There is a second chance
This week have I worked with a pharmacist and a nurse, both of whom are taking steps toward reinstatement of their licenses to practice pharmacy and nursing. In the nurse’s case, she surrendered her license just over a year ago. At that time, we negotiated a few key terms of reinstatement as part of a larger settlement.Today her application for reinstatement is pending. In the pharmacist’s case, his revocation was the recent result of taking his case to hearing, and losing. He retained me afterward. Despite his recent revocation, there was an extenuating fact or two and, only months after his revocation, he is taking the first steps necessary toward reinstatement.
Reinstatement after revocation or surrender is possible
Both the nurse and the pharmacist have reason to be hopeful about reinstatement. These are not pie-in-the-sky dreams in either case. In both cases, reinstatement is a very real possibility. On behalf of the nurse, I am working directly with the investigator at the Oregon State Board of nursing that accepted the nurse’s surrender of licensure just over one year ago. Similarly, on behalf of the pharmacist, I am working directly with the individual at the Oregon Board of Pharmacy most closely connected to the pharmacist’s revocation of licensure. These are very real and genuine discussions, with the representatives of each licensing Board being helpful and encouraging.
What you need to know
If you have surrendered your license, or lost your license to revocation, and you want to practice again, there is hope. In the two cases I mention above, the path to reinstatement will require approximately 18 months of earnest work. There are no tricks, and there is no magic, and whatever the circumstances that led to the surrender or revocation of your licensure, those circumstances will need to be fully addressed. Trust with your licensing Board will need to be fully reestablished.
How to get started
After surrender or revocation, your position is too weak and you are too emotionally involved to do this on your own. In the right circumstances, I can approach the licensing Board on your behalf, negotiate a potential reinstatement process, and then guide and represent you throughout that process. Nothing is guaranteed, however, and honest hard work will be required. If either one of us falters in this regard, your chances of reinstatement will be reduced.
As a licensed physician, pharmacist, or nurse, it may one day become necessary to file a complaint with the Oregon Medical Board, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, or the Oregon State Board of Nursing, reporting the conduct of another licensed professional. We all take this aspect of our professional responsibility seriously. In a close-call case, we may prefer not to file the Board complaint, and in a bad case, the ramifications of filing the Board complaint can make the act of doing so seem overwhelming.
What to do?
In a close-call case, no one wants to file a Board complaint that need not be filed, or is otherwise unnecessary, and some worry that an unfounded complaint will backfire, and no one wants that either. In a bad case, especially when the complaint turns you into a witness and you will become part of the ensuing investigation, the weight of reporting is heavy. In either case, you will be uncomfortable, left to wonder has best to proceed.
Consult an Oregon licensure lawyer
In a close-call case, your licensure lawyer can call the Board, whether it be the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, the Oregon Medical Board, or the Oregon State Board of Nursing, and discuss whether the report needs to be made in the first place and, if so, how best to present it. An experienced licensure lawyer will have existing relationships with investigators and others at each of the licensing Boards and will know whom best to call. In many cases, it will not be necessary to disclose your name to during initial discussion. If it turns out that the report needs to be made, the ground will have been prepared and the expectation that the complaint be filed is “shifted” somewhat to your licensing Board. If the Board complaint later turns our to be unfounded, this additional care taken while making the Board complaint will serve you well later.
In a tough case, your licensure lawyer can shoulder the burden of writing the Board complaint (an email will be fine), sending it to your licensing Board, and then following up the Board answering any follow-up questions the Board might otherwise direct to you.This approach will life some of the weight from your shoulders, and also ensure that the complaint is presented in an arms length fashion, which may be quite helpful in some circumstances. In one case earlier this year involving a pharmacy drug loss, my report to the Board of Pharmacy on behalf of the pharmacists, was just the beginning – the start of an investigation by the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. In cases these, where the complaint will trigger an investigation that will involve you, it is highly recommended that your licensure lawyer be involved from the start anyway, providing just one more reason to consult a licensure lawyer.