Nurses are an integral part of the patient healthcare system. The nurse is the most stable figure in the patient's treatment plan in many settings. Given the level of detail involved in caring for each patient, governing boards prevent nurses from taking care of too many patients simultaneously. Nurses forced to work with high patent ratios face an increased risk of malpractice and, ultimately, license suspension. If you engaged in negligence prompted by high ratios and your license is in jeopardy, it is vital that you defend yourself; learn how.

Highlight Regulating Standards

Step one in the defense process should be highlighting the regulatory standards that pertain to your situation to establish wrongdoing on the part of healthcare facility management. State governments have legislation in place that establishes how many patients a nurse can care for based on the type of care being administered. For this reason, a nurse caring for a patient in the operating room or an intensive care unit will have a much lower ratio than psychiatric patients. An attorney can help you collect these legal statutes. 

Collect Documentation

As a professional, you likely voiced your concern about caring for too many patients, and your concerns went unaddressed. As part of your defense, collect any documentation that supports your claim that you spoke out against the issue but were forced to work in these unsafe conditions. This documentation shows that the high patio ratio was not a choice of your own, but something forced upon you.

Stick with the Facts

As part of the defense process, you will be required to provide a statement. You must stick with the facts during this process. Phrases indicating that you were unsure or words like "mistake" are not considered factual but are instead opinion-based and can be used against you. Your attorney will sit down and go over the process with you to ensure you provide an accurate but non-incriminating statement. 

Keep Information Close

Generally, the license revocation process begins with a suspension. Only after the incident is reviewed is the license either reinstated or invalidated. During this review process, you should not discuss the matter with colleagues, hospital administration, or anyone not directly involved in the legal process. Discussing the details of your case can jeopardize your defense and lead to an unsuccessful outcome.  

As a nurse, your license is your livelihood, so losing your license can have significant ramifications. Be sure to speak with a nurse license defense attorney for more information.