Nursing Complaint

What Do I Do About False Nursing Complaints?

Facing a Board complaint can be a distressing experience for any nurse. Being investigated by the nursing board for something you feel is unfair or may be untrue can be demoralising to say the least. The unfortunate truth, however, is that as a nurse, you might have to face false complaints from time to time. If and when you do face such complaints, what should you do?

How the Investigation Process Works

First of all, you need to understand that your state’s Board of Nursing exists to protect the public. They are not there for you, the nurse.

Upon receiving the complaint, the board will notify you of the same and give you the opportunity to respond. Your initial response to the complaint filed against you is crucial, as it is your best opportunity to explain to the board as to why the charges against you are untrue, exaggerated, or have mitigating circumstances.

In some cases, the board might not act upon the complaint, if they believe that the charges against you are completely unrelated to your nursing practice. If the charges are indeed related to your nursing practice, the board will appoint someone to investigate the complaint against you and ascertain the facts.

The person appointed by the board will try to find out if the charges against you are true using a variety of different methods – from reviewing all the relevant documents and medical records to talking to patients, other nurses, and hospital or nursing home administrators. If you have been accused of substance abuse, you might be required to undergo a drug test as well.

If the charges against you are found to be false, the board may close the file and bring the matter to a conclusion. If, on the other hand, the charges against you are found to be something that the board feels needs to be investigated, you will have to respond to the investigation in the manner set out by your state Board of Nursing and potentially face disciplinary action – which might be anything from a letter of reprimand to license revocation, depending on the seriousness of the charges against you.

What to Do If You Are Facing a False Board of Nursing Complaint

As soon as you are notified of the complaint, you should contact the Board to let them know you have received the complaint and will be filing a response. You should ask if at this point, the state board allows you to receive copies of the documents they gather in the investigation for. Your own review. Some boards allow documents to be sent to the nurse, some require an itial response prior to sending documents. Your response should be detailed and well written, and include any mitigating circumstances such as staffing or poor training. You must draft a detailed response to the nursing board. This is vital, as ignoring the complaint or delaying your response can complicate things further.

In your response, you should explain why the charges against you are exaggerated or fabricated and present facts to support your claim. If the charges are serious, it might be a judicious idea for you to hire an attorney who has handled cases involving nursing complaints.

Looking to Fight False Charges? Nursing Complaint Help Can Assist You!


Nursing Complaint Help is a unique, first-of-its-kind website which contains all the information you need to know about nursing complaints, how they work, how you should respond to them, and how you can prevent them. This website is geared towards the PROCESS of responding. Rules may and do differ among states, but the PROCESS of responding is the same. Your response must be well reasoned, professional, and respectful of the PROCESS.

Created by Joyce Stamp Lilly, who is a registered nurse with over 20 years of experience in representing nurses before state boards of nursing. Nursing Complaint Help is the go-to source for nurses who want to safeguard themselves against false complaints.

If you are facing an exaggerated or false board of nursing complaint, become a member of Nursing Complaint Help today and get all the assistance you need to respond to the complaint and resolve the issue in a timely manner.

Fill out our contact form for more details.