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.

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