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The Mississippi Nursing Practice Act empowers the Board to issue licenses and to investigate alleged violations of professional misconduct. The Legal Division has the authority to bring charges against any licensee or applicant who allegedly commits any act in violation of the Nursing Practice Act as well as provisions within the MSBN Administrative Code. See also Miss. Code Ann. §§ 73-15-29, 73-15-31 & 30 Miss. Admin. Code Part 2820.
The Legal Division must provide each individual due process, which includes notice of any and all allegations and the opportunity to have a hearing. The Nurse Practice Act outlines various violations and provides the penalties that may be imposed.
The following are disciplinary and non-disciplinary actions that may be taken against a license. All actions are subject to the Mississippi Public Information Act; however, only disciplinary actions are reportable.
Letters of Concern
Formal hearings are held during scheduled Board meetings before a three-member panel of the Board. All formal hearings are public and are open meetings. A representative from the Mississippi Attorney General's Office presides over the proceedings. At the hearing, the presiding officer of the panel reads the charges, and the applicant/licensee pleads guilty or not guilty to said charges. Exhibits are offered to be admitted into evidence at the hearing. Both sides are given the opportunity to present opening statements and their case. At the written request of the applicant/ licensee, the Board shall issue subpoenas for witnesses and /or documents. The panel deliberates the case in closed executive session and announces its decision on the record.
Board Panel decisions may result in any combination of the following penalties:
- Formal Reprimand
- Referral to an alternative disciplinary program
- Educational courses
- Drug or psychological evaluations
- Restriction on the license or privilege to practice
- Additional penalties or requirements imposed by the Board. Miss. Code Ann. § 73-15-29 (2).
Agreed Settlement Proposals
Agreed Settlement Proposals (ASPs) are proposals of public disciplinary action entered into voluntarily by the MSBN Legal Division and the licensee or applicant. ASPs are an alternative to having a public formal hearing. The licensee/applicant will be notified via electronic mail of a settlement conference date. Should the licensee/applicant respond to the electronic notice, a draft of the proposal will be sent for consideration. Failure to respond will result in a formal hearing.
ASPs allow the licensee/applicant to avoid a public formal hearing by entering into a settlement. In the settlement, the licensee admits to the violation alleged by the Board and agrees to accept specific penalties for committing that violation. Penalties can include a fine, a formal reprimand, educational courses, supervised practice, drug-testing, or other specified conditions. Agreed Settlement Proposals (ASPs) must be approved by the Board to have legal effect. Once approved the licensee/applicant can begin fulfilling the conditions of the ASP and will be assigned to the compliance division.
An Administrative Denial is a public disciplinary action denying an applicant for licensure. The Executive Director of the Board has the authority to administratively deny any application (i.e. exam, endorsement, renewal, and reinstatement) citing violation(s) of the Nurse Practice Act and/or MSBN Administrative Code. Administrative Denials have the same effect as revocation of licensure. An applicant who has been denied licensure may re-apply for licensure one (1) year from the date notification of denial was received by applicant.
Administrative denial appeals: The applicant has a right to appeal the administrative denial of application within thirty (30) days after the applicant received notification. The matter will be heard before the three-member Hearing Panel.
Formal Hearings: If a nurse or applicant disagrees with the three-member Hearing Panel's decision following a disciplinary hearing, an appeal may be made to the Full Membership of the Board as set forth in Mississippi Code Annotated 73-15-31(9) according to the Board's appeal procedures. Rules governing appeals may be found HERE.
Full Membership of the Board: If a nurse or applicant disagrees with the Full Membership of the Board’s decision, an appeal may be made to the Chancery Court in the county in which the licensee or applicant resides of record and as set forth in Mississippi Code Annotated 73-15-31(10).
Letter of Concern (LOC)
A Letter of Concern is an official notice to the licensee citing specific violation(s) of the Nurse Practice Act or MSBN Administrative Code. Letters of Concern are issued on a case-by-case basis, are non-disciplinary, not reportable but considered public information. Should the Board receive further allegations within five (5) years of the licensee receiving a Letter of Concern, the Discipline Division has authority to review all violations including those noted in the Letter of Concern to pursue formal disciplinary action. See Miss. Code Ann. § 73-15-31.
An Administrative Affidavit is a non-disciplinary action that is not reportable but considered public information. The Administrative Affidavit is a sworn statement acknowledging that an applicant or licensee falsifies information or fails to include requested information on a Board document or application. The applicant or licensee must sign the Administrative Affidavit and return it along with a monetary fee (up to $500.00), in order to continue with the Board’s licensure process. Failure to pay may result in further disciplinary action.