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10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License

10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License


Although we would like to believe that every nurse is a good person with good intentions, we can’t ignore the fact that every year, state nursing boards revoke dozens of licenses. While some of these men and women lose their ability to serve as nurses because of non-nurse related activities, others suffer the consequences of patient endangerment or worse. The threat of having your license revoked is ever-present, and it is important to know just what activities can take it away.

Of course, there are many more reasons your nursing license may be revoked, and the decision is ultimately up to your state board. Be sure to regularly familiarize yourself with your state’s laws and procedures.

1. Addicted Nurse Not in Good Recovery Program

We’ve all heard the story – the nurse with the back pain who gets prescribed Viodin. After her pain has subsided, she slips herself a little extra pain-killer on the side. And then a little more. And more still. Soon, she is addicted and it’s getting out of control. While abusing narcotics is reason enough to lose your nursing license, many board will suspend your license and require you enter an addiction recovery group. There are even recovery groups just for nurses in this position.

If you complete your therapy and remain clean, you can retain your license. However, if you refuse to enter recovery or continue to abuse drugs/alcohol while in recovery, your state boar can revoke your license. Because nurses are near a infinite number of prescriptions, employers know that some may be tempted to indulge. So think again if you are toying with the idea of slipping a few pills under the table.

2. Impersonating Another Licensed Practitioner

Believe it or not, this happens. And employers sometimes don’t catch it for years. A wannabe nurse may have a felony conviction that will prevent him from getting a license, or she may have had her own license revoked in the past. Whatever the case, identity theft is plausible if these “nurses” can obtain the correct papers. Whatever license you may or may not have will be immediately revoked by your state board, and that will stay on your record.

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