When a request for investigation is received in the board office, the information is reviewed to determine whether jurisdiction exists and whether the alleged facts violate the law or regulations that govern the licensee’s or registrant’s practice. Once these two conditions are met, an investigation is initiated. The Board is required to investigate requests for investigations in order to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to support a violation of the Nurse Practices Act.
If the evidence obtained during the investigation does not substantiate the allegation(s) and the investigation revealed that insufficient evidence exists to support a violation of the Nurse Practices Act, the request for investigation is dismissed.
If the evidence obtained during the investigation supports the allegation(s) and the facts are not disputed by the licensee/registrant, a settlement may be negotiated with the licensee/registrant, outlining the facts of the violation(s) and the appropriate sanction.
If the licensee/registrant contests the charges, the case is set for a formal administrative hearing before an administrative law judge. During the administrative proceeding, the state presents its case after which the nurse has an opportunity to introduce evidence, including witness testimony, which illustrates the nurse’s side of the story.
Following the hearing, the administrative law judge reviews all the evidence and issues the findings of fact, conclusions of law and a recommended order to the Board as to what disciplinary action, if any, it should take. The Board members, at their next regularly scheduled meeting, review the administrative law judge’s findings and recommended order, with final action being taken by the board. An appeal from the final decision of the board may be taken to the district court of Burleigh County under chapter 28-32.
If the licensee/registrant does not request a hearing, an abbreviated default hearing will be conducted before the board to allow the state to present its evidence.
Fees for each separate violation plus costs and disbursements may be imposed against a respondent in addition to any licensure or registration sanctions the board may impose.
Disciplinary proceedings of the board are reported to health care agencies in North Dakota as published in the Public Notice and to the boards of nursing of other states via the NURSYS Data Bank of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and to data banks as required by federal law.