Should a Nurse File a Disability Claim?

Some attorneys may caution against a nurse filing a disability claim since a “disability alone” (by itself) can be the basis for the BRN to seek disciplinary action against an RN, including issuing an Interim Suspension Order (ISO), which is to cease and desist working during a pending suspension. On the other hand, an individual may be physically and/or emotionally disabled and, therefore, (s)he may decide to file a disability claim, which may constitute a reasonable and proper decision.

Th role of an effective lawyer is to establish the good judgment of a nurse and/or marginalize or refute a claim of wrongdoing, incapacity or unprofessional conduct. In other words, produce evidence of the nurse’s personal qualities and characteristics along with her/his relevant knowledge and experience enabling the nurse to form appropriate opinions and make reasonable decisions.  In a somewhat isolated situation, a nurse may be unavoidably disabled, choosing to make that decision, which might be the right course of action for him/her.

First, it is best for YOU to consider all of the legally significant facts.Your lawyer should provide advice after a complete analysis and pivotal strategy (methodology) in which a decision is made or an opinion rendered on a case-by-case basis. Your attorney should refrain from making generalizations, setting a blanket rule or engaging in what may constitute a common practice; instead, you want a lawyer who appies logic and reasoning to each fact situation.

Second, the report and diagnosis by a competent (qualified) physician is relevant.

(A)  Before requesting a report, it would be helpful to have a nurse provide to his/her lawyer a written summary of what the physician said.

(B) In addition, with the client’s written consent, having a teleconference between the lawyer and the physician at the outset may provide more clarity.

Third, the range of acts or omissions [such as specific activities, tasks, etc.], being restricted are relevant to one’s ability to work. In other words, how broad the work limitations or restrictions, the length of time being considered or proposed, and whether and what duties and functions that are permitted, if any, would also be relevant.

Almost any contact by the government can be stressful, intimidating and/or uncomfortable. A similar feeling may exist in the environment in which a nurse is employed. That is why a nurse should obtain a complimentary extended teleconference with an experienced and highly accomplished attorney. The goal is to provide the pros and cons, alternatives, and unintended consequences for the nurse to make an informed decision on how to proceed.

It may be extremely helpful to also obtain a consult or few sessions with a therapist to help deal with the situation, promote good choices and make better decisions, be able to concentrate on the duties and functions of a nurse at work, and to be able to obtain restful patterns of sleep.

You are invited and welcome to obtain a complimentary and preliminary teleconference with Attorney Sam Spital, who is available seven days a week, approximately 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.