10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License
3. Diversion of Drugs
Slipping yourself, or someone you know, drugs on the side is a serious offense, punishable by revocation of your license and jail time. If your aging father has taken all of his pain meds, leave it to his doctors to prescribe more or up his dosage. It’s not worth risking your career to boost someone else’s addiction, no matter who it is.
Getting your license revoked is the least of your worries in this case. Diverting drugs with intention to sell, or actually selling prescription drugs, can get you thrown in jail for many years. Even if you are strapped for cash, don’t do it!
4. Providing a False Copy of License
Although rare, this does occur. Nurses who have a suspended license may provide an employer with a fake license, thinking that once their suspension is up it won’t matter. It does matter, though – especially if your employer finds out. The license you may have will be revoked, or, if you don’t have a license, you will not be allowed to ever apply for a license.
5. Mail Fraud
Mail fraud encompasses many felonies. Broadly speaking, mail fraud involves using the postal service to unlawfully obtain money or valuables, impersonate someone other than yourself, or stealing someone else’s mail. There are many kind of mail fraud including work-from-home scams, solicitation disguised as an invoice, and online auction fraud. Mail fraud may not be directly related to nursing, but it can directly affect your career if you are convicted. Mail fraud is yet another way you can lose your license.
6. Falsifying Patient Records
Maybe you had been working 12 hours and were too tired to complete that patient record. Maybe you gave your patient a little extra morphine to help him get through the night, but you didn’t record it. Whatever the case, falsifying patient records is grounds for license revocation. In the best-case scenario, your falsified record gets you in trouble, but doesn’t affect anyone else. Worst-case scenario? Something happens to your patient.
7. Unprofessional Conduct
This broad term allows state boards to be subjective in judging why a nurse might get his license revoked. “Unprofessional conduct” can range from using inappropriate language around colleagues and patients to having an affair with a superior. Although it seems obvious, many nurses fail to understand why their conduct may be called into question. The level of professionalism in the nursing field is of the utmost importance, and employers won’t take kindly to those few nurses who exhibit inappropriate behavior of any sort. First-time offenders may only be reprimanded or suspended temporarily, but keep it up and you may be out of a job before you know it.