How Crimes Can Affect Your Nursing License

If you’re a nurse, your license is your greatest asset.  Even the most minor crimes can draw attention from the Board of Nursing.  The Board of Nursing may even seek discipline based on a withholding of adjudication or a no-contest plea.  Because the clear and convincing standard for disciplining nurses is clear and convincing, lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt for criminal, the Board of Nursing can still find a nurse guilty of a crime where the Courts did not.

Self-Reporting Requirement

Any healthcare professional must report to the Department of Health any conviction, misdemeanor or felony, regardless of adjudication.  This means reporting a conviction even where there was a no-contest plea, suspended sentence, or withholding of adjudication.  The key is to frame the letter in a way to potentially minimize exposure from the Board of Nursing.

Applying for a Nursing License with a Criminal or Previous Disciplinary History

With some exception, Nursing applicants from other states are required to disclose their entire criminal and disciplinary history to the Board of Nursing.  The Board of Nursing, at their discretion, may still issue a license based on numerous factors.

Representation is Important

A criminal law attorney with knowledge of the Board of Nursing can help a troubled nurse.  Whether it’s avoid discipline, self-reporting, appearing before the Board of Nursing because of a criminal conviction, or applying from another state with a criminal or disciplinary history, an attorney can help facilitate the process to minimize or avoid repercussions.


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