Discipline FAQs

How do I file a complaint against a Nurse?

Please visit the How to File a Complaint page.

Why should I file a complaint against a licensee?

The Board is composed of both nurses and public representatives appointed by the governor. They have a commitment to protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public by licensing nurses and investigating concerns raised by both the public and other credentialing/licensing agencies. The Board has taken many actions against licensees including both non-disciplinary and disciplinary actions. For a list of disciplinary actions see our adverse actions page. Click here for Adverse Actions

What are the possible results of a complaint?

A complaint may be closed with no action, closed with a Letter of Concern (non-disciplinary), or the Board may order disciplinary action.

What are some examples of disciplinary action?

  • Warning
  • Censure
  • Reprimand
  • Civil Penalty
  • Education
  • Specific conditions of probation
  • Suspension
  • Loss of License

What are some grounds for disciplining a nurse?

  • Alcohol/Substance Abuse
  • Conviction of a Crime
  • Fraud & deceit in obtaining a license
  • Inappropriate Prescribing
  • Incompetence or Unprofessional Conduct
  • Violation of Law, Rule, or Board Order

Can the Board provide me with monetary assistance?

No. The Board may discipline a licensee for violating its statutes or rules, but it cannot provide money nor order a licensee to pay money to a complainant to pay for any harm that was done.

Does the Board handle Medical Malpractice claims?

No. Boards may discipline a licensee for incompetence, but cannot provide money to the complainant to pay for any harm that was done.

Does the Board help with billing disputes?

The Board may discipline a licensee if their billing involves an element of fraud or deceit. However, the Board cannot order reimbursement of monies.

What is the purpose of an in informal conference?

Informal Conferences are held during the complaint process when the Board has questions it feels can best be answered by speaking directly with both the licensee and the complainant. It allows the Board to gather facts not readily available during a paper review. The information gathered is then used to decide how a complaint should be further processed.

What is the purpose of an adjudicatory hearing?

A complaint results in an Adjudicatory Hearing when the Board, following review of all available information, determines that there may be cause for discipline. An Adjudicatory Hearing is a public hearing (some portions may be closed to protect health care information) held and conducted according to the Maine Administrative Procedure Act. If the Board finds the licensee did not commit any violations, the case will be dismissed or resolved with a Letter of Concern. If the Board finds the licensee committed one or more of the violations, it will determine what sanctions to impose.

May I file a complaint on behalf of the patient?

Yes. Anyone may file a complaint. The complaint must be in writing or by e-mail. Either a letter or a complaint form may be used. Forms are available online or by calling 207-287-1146.

May I be present when the Board reviews my complaint?

Yes. You may be present and listen to the Board's discussion, but the law does not permit you to participate in any way. The Board members individually review each complaint prior to the Board meeting, and therefore, discussion of your complaint may be very brief.

Where can I find information on Nurses who have been disciplined?

All finalized adverse actions (consent agreements, license surrenders, decisions) are posted on the Board's website. The adverse action is linked to the licensee and may be accessed when using the Board's "Find a licensee in our database" feature

How can I check the licensing status of a Nurse licensed in Maine?

Click here to go to the Main Search. This is where you can search for a Nurse by license or name.

If I have a criminal conviction can I become a nurse?

According to the law (5 M.R.S.A. §5301, §5302), the appropriate state licensing agency may take into consideration criminal history record from Maine or elsewhere...but the existence of information shall not operate as an automatic bar to being licensed...

This means that you are not automatically disqualified from becoming a nurse because of the criminal conviction, but the Board may consider whether or not you have been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust.  The applicant shall bear the burden of proof.

The decision to enter a nursing program is yours.  The basic answer to the question as to whether a particular conviction precludes nursing licensure is that there is no crime listed in the law that automatically precludes licensure in nursing.  However, the Board of Nursing may certainly consider the conviction when making the determination to license an individual or not.

However, the Board of Nursing will not make the determination before a person has even entered a nursing program.

How can I file a complaint against a Hospital or Nursing Home in Maine?

This Board does not regulate Hospitals or Nursing homes, but to file Complaints against Nursing Homes or Hospitals in Maine- please call 1-800-383-2441 or go to the DHHS website.

How can I file a complaint against a Home Health care agency in Maine?

This Board does not regulate Home Health Care Agencies - For Licensing & Certification, questions & complaints - please call 1-800-621-8222 or go to the DHHS website.

What if I have other questions about the Board of Nursing's disciplinary processes that are not answered here?

You can contact the Board's Investigator, Cindy Griffin at (207) 287-4812.