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Is there any impact on your license if you don't want to attend a peer review?

Friday June 29, 2012
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Dear Nancy,

Is there any impact on your license if you don't want to attend a peer review?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Nettie,

Your question does not contain any details about this peer review, so only some general comments can be made. It would seem that any peer review that had to do with your nursing practice would be something at which you would want to be present. When anyone is evaluating your professional integrity and/or your nursing practice, you need to be there to ensure that what is being said is accurate and if not, you can clarify the inaccuracies. Silence or non-attendance may be interpreted as agreement with the subject of the review.

As to any impact on your license, this is a question that cannot be responded to without more detail. If the peer review, for example, is due to some patient care issue that was due to your alleged unsafe or incompetent practice, and attending the peer review is required in such a situation, it may affect your license if the alleged unsafe practice is reported to the board. Keep in mind, though, even if you do attend the review, a reporting to the board can take place if someone at the review, or another person not attending the review, believes the situation is one that needs to be reported to the board.

You might want to discuss your concerns with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who works with nurses and understands nursing practice. The attorney will be able to discuss the peer review issue with you, its process and how you can best present yourself and defend any allegations.

Paste here,

Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.