The Board's response to allegations of violations of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) and the Rules of the Board fall within a continuum of disciplinary action that range from:
- No Action - if there is no clear and convincing evidence to substantiate a violation of the Nursing Practice Act the case will be dismissed.
- Private Letter of Concern - a non-disciplinary warning may be issued when there is cause for concern but there is not clear and convincing evidence of a violation.
- Non-Disciplinary Consent Order (NDCO) - an educational non-disciplinary remedy offered as means of protecting the public and helping the nurse to improve and maintain safe practice. Non-Published Consent Order (NPCO) may be offered in cases where the nurse acknowledges his or her action/inaction in the reported matter is a violation of Nursing Law/Rules and it is agreed that his or her continued practice without restrictions would pose no threat to public safety.
- Published Letter of Concern (Nurse Practitioners only) - a non-disciplinary warning which is publicly reported.
- Published Consent Order (PCO) - a public discipline action may be issued when there is clear and convincing evidence of a violation of the Nursing Practice Act/Rules. Disciplinary actions include:
- Limitations in Practice (Probation)
- Removal from Practice (Suspension)
Disciplinary Action is a public record and as required by law is reported to the following entities:
- NURSYS® - State Board of Nursing linked national databank. Any adverse action on a nurse's license may affect a nurse's ability to practice in another state. Other states may take reciprocal action.
- North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) website
- National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)
- Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
Dispute Resolution Process
The nurse may be eligible to request to meet with the Board for either a Settlement Committee or for the matter to be referred for an Administrative Hearing.
- Settlement Committee is an informal public meeting with members of the North Carolina Board of Nursing, who review the case and provide the licensee the opportunity to present any mitigating circumstances that would suggest a sanction other than the one offered. The facts of the case are not disputable in the settlement meeting. If a settlement is reached, there is a fee ($300.00) associated with this option. If a settlement is NOT reached, the case is referred for Administrative Hearing.
- Administrative Hearing is a formal public forum where members of the North Carolina Board of Nursing receives evidence, witnesses are heard through sworn testimony, and the Board makes the decision of appropriate sanction based on information presented. If the licensee is found in violation of the Nursing Practice Act/Rules in this forum, there is an hourly fee ($300.00 per hour) associated with this option.