Ten Reasons for Nursing License Suspensions [Part I]

The nursing profession generally is comprised of good people who are compassionate, caring and dedicated to their occupation.  However, state nursing boards suspend/revoke the license of dozens of nurses every month.  Because of the commitment involved in obtaining a nursing license, nurses who are facing disciplinary proceedings should be aware of the types of conduct and situations that can threaten their ability to engage in their chosen occupation.  Although there are virtually a limitless number of reasons that a nursing board might initiate disciplinary proceedings, this list include both common reasons and some that might not occur to most people.

Diverting Medications Away from Patients

The access that nurses have to narcotic medications can present significant temptations.  If you have an aging parent who is suffering intense pain or a spouse who is incapacitated with intense back pain, you might be tempted to slip a family member pain medications.  This urge is understandable when insurance snafus deprive a family member from getting a prescription filled in time to prevent intense suffering.  However, this temptation must be avoided because providing medication on the side can jeopardize your nursing license and expose you to criminal charges.

Altering or Distorting Patient Medical Records

Falsifying a patient’s record can cause you to be exposed to disciplinary charges and potentially place your patient at-risk.  When a nurse slips a little extra morphine to a patient but does not reflect this action in the medical records, distorting medical records can result in revocation of a nurse’s license.  Disciplinary proceedings might also be initiated if you fail to complete the patient’s record after working an exhausting twelve hour shift.

Violating Probation

If you have previously been the subject of disciplinary charges brought by the Kansas State Nursing Board, you might have been fortunate enough to have received probation.  Although no one is anxious to be the target of discipline by an occupational licensing board, probation essentially amounts to a warning to abstain from or engage in certain specified activities.  Probation permits a nurse to keep his or her nursing license and to avoid suspension or revocation of a nursing license if the terms and conditions of probation are satisfied.  When a nurse violates the terms of probation, such as the requirement to abstain from the use of drugs or alcohol, this can result in revocation of your nursing license.  If you are unsure about whether a certain activity would violate your probation, you should seek legal advice from an experienced Kansas Administrative Law Attorney.

Failure to Participate in Substance Abuse Program

The nursing industry has a high rate of worker’s compensation claims and on-the-job injuries because of the physical and mental rigors of the occupation.  Chronic back pain is common because of the frequent lifting involved in moving and re-positioning patients.  Stories of nurses sneaking a little pain medication to continue working, which leads to sneaking even more medication, are familiar to anyone who works as a nurse.  While a drug addiction constitutes a sufficient basis to suspend a nursing license, many nurse licensing boards will require an addicted nurse to attend a recovery program.  If the nurse fails to successfully complete the recovery program or returns to abusing drugs or alcohol, the nursing board will revoke the nurse’s license.

Hosting a Porn Site on the Internet

Although this may seem to be an extremely strange reason for suspending a nursing license, nurses have gotten their licenses revoked for hosting pornographic websites.  Despite the unconventional nature of this type of violation, the increased technology and exposure of the Internet permits making money on the side with explicit images on the side.  This money making practice can cost a nurse his or her nursing license.

Many good nurses make innocent mistakes or face unjustified disciplinary proceeding.  If you are facing a complaint, Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger represents nurses facing disciplinary proceedings in Missouri or Kansas, so call us today for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.