Nursing License Complaints

If you have received a letter from the Board of Nursing about a complaint against you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Your license represents not only your dedication and hard work but it represents your livelihood and your career. Do not risk losing your license.

Reasons a Complaint may have been made
  • Negligence
  • Practice beyond the scope of licensure
  • Failure to adhere to acceptable standards of practice
  • Fraud
  • Practice while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Fraudulent procurement of a license, and
  • Practice while license is lapsed

Employers, other nurses, the Department of Public Health or patients can file complaints for:

The Board does not deal with complaints about fees

The Complaint

Once the Board receives the complaint they will review it to determine if it has merit or if they need more information. If additional information is needed, the Board may contact the nurse to set up an interview. If the matter does fall in the Board’s jurisdiction they will proceed with an investigation.

The Investigation
  • May include personal interviews with the person/institution who filed the complaint
  • May include an interview with the nurse (it is helpful to have an attorney present during the interview)
  • May include on-site visits to health care facilities or the nurse's office of practice to review records and make observations

During the investigation phase a compliance officer may contact you and request additional documents. Typically the officer will require your response to the complaint within a short period of time, usually 15 days.

The Hearing

Once the Board has concluded the investigation process they will review the information to determine if the complaint warrants a formal or informal hearing.

The Informal Hearing
​At the informal hearing the nurse and the complaining party will both be present. The Board will hear from both sides and the nurse has the right to present any arguments explanations. Sometimes the Board will be willing to resolve the complaint at the informal hearing. After the hearing the Board has the authority to recommend a resolution or schedule a formal hearing.
The Formal Hearing

If the Board exercises its rights to order a formal hearing they will issue an "Order to Show Cause" to the licensee as to why his or her license should not be revoked or suspended. The order describes the allegations made in the complaint. The nurse has 21 days to respond to the Order.

At the formal hearing the nurse has the right to have an attorney represent them and to present witnesses and or testify on their own behalf. The Board will be represented by an attorney and may present their own witnesses and question the nurse or his/her witnesses. As the title suggests it is a formal hearing and should be treated as such. It is very important to have an attorney represent you at this stage.


If the Board determines misconduct has occurred the Board may impose:

  • Suspension
  • Revocation of license
  • Reprimand
  • Fines
  • Probation

As a nurse who has studied hard, attended clinicals and passed the Board you have rights to your license. Make sure you protect your license by contacting an experienced attorney who can help you understand the complaint process and put together your best defense.

DelSignore Law can assist you in a complaint made against your professional license to help prevent any adverse employment consequences to your professional license. Call 781-686-5924 to discuss your case.