Driving Under the Influence and Nursing License Complications

When a person gets convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences include risks to their driver’s license, fines, and in some cases, jail time. The process can be stressful, frightening, and confusing. To make matters worse, there are some situations in which the conviction may impact a person’s professional life.

Nurses work hard to complete their education, training, and to acquire their licenses to practice in the state of Missouri. If you are a nurse, or trying to become a nurse, and have been convicted of driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated, it is important that you contact an attorney to learn how to protect your license and livelihood best.

Drunk Driving Impacts on Nursing License

For registered nurses, a conviction for a drunk driving-related offense will create certain mandatory notification requirements. The offense will have to be reported when the nurse applies to have her license renewed. The Missouri State Board of Nursing has the option of disciplining nurses in certain circumstances. When an offense is one that impacted the individual’s functioning, qualifications, or duties as a nurse, or if the illegal act is a crime involving moral turpitude, repercussions will follow.

While Missouri courts determined driving while intoxicated is not a crime involving moral turpitude, it is possible that some sets of facts may differentiate a case. If a nurse has been convicted multiple times, or other aggravating factors surround the conviction, then there is a greater chance of the Board choosing to take action against the professional’s license. A nurse may find that his or her license is at risk of being revoked because of the conviction.

New Professionals Seeking Licenses

If you are convicted or driving under the influence before applying for your nursing license, you are required to provide the board with a list of any convictions, no contest please, or guilty pleas that are on your record. If you have previous drunk driving convictions, other crimes, either felonies or misdemeanors, they must all be submitted to the Board for their review.

The Board will make a determination on the application after reviewing all of the information provided. If the conviction is old and the candidate has undergone rehabilitation, the Board will factor that in, along with how severe the offenses were and the types of crimes. Having a prior conviction is not necessarily going to prevent a nursing student from becoming licensed, but he or she may need to convince the board of his or her rehabilitation.

In these cases, the applicant will not be able to receive a temporary license until the review is completed.

Beyond Licensing Complications

Even in situations where a nurse is able to keep his or her professional license, the consequences of a drunk driving conviction could impact that individual’s career. Potential employers may see the conviction on the candidate’s records and therefore choose not to hire the person. Employers may make judgment calls about a candidate’s professionalism, reliability, or maturity based on these factors. Getting a conviction removed from a record can take many years.

It is important to remember that these convictions can have far-reaching consequences even after the technical issues are handled.

If you are concerned that a DWU or DUI on your record may impact your Missouri nursing license, it is important for you to contact a Kansas Professional Licensure Defense Attorney. Contact Sanger Law today at (785)-979-4353 to discuss your case.

Why Do Educators Lose Their Licenses in Missouri?

For many teachers, their profession is not only their livelihood but also a part of their identity. The loss of a teaching license is devastating for these professionals. While teachers are fairly-well protected in their position, some do lose their ability to teach or have their licenses suspended. Educators who believe that their licenses are at risk should immediately contact an attorney to discuss the best way to protect themselves.

Causes for Suspension in Missouri   

In Missouri, it can be difficult to gauge why teachers in the state lost their licenses. While there are strict and in-depth background checks for teaching candidates who are seeking their licenses, the information about teachers who lost theirs is limited. The state recently received a “D” in a report carried out by USA Today on state’s procedures for looking into teacher’s backgrounds. When looking at Missouri’s database for teachers who were under disciplinary action, the reason for the discipline is not included.

The details are so slim that even one suspected rapist and murder’s license status only indicates that it expired, not that he is suspected of heinous crimes. When digging deeper into the issue, including looking at court documents and records recovered through the state’s Sunshine Act, reporters were able to discover the main reasons that teachers in the state faced suspension.

In analyzing records collected since the 1980s, investigators found 687 educators who had lost their licenses in Missouri, or who voluntarily gave up their licenses. The majority of the individuals were teachers. The leading cause of license suspension was sexual misconduct with a child, which accounted for 211 of the lost licenses. Another 108 also involved sexual misconduct. Fifty-five of the cases were misconduct of a non-sexual manner that involved a child.

Other reasons for suspensions included theft, breach of contract, assault, battery, and alcohol abuse. In twelve cases, teachers lost their licenses for murder or manslaughter.

What can an Educator do to Fight a Suspension?

When an educator finds his or her professional license is in jeopardy, it is important to address the accusations proactively. It is vital to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to avoid making any mistakes that will only make matters worse.

In many cases, the accusations are false or may be the result of a misunderstanding. The accused may feel that it will be easy to clear things up by speaking on his or her own behalf. However, no matter how certain you are that you are innocent, you must make sure that you protect yourself. In addition to finding an experienced advocate, keep all relevant documentation. Having any evidence that helps your case is important, so put all of it in a safe place so that you are able to provide it to your attorney.

Do not discuss the issues with your colleagues, friends, or anyone other than your attorney. Never speak to the investigators without having your attorney present, and do not turn anything over to investigators without consulting your lawyer. While you might feel that you have nothing to hide, misinterpretation can occur, and you might do further damage to your case.

Contacting an attorney is not an admission that you have something to hide. Hiring a professional to handle your case indicates that you take the situation and your career seriously.

If you feel that your professional license is in jeopardy, contact the seasoned Missouri Professional Licensing Defense Attorney at Sanger Law today at (785)-979-4353.

Multi-State Licensing Complications and Disciplinary Actions

The Missouri State Board of Nursing issues licenses nurses in the state and will handle any disciplinary actions against a professional who violates their license. When a nurse moves over state lines, he or she will need a new license in order to practice his or her profession. It is important to understand how holding multiple licenses will impact a person in the event that a disciplinary action occurs.

Licenses Do Not Go Away

Nurses may hold a variety of licenses over the course of their careers. At different stages, they may have worked as a registered nurse, then a nurse practitioner, or held another type of license. Nurses may also move across state lines and hold licenses in more than one state. When a nurse changes her license, or leaves the state and is licensed in a new state, the old license does not just fade into non-existence. Even once a nurse has stopped applying to renew a license, the state agency that granted the license will continue to hold jurisdiction over that professional. While allowing a license to lapse will mean that the nurse is no longer able to practice in that location or capacity, the body that issued that license may still discipline that individual at any point in time. This remains true even decades after the nurse dropped the license.

Reciprocal License and Disciplinary Actions

Nurses who have or had licenses in another state are subject to the laws and rules defined by that state’s board. Violating one of those laws can cause a nurse to face disciplinary actions, and those actions will follow the nurse from state to state. If a nurse were to have his or her license suspended in one state and then move to a neighboring state, the new state could also penalize the nurse for the events that happened in the other jurisdiction.

To make matters even more complicated, many states consider the failure to notify a licensing agency about a disciplinary action in another jurisdiction is considered “unprofessional conduct.” Nurses may, therefore, be required to contact multiple agencies, including ones the individual has not been involved with for many years, to report a disciplinary action. This could remain true even if the violation was not against all of the agencies’ rules. Clearly, when nurses are registered in multiple jurisdictions, disciplinary actions may become incredibly complicated.

Addressing Accusations and Defending Against False Claims

There are a number of ways in which nurses lose their licenses or face disciplinary actions. In some instances, the violations are professionally-related, such as when a nurse may fail to maintain charts properly or is accused of negligence in his or her treatment of patients. In other cases, criminal charges that occurred outside of the nurse’s job may impact his or her license. This could include DUI charges or drug-related charges. Unfortunately, addiction is another major issue with nurses, and this can lead to professional complications. Drug diversion, in which nurses mishandle controlled substances, is another offense that is commonly brought up in disciplinary cases.

Each state will address these charges or accusations based on the laws in that jurisdiction. By failing to address the charges, or failing to defend against them, a nurse may complicate his or her future licensing in other jurisdictions. While it may sometimes seem less burdensome for a nurse to make a deal or agreement rather than fighting false allegations, the results of these actions may be extremely complicated.

If you are licensed in multiple states, or have prior licenses, and have faced disciplinary actions in any of those locations, you should speak to a licensing attorney. Contact the seasoned Kansas Professional Licensing Defense Attorney Sanger Law today at (785)-979-4353 to discuss your case.

Employer Promises if I Resign, They Will Not Report to Licensing Board: How to Handle Employer Threats

Healthcare professionals may have an employer with whom they do not get along well. In some instances, the situation can get extremely ugly, and the employer may wish to push the employee out of practice. In some instances, the employer may claim that the employee has done something unprofessional or violated their license. The employer then tells the professional, we do not need to bring these accusations to the board, but you have to resign.

Perhaps the issue is a “he said she said” scenario, or maybe there is some basis for the report but the employer is grossly exaggerating. Perhaps the professional simply feels helpless and does not believe it is possible to fight against the allegations.

In many cases, the employee takes the offer and leaves his or her position with an assurance that the employer will not report him or her to the licensing board. The professional may feel saddened by the loss of a job but consoled by the fact that his or her profession and license is still protected.

However, nothing is binding the employer to his or her word, and many people find that they end up facing disciplinary action anyway.

An Employer Cannot be Prevented from Reporting Misconduct

If the employer believed that a person was guilty of any type of misconduct, then that employer has the right to report the person to the licensing board. Reporting professional misconduct would be tricky if people could be coerced into silence. Therefore, the rights of a person to report a violation or suspected violation are protected. In a situation where the report was filed by someone vindictive and with mal intentions, it will be up to the board to make a determination.

While those who feel that they were wrongfully reported by a person who wished to do them harm might think this is worth bringing up to the board, it is important to remember that the board does not care why the complaint was filed. If there is evidence to support the complaint, then the board is obligated to investigate.

Making matters worse for the accused is the fact that the complaint might not come in until months or even years after the event. Memories from the time might be spotty, and evidence might not be available to defend against the allegations.

Fight the Charges, Not the Accuser

If a medical professional’s employer offers to withhold reporting in return for the employee’s resignation, this should not be considered a legitimate offer. When a professional believes that his or her license is in jeopardy because of an error or mistake, the employee needs to address the allegations. An employee who focuses on why an employer made such allegations will be doing him or herself a disservice. No licensing agency will care about bad blood and workplace politics. These agencies will cut to the facts of the allegations, and make their determination based on those facts.

If you believe that your employer or another individual is planning to report you to a professional board, contact a Kansas Professional Licensing Defense Attorney to discuss the allegations. Speaking to an attorney is not an admission that you did anything wrong. Rather, hiring an attorney will indicate that you understand the gravity of the charges and are willing to take the steps necessary to protect yourself and your career. Contact Sanger Law today at (785)-979-4353 to discuss your case.