It takes many years to become a licensed nursing professional in Wisconsin. You have to finish a degree and then complete state testing. Then, you have to apply for a license, which involves submitting to a background check.
Once you get your license, you will have to continue taking courses about changes in the medical field for continuing education credits and renew your license. Those who make major mistakes while providing patient care or who get convicted of criminal actions could lose their license as a result. However, you don’t have to lose your job or go to court to be at risk of losing your nursing license.
The state makes it quite easy for individuals ranging from a coworker with a chip on their shoulder to a very combative patient to make a complaint against you that could affect your license.
Anyone can initiate a complaint or investigation
Perhaps there is a patient who overheard you speaking about politics in the staff room and took personal issue with your beliefs, first trying to start a fight with you and then calling to complain about you later when you didn’t react to their provocations. They could take their crusade against you a step further by filing a complaint with the state licensing board.
Perhaps your attempts at humor while caring for an ailing patient offended not the patient themselves but a family member present in the room during their treatment. It’s also possible that those who work with you who have taken issue with you on some interpersonal level might exaggerate mistakes that you have made on the job or interactions between the two of you to file a complaint that puts your license at risk.
Allegations that imply cruelty, an inappropriate bias or other ethical failings could potentially cost you your license and therefore your career.
You always have the right to defend yourself
A complaint by an individual will typically result in an investigation, and that investigation might eventually lead to disciplinary action. You have the right to defend yourself in front of the board during disciplinary hearings, making use of that right will be a crucial step if you want to protect your license and your professional reputation.
Bringing in a lawyer to argue on your behalf might improve your chances of success, which is why many professionals choose to take this extra step because of how much they have invested in their profession so far. Recognizing how individuals could put your career at risk can help you better respond to complaints that could endanger your nursing license.