If the complaint addresses an issue within the authority of the board of nursing, then evidence is gathered and interviews are conducted. The process used to investigate and act on a complaint may vary depending upon the seriousness of the allegations (was there actual or potential harm to a patient or was the alleged situation minor in nature?) and the timeliness of the complaint. Investigation can include requesting additional documents or information from complainants, asking the licensee to respond to allegations in writing, as well as full investigations with site visits and witness interviews. Investigations take time, often many months, to complete.