Q. CAN ANYONE FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE NURSING BOARD?
A. Anyone can file a complaint, i.e., from out of state as well as in state. The complaints may come from employers, members of the profession, the public, law enforcement officials and agencies, other departments of state and local government. Official rules do state, however, that a complaint should be mailed or delivered to the Board office but a written complaint delivered in any manner is sufficient.
Q. CAN MY EMPLOYER "TAKE" MY LICENSE OR CAUSE IT TO BE REVOKED?
A. No; however, your employer can file a complaint with the Board. No disciplinary action can be taken against your license until going through the disciplinary process, which includes notice and an opportunity to be heard.
Q. CAN A NURSE WORK DURING THE TIME A COMPLAINT IS BEING INVESTIGATED?
A. Yes. There are no work-related restrictions or actions taken against the license of a nurse until after due process is satisfied.
Q. ARE COMPLAINTS AGAINST NURSES PUBLIC INFORMATION?
A. No. Pursuant to Section 324.001.8 RSMo, complaints are confidential and may not be released to the public without the written consent of the licensee.
Q. HOW WILL NURSES KNOW THERE IS A COMPLAINT AGAINST THEIR LICENSE?
A. Nurses are sent a letter notifying them of complaints received concerning their license and what action the Board office will take with regard to the complaint (i.e., investigate or not investigate).
Q. CAN NURSES FIND OUT WHO MADE THE COMPLAINT AGAINST THEIR LICENSE?
A. Yes. The nurse may make a written request to the Board office to obtain a copy of the complaint against their license. Information cannot be provided by telephone.
Q. WILL THE NURSE NEED TO OBTAIN AN ATTORNEY?
A. Employing the services of an attorney is a personal choice and can be exercised at any point the nurse chooses. The Board of Nursing cannot provide legal advice.
Q. HOW SOON WILL THE NURSE FIND OUT THE FINAL DISPOSITION REGARDING THE COMPLAINT/INVESTIGATION?
A. It depends on how the complaint is processed. If the Board does not investigate, the final disposition will be sent within a month. If the board investigates but decides to take no disciplinary action, the final disposition will be sent within two months of the conclusion of the investigation. If the Board and the nurse enter into a settlement agreement, then final disposition can vary depending on whether there are ongoing negotiations. If the complaint goes through the administrative legal process, including the Administrative Hearing Commission and the Board for hearings, final disposition may take years, depending on the complexity of the case. These are very general time frames. Each case will vary depending on what course the complaint takes through the administrative and judicial processes.