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Is my nursing license in jeopardy?

Despite the hectic pace and often thankless tasks, you probably love your job as a nurse. It may be a profession you aspired to since you were very young. When you received your license, your dream came true.

However, if you are facing a disciplinary hearing with the Tennessee Board of Nursing, you may be worried that all your efforts were for nothing if the board revokes that hard-earned license. While there may be countless reasons why the board may suspend or revoke a nurse's license, there are some actions that most frequently cost nurses their privilege to practice.

Serious offenses

The most common offense that jeopardizes many nursing licenses is diverting medication. Narcotics, sleeping pills and anti-psychotics frequently disappear from med rooms at the hands of nurses, and often this is because of a substance abuse problem. If you are struggling with addiction, the best way to potentially avoid losing your license through diversion is to seek help and enter a treatment program.

However, if you are not among the growing number of medical professionals with an addiction, you may find your license at risk for other reasons. Violations the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act cost many nurses their licenses each year. Such violations include:

  • Gossiping with other nurses about a patient
  • Sharing details of a patient's condition with the news media
  • Talking to neighbors or friends about your patients
  • Sharing details or photos of patients on social media

Even if you mean well, releasing private information about a patient is a serious breach of trust between you and your patient. Nursing boards exist to protect the reputation of the nursing profession, and they are not likely to overlook violations of patient privacy.

Finally, one of the surest ways to lose your license may be to make a critical or fatal mistake while caring for a patient. Administering the wrong dose of medicine, failing to notice a decline in a patient's condition or neglecting to monitor a patient for fall prevention are just a few incidents that may result in disciplinary action from the board.

Give yourself a fighting chance

If you are facing a disciplinary board, you may also face criminal charges. Both of these situations carry life-altering consequences if you are found guilty of the charges against you. Just as you would not advise patients to diagnose and treat themselves, so you would be wise to seek professional help for your legal issues.

Having an attorney on your side will benefit you in many ways, especially if that attorney has extensive experience representing professionals who face disciplinary actions in front of licensing boards. The right attorney will not only defend you in front of the board of nursing, but will handle your defense against any criminal charges related to your case.

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