The Patton Law Firm, LLC The Patton Law Firm, LLC
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When is your nursing license on the line?

You may be many things to many people — a spouse, a parent, a friend. One of the roles you may be most proud of is that of nurse. Caring for people's well-being and health is something that is important to you, and you have worked hard for the privilege of doing so.

Whether you have worked in the nursing profession for many years or are just beginning, one thing that may concern you is the possibility that something will jeopardize your nursing license. You may have heard or read about nurses who have had their licenses revoked for seemingly innocent reasons, and the thought of it worries you.

Common reasons for license revocation

Fortunately, the revocation of a nursing license is something that happens only when the Ohio Board of Nursing determines that patients would be in danger if a nurse continues to practice. While some actions or behaviors may cause the board to discipline you or suspend your license temporarily, there are a few actions that could easily result in the loss of your license and your career, including:

Diversion of medication: Diverting medication is something board members see in nurses with addiction issues. Usually, when nurses suffer with addiction, they divert narcotics or opioids. Seeking treatment early for substance abuse is the best way to avoid this serious threat to your career.

Violating patient privacy: Nurses who gossip, post personal details or photos on Facebook, or speak to the press about patients in their care are breaching HIPPA laws. While minor infractions may not result in revocation, serious infractions break the vital trust between patients and caregivers.

Causing injury through negligence: Failing to perform your duties or act in the best interests of the patient can lead to the injury or death of a patient. Nursing boards are typically not willing to exercise leniency toward negligent nurses.

Of course, every situation has its own circumstances and mitigating factors, and what seems like an egregious violation of duty or trust may have a reasonable and practical explanation. This is why nurses who are called to attend a disciplinary hearing are wise to consult with legal counsel before speaking to the board. Having an advocate to advise and represent you may improve your chances of coming through the disciplinary process with your license intact.

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