10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License


8. Hosting a Pornographic Website

Believe it or not, it happens. In 2009, a nurse in Pennsylvania had her license revoked because she was hosting her own pornographic website. This most likely falls under “unprofessional conduct,” and it’s easy to chuckle at. But with today’s advancements in technology and the widespread range of the Internet, nurses who use their webcams to do a little work on the side may find themselves without a job. This also includes posting inappropriate photos to social media and other public domains. However, you shouldn’t lose your license if someone posts pornographic images of you online without your consent. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when sending and sharing explicit images, even if it’s for private use.

9. Patient Abuse and Neglect

Sadly, this happens more often than we’d like to admit. Patient neglect and abuse can happen because a nurse is intentionally causing pain and/or suffering, or because of a simple mistake made by an overworked nurse with too many patients. Patient neglect and abuse hurts more than just the patient. The patient’s friends and family also suffer alongside him/her, making this grave offense even worse. This often occurs in home health settings and nursing homes where patients have little to no awareness of their surroundings.

Unfortunately, this happens all too often. Many times, a nurse doesn’t neglect a patient on purpose, but forgetfulness can cause more damage than imagined and result in the loss of a license.

10. Violating Probation

If you have previous offenses filed with the nursing board, they may place you on probation – this can restrict your practice or your personal habits (such as using alcohol and/or drugs). If you violate the terms of your probation, your license may be revoked. Being placed under probation is a warning in the hopes that a nurse will change his behavior so he can continue working. However, if that behavior continues, or if a nurse willfully goes against the rules the state board has set, he or she can be punished to the furthest extent of the board.

Remember the decision is ultimately up to your state board. There are other reasons that could lead to license revocation, so be sure to regularly familiarize yourself with your state’s laws and procedures regarding professional licensing and unprofessional conduct. If you lose your license, you can always explore ways to have your nursing license reinstated. Avoid these mistakes to stay in good standing with your local board of nursing.

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