Resources >> Browse Articles >> On the Job


10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License

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.

Would You Survive Your 1st Year as a Nurse?

1. What is most important to you?

Making money
Saving lives
Getting great benefits
Being happy
Making a difference

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.

Next: Hosting a Pornographic Website >>

  • Nerdynursebutton_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    find it intersting that you can't host a porn site... I can understand not starting in films, but you can't even run one?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    RN and sex worker? Would it make a difference if it was male or female? Would you mind if the male nurse caring for you was hosting a pornographic website?

  • Grad_max50


    about 4 years ago


    It is very informative; however, I believe some of them just aren't "right". Losing a license for hosting a pornographic site is wrong. It has nothing to do with a persons's nursing career. I wouldn't care if a nurse caring for me was a porn star, prostitue, or long as she was a good nurse. Hell, if a nurse can loose her license for being unprofessional, half of the people I work with would lose theirs.

    The boards need to get a life and find "real" reasons to take away licenses. Abuse and neglect are good reasons for nurses to lose their license.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Hmm, very informative. Thanks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Amen Krista1203!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    You have to be very careful in nursing. A nurse can give a patient the wrong medication and the patient dies from it and all they get is a suspension and sometimes not even that. Then another nurse can clock in and out and not work the hours and have her license revoked and not be able to get it back. Where is the justice in that.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    As a nurse of 26 years, since when do the Boards of Nursing make judgements on a persons personal life? Of course I have had injuries over the years due to CARING for patients! Yes, I do have to take pain meds, that are prescribed, at the end of the day at times. Why is this illegal? Do I not have the right to relieve myself of pain so that I can care for others? I would test positive for opiods, but never take them during a shift. And, so we suffer for the Board of Nursing! Get real people! We work hard, pull our backs, deal with herniated discs and degeneration and have the right to pain relief. I'm now tired of nursing, not because of patients, but the red tape big brother looking over our shoulders!

  • Shyamala1_sq90_1__max50


    over 5 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    Boards of njursing are fallible. And they can be very, very arbitrary. Especially here in Connecticut.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    I agree with sugyka. If she didn't break any laws, why did her license get revoked. Isn't our sex lives (provided everything is consensual and no laws are being broken) our business, not theirs? Unless it’s child porn, porn websites are legal.

    So the question is, if we don’t fit their cookie cutter image (maybe they don’t like our body piercings or tattoos), we can get our license revoked?

  • Dj091208_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Sadly this is all too common an occurance. Im wary of it myself as a new nurse (roughly a year now) who already has back issues due to an injury suffered as a CNA but I know I worked too hard too long to get my license to risk doing anything stupid like meds which I shouldnt be on in fact Im even wary of meds I am legally prescribed lest I be seen as working under the influence..

    David Jewel LPN

  • 199_max50


    over 5 years ago


    This adds to the long list of reasons why your license can be revoked. Its good info to know though. I'll definately pass this on

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    Ethico-legal issues, they are actually things we must abide by to get to the top in this noble profession.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Very interesting peetce!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    I found this online....very interesting:
    Nurses’ Duties in 1887

    The item below is from a newspaper clipping Lois Turley, RN, found in her mother’s old Bible. The clipping outlines the job description given to floor nurses by hospitals in 1887.

    In addition to caring for your 50 patients, each nurse will follow these regulations:

    1. Daily sweep and mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture and window sills.

    2. Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.

    3. Light is important to observe the patient’s condition. Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys and trim wicks. Wash the windows once a week.

    4. The nurse’s notes are important in aiding the physician’s work. Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.

    5. Each nurse on day duty will report every day at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m. except on the Sabbath on which day you will be off from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

    6. Graduate nurses in good standing with the director of nurses will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if you go regularly to church.

    7. Each nurse should lay aside from each pay day a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her declining years so that she will not become a burden. For example, if you earn $30 a month you should set aside $15.

    8. Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at a beauty shop, or frequents dance halls will give the director of nurses good reason to suspect her worth, intentions and integrity.

    9. The nurse who performs her labors and serves her patients and doctors without fault for five years will be given an increase of five cents a day, providing there are no hospital debts outstanding.

    Source: Lois Turley, RN, works at an allergy clinic in Arkansas. She is a freelance writer. See Turley’s Web site at

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.