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I have to go before the board of nursing after resigning from my job when accused of stealing a patient’s call bell. What’s my next step?



Dear Nancy,

I have been a nurse for 20 years and have never had any problems. I resigned from my last job after being accused of taking a patient’s call bell when it was in his bed. I now have to go before the board of nursing and am not sure what to do.


Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Eddy,

It is assumed what you mean by you were accused of “taking the patient’s call bell” from his bed is you removed it so the patient had no means to ring for help from the nursing staff should he or she have to do so. If this assumption is correct, the situation is a serious one for you, and you will need to be represented by a nurse attorney or other attorney before the board of nursing.

When you decide on an attorney to represent you, you will need to discuss in detail the accusations against you and whether they were true. You resigned from the position without challenging the accusation, or so it appears from your question. If the accusation was not true, the resignation will most probably be viewed as a tad strange by the board. In addition, the board will want to know why you did not try to fight the untrue accusation through the employer’s grievance or peer-review procedures.

Your attorney is your advocate in the proceedings before the board. He or she will know how best to represent you against the allegation. You have an excellent work record prior to this incident, so that is one strong factor in your favor. However, you must convince the board this is just an accusation, why it might have been raised against you in this situation, and other issues that your attorney will help you identify in order to successfully defend you in these proceedings.



About Author

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.

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