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How to File a Complaint

Who Should Report?

A complaint about the practice or behavior of a registered nurse (RN), advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or licensed practical nurse (LPN) may be filed with the Board of Nursing by anyone:

  • patient/client
  • patient's representative
  • employer or supervisor
  • coworker
  • involved nurse
  • interested person

If you believe a nurse has violated a nursing or nursing-related law or rule, you may report to the Board. Some persons, such as employers, are required to make reports. More detailed information is available in the Reporting obligations section (see related content below).

What Should Be Reported?

Every nurse is required to know the state and federal laws and rules which govern nursing practice as well as the standards of practice established by the Board and the nurse's professional association. A nurse's practice and behavior must be safe, competent, ethical and in compliance with applicable laws and rules.

Before sending a complaint to the Board, ask yourself:

Is this nurse's practice or behavior

  • unsafe,
  • incompetent,
  • unethical,
  • affected by the use of alcohol, drugs, or other chemicals,
  • affected by a mental or physical condition, or
  • in violation of a nursing or nursing related law or rule?

If a nurse is impaired or unable to practice because of

  • illness,
  • use of alcohol, drugs or other chemicals or
  • any mental, physical, or psychological condition,

you may refer the nurse to the Health Professionals Services Program instead of reporting to the Board.

What Information Should Be Sent to the Board?

The Board requires a written description of the practice or behavior of the nurse in order to determine if:

  • the nurse is licensed by the Board or is an applicant for a license, and
  • the nurse's practice or behavior, if true, is a violation of a law or rule the Board has the authority to enforce.

Provide as much detailed information as possible about the involved nurse(s) and the situation, including

  • name, license type and number, address, and telephone number of nurse;
  • name, address and telephone number of employer;
  • name, address and telephone number of involved parties;
  • description of all facts about the situation, including:
    • names,
    • dates,
    • times,
    • places,
    • titles of documents or records which you believe are relevant; and
    • copies of relevant documents you are authorized to provide or directions on how to obtain the documents

The Board does not accept complaints by electronic mail at this time, but you may download the complaint form (see related content below). Please sign and date the form, attach any materials, and mail them to the address at the top of the form. (Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and print the form.)

If you need assistance in writing your complaint, contact nursing.board@state.mn.us .

What happens after you submit a report?

  • You will receive written acknowledgement that your report has been received.
  • Your report will be reviewed to determine the extent to which the Board has authority to act on the matter.
  • Your report will be referred to another agency if it is determined that the matter is outside the Board's authority but pertains to the other agency.
  • If the matter is within the authority of the Board, the review process will proceed and may include contacting you or others for additional information.
  • Your identity will remain confidential unless you authorize it to be revealed to a specific person or a court requires that it be revealed as part of a court proceeding.
  • If the review of your report is not completed within 120 days, you will be informed that the review is on-going.
  • You will receive written notification of the outcome of your report as soon as the Board has concluded its review. The investigation and enforcement process may be lengthy and it may be some time before there is a final result. You should inform the Board if your address changes.


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