Nursing Board Consent Agreements Are Binding Contracts and Generally Can Not Be Changed

A Consent Agreement is a written contract between a nurse and the Ohio Board of Nursing. A Consent Agreement is a voluntary agreement that outlines the discipline that will be imposed against a nurse. A Consent Agreement is similar to a plea bargain in a criminal case. The nurse agrees to certain disciplinary conditions, in lieu of proceeding to an administrative hearing before the Board. By entering into the Consent Agreement, the nurse generally admits to certain misconduct and agrees to comply with certain disciplinary terms.

It is important to keep in mind that once you enter into a Consent Agreement, you are required to complete all terms. Depending on the specific language of the Consent Agreement, you can, in certain circumstances, request modifications to a Consent Agreement after a period of time. However, if the Consent Agreement does not specifically provide that the Consent Agreement may be modified, generally you cannot “get out” of or change the terms of the Consent Agreement.

In most cases, for the probationary period to toll, the nurse needs to work in a position where a nursing license is required. Consent Agreements typically always provide that any time that the nurse is not employed in a nursing position will not reduce the probation or monitoring period.

Generally, once you enter into the Consent Agreement, the only way to “get out” of the Agreement is to comply with its terms. Often nurses have “buyer’s remorse” when they enter into a Consent Agreement and after several months, they no longer want to comply with the terms of the Consent Agreement. However, in most cases, unless the nurse has complied with all the terms of the Consent Agreement the probationary period will not be lifted or modified.

Also, at the end of the probation period, the Consent Agreement does not automatically end. The nurse needs to affirmatively request to be released from all probationary terms of the Consent Agreement.

Consent Agreements are contracts entered into between the nurse and the Board of Nursing. As you may be subject to compliance terms for many months, years, or even indefinitely, it is imperative that you understand the terms of the Consent Agreement BEFORE you sign it.

You worked hard for your professional license. As I have said in previous posts, prior to entering into any agreement with the Ohio Board of Nursing, it is important that you seek experienced legal counsel to assist and represent you.

As always, if you have any questions about this post, or about the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, feel free to contact at me (614) 486-3909 or email me at beth@collislaw.com.

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