Our registered nurse client was accused of physically assaulting a patient and verbally abusing him while on duty at the client’s hospital. The problem? The only evidence of the so-called “assault” came from the patient, who had a history of psychosis and whose complaint was authored by another RN. No other witnesses had anything negative to say about our client either on the date of the incident or anytime before. The Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) aggressively pursued a settlement after filing an Accusation against our client. We refused, even as the settlement offers slowly improved as the trial date approached. On the eve of trial, the Board of Registered Nursing elected to withdraw the Accusation, and the client was not disciplined.
This case illustrates the importance of having qualified counsel review the facts of your disciplinary matter. If your case is reviewed by a trustworthy, experienced attorney, he or she will be able to determine whether or not settlement, trial, or withdrawal is the best course of action, in spite of whatever pressure is being applied by the agency. In this case, our client would have felt pressured to accept a disciplinary outcome without our help, reasoning that it would have been better than the ultimate penalty of revocation had the client gone to trial. Instead, with our guidance, the Accusation was ultimately withdrawn.