Ep 158: How to Protect Your Professional License from Litigation

Although you never go into a patient’s room with the expectation that anything will go wrong, sometimes it does. It’s important for nurses to be prepared in the event that a lawsuit is ever filed against you. Today we’ve invited attorney Nick Dowgul to the show to tell us more about the legal process and what can happen to your nursing license after a lawsuit. There’s a lot to learn and we want to make sure you are able to protect yourself and your career.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

This isn’t something you ever think about when you have a patient under your care, but malpractice lawsuits are a necessary conversation to have in this business. You need to know how best to proceed and protect yourself if you’re ever involved.

On this episode, we’re going to learn as much as we can from attorney Nick Dowgul of North State Law in North Carolina. His specialty is professional licensing and license defense for nurses and he does a lot of work with the North Carolina Board of Nursing. So he’s seen many different cases through his career and he’s sharing some of that experience with us today.

You might not ever expect to be involved in a lawsuit but every CRNA can benefit from knowing how it happens and what you should do if your name is ever included.  

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Why you should acquire your own malpractice insurance coverage.
  • What does a lawsuit mean for your license?
  • How do investigations into claims work and does that stay with an employee’s records?
  • Using your cell phone during care might create a problem.
  • Some common types of cases that he’s seen through his career.
  • One case that stood out to Sharon about failing to adhere to minimum standards.
  • Why you should consider getting a lawyer to represent you in these cases.
  • Understanding how your insurance coverage protects you

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

3:24 – Background on Nick

5:19 – Malpractice coverage

8:50 – Lawsuits impacting your license

10:46 – How investigations work

12:06 – Pulling cell phone records of nurses

16:07 – Examples of cases he’s seen

21:31 – Where you can find infractions?

22:14 – Failing to adhere to minimum standards case

24:14 – Following a doctor’s order

30:16 – Should you get a lawyer?  

32:00 – Insurance side of this

34:14 – How to find someone like Nick

35:53 – Summarizing the conversation


“I’ve seen that happen a lot where the facility will try to cover their rear end by reporting anybody that they feel might have been at fault or done something wrong to the licensing board.”

– Attorney Nick Dowgul

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CRNA Careers

Ep 200: Exploring the Power of Nursing and Its Future Impact on Healthcare

As we celebrate the release of our 200th episode, it seemed fitting to shine the spotlight on the profession as a whole and the people who devote their lives to helping others. Many CRNAs, and nurses in general, don’t give themselves enough credit for the work they do every day. So today we’re going to take a big picture look at the power of nursing and the innovation we’re doing that could change healthcare with Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, FIEL.

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CRNA History

Ep 199: Olive Berger, CRNA – Founding Member of the AANA

The early years of anesthesia were a time when nurses proved just how valuable they were as this new world was being explored. Olive Berger, CRNA was one of the women that rose to the occasion and helped shape the profession through her work with ‘blue babies’ and with the AANA. Today we look back on her career with show historians Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA.

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