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10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License

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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 one, thinking that once the suspension is up, it won’t matter. It does matter, though–especially if your employer finds out. Your license will be revoked, or, if you don’t have one, you’ll never be allowed to apply for one.

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 steal someone else’s mail. There are many kinds 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.

6. Falsifying Patient Records

Maybe you’d 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 a license being suspended. Best-case scenario, your falsified record gets you in trouble but doesn’t affect anyone else. Worst-case scenario? Something bad 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. For example, many nurses ask if you can you lose your nursing license for sleeping on the job. Penalties for this kind of behavior usually vary based on the facility and supervisor. Falling asleep on the job may be a sign of burnout and low staffing, so you will need to do your best to explain the situation and prevent it from happening again. The chances of losing your nursing license are higher if a patient is injured or harmed as a result.

Although it seems obvious, many nurses fail to understand why their conduct may be called into question. Professionalism in nursing 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 be reprimanded or temporarily suspended but keep it up and you may be out of a job before you know it.

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