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IL defense attorneyOpioid abuse and the abuse of other prescription drugs are at an all-time high in the United States. Pill mills are among the major sources of these drugs. As a result, federal and state agencies, as well as licensing boards have started cracking down on the prescribing of pain medications. In fact, facilities that work with the chronically ill are facing intense scrutiny, as are advanced practice registered nurses since they work under prescriptive delegation. This extra attention, though not always warranted, places the licensing status of nurses at risk. Learn more about the investigation process and how to protect your nursing license with help from the following information.

Investigations Can Be More Like Fishing Expeditions

Investigations for matters relating to prescriptive authority or the “excessive” writing of pain prescriptions may be closed if the Illinois Board of Nursing lacks evidence. Alternatively, the investigation could go another way. Something you say could be misinterpreted as evidence in a prescription abuse case, or the investigation could turn into a fishing expedition. The investigator might start looking for any sort of infraction. He or she could even use what seems like an innocent conversation to gather evidence against you for a matter completely unrelated to the initial query. This is why it is so critical that you understand the investigative process, the risk to your nursing license, and how to protect it.

Protecting Your Nursing License

First and foremost, you must understand that the Board of Nursing is not your ally. The Board is not necessarily interested in preserving your practice or offering you leniency. The Illinois Board of Nursing was established to protect the public, but Board representatives can be almost manipulative in their investigations. Moreover, they are unlikely to inform you of your rights—especially your right to consult an attorney before ever speaking with them. In fact, some investigators may even attempt to use their authority or an air of urgency to coerce you into speaking with them before you have had the chance to obtain legal counsel. Do not let them do this to you! Know your rights.

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