoked. Florida law on point here is Florida Statute 464.018(1)(b). It says:
(1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
(b) Having a license to practice nursing revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country.
The important thing to note here is that any action that has been taken against your license can lead to disciplinary action in Florida. Also, this rule extends beyond other states to include other territories or countries that you may be in. For example, if you get disciplined by the nursing authority of Canada, that can lead to disciplinary action being taken against you here in Florida.
Nursing License & the Penalties
There are a range of actions that can be taken against you should the board of nursing decide to take disciplinary action against you. The penalties you could face are found in the Disciplinary Guidelines for the Board of Nursing, particularly in Rule 64B9-8.006 in the Florida Administrative Code. The rule states the following for disciplinary guidelines for violation of the statute:
|FIRST OFFENSE:||Letter of Concern||Same penalty as imposed by other jurisdiction|
|SECOND OFFENSE:||Same penalty as imposed by other jurisdiction||Revocation|
It is certainly possible that the only action the board takes is sending you a letter of concern. This is your best possible scenario. Any of the other penalties would not be as good. It should be noted that although revocation of your license here in Florida is the maximum penalty for a second offense, it is possible that if your license was revoked in another jurisdiction, it could be revoked here as well under the language of the rule in your first offense. You should also be aware that these are guidelines that the board should follow in handing out discipline, but are not set in stone, and can be accompanied by other penalties or deviated from. These penalties can be found in Florida Statute 456.072(2), which you should review with your health care attorney.
Nursing License & Aggravating/Mitigating Circumstances
The board hearing your case can take into account various factors that could affect the discipline you receive. These factors are called aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances are factors that can hurt your case. If aggravating circumstances are proven you could face harsher penalties. Mitigating circumstances are factors that can help your case. If mitigating circumstances are proven you could face lesser penalties. These factors can also be found in rule 64B9-8.006(5)(b) in the Florida Administrative Code. If either side can prove with clear and convincing evidence the aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the discipline you face could be altered by the board. Here are the factors:
(b) Circumstances which may be considered for purposes of mitigation or aggravation of penalty shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The danger to the public.
- Previous disciplinary action against the licensee in this or any other jurisdiction.
- The length of time the licensee has practiced.
- The actual damage, physical or otherwise, caused by the violation.
- The deterrent effect of the penalty imposed.
- Any efforts at rehabilitation.
- Attempts by the licensee to correct or stop violations, or refusal by the licensee to correct or stop violations.
- Cost of treatment.
- Financial hardship.
- Cost of disciplinary proceedings.
The board can take into account any of these factors, or other factors, in your hearing. The board can deviate from the standard disciplinary guidelines if they find that any of these aggravating or mitigating circumstances exist. These are very important factors that you should discuss with your health care attorney.
What You Should Do Next
If you are a licensed health care professional in Florida and have a pending criminal case you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no obligation consultation with Jeff Howell or Rickey Strong, contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776. We represent licensed health care professionals and facilities statewide, including out of state clients who are concerned about the status of their Florida license