Of all those in the nursing field, advanced practice registered nurses (commonly known as APNs or APRNs) have the highest levels of education, training, and experience. To become an APN, a person must obtain a master’s or doctorate degree and receive national certification as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist. If you have put in the time and effort to complete these requirements, you will want to address any potential threats to your nursing license as quickly as possible.
If you are facing disciplinary action to your APN license, the attorneys of Williams & Nickl, LLC can help you understand your options and work with you to protect your ability to practice. Throughout our over 55 years of combined legal experience, we have represented more than 3,000 clients in cases before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). As the former Chief of Prosecutions for IDFPR, Attorney Edward Williams provides a unique insight into the formal and informal policies and procedures followed during the disciplinary process. Edward and Fred have a reputation as tough litigators, and we will work to ensure that you are able to maintain your license while minimizing any disciplinary sanctions to the fullest possible extent.
The services provided by advanced practice nurses can be extensive, including making diagnoses; ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic tests; providing advanced patient counseling, education, and advocacy; delegating duties to RNs and LPNs; and ordering treatments for patients. APNs may also have the authority to write prescriptions for medications, including controlled substances. These duties may be performed as part of a collaborative agreement with a physician, or a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist may have full practice authority to operate their own practice.
Due to the extent of the care provided by APNs, they may be scrutinized closely by the Illinois Board of Nursing and the IDFPR. Advanced practice registered nurses may face disciplinary action to their licenses for a variety of reasons, including:
Multiple laws, statutes, rules, regulations, and procedures will apply to APN licenses and IDFPR investigations and hearings. Our attorneys can help you understand how the Illinois Nurse Practice Act (225 ILCS 65, et. seq.), the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/100, et seq.), and the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois (20 ILCS 2105/2105-1, et. seq.) affect your case. We will guide you through the procedures defined in the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act (5 ILCS 100/1-1, et. seq.), and we will work to protect your license from discipline that would affect your ability to practice. We can also help you determine how to respond if you are facing an investigation by the DEA based on your practices of prescribing or dispensing controlled substances, and we can help you avoid penalties to your nursing license because of these issues.
We have worked with a wide variety of clients, including nurses and other medical providers, to address discipline to their professional licenses. In one successful case, we assisted a downstate nurse and former Marine who was facing license suspension due to a criminal conviction for the offense of Reckless Discharge of a Firearm. After the case went to trial, we were able to convince the Administrative Law Judge to give our client a Reprimand, the lowest possible form of disciplinary action.
Discipline to your APN license could affect your medical practice, your career, and the quality of care that you are able to provide to your patients. If you have received notification from the IDFPR of a formal Complaint, a preliminary hearing, an informal conference, or any other forms of possible disciplinary action, you should take immediate steps to protect your license and your nursing practice.
Before agreeing to an interview with an IDFPR investigator, turning over any documents, or surrendering your license, contact us to determine how you should proceed. We will provide you with a complimentary one-hour consultation in which we will review the circumstances of your case and help you determine the best course of action. We have represented licensed professionals throughout the state of Illinois, and in many cases, we are able to help our clients avoid public discipline to their licenses. To get started, call our office at 312-335-9470.