Consequences for Nurses Who Face Criminal Charges
With so many flexible-nursing programs, nursing is an attractive career choice for many young people looking for job stability in the healthcare field. Registered nurses are highly respected professionals with notoriously high-stress jobs, requiring them to work demanding hours. Understandably, to manage the stress nurses may feel tempted to indulge in alcohol and sometimes even drugs (both legal and illicit).
A registered nurse in California can be disciplined when he or she engages in unprofessional conduct in ways that could adversely impact the nurse’s ability to safely function as a nurse. Unprofessional conduct includes but is not limited to using drugs illegally or in a way that threatens the public.
As such, being convicted of certain kinds of crimes including drug crimes or DUIs may impact your current or future nursing license.
Future Nurses: As mentioned earlier, if you are applying to be a nurse in California, you must disclose all prior convictions by providing documentation in the form of certified court records when you submit your application. Your application may also be delayed between four to six weeks while the board makes a determination regarding your conviction.
Current Nurses: Similarly, if you are a nurse and are renewing your license, any license discipline action must also be disclosed to the board. Fortunately, the board does take into account measures of rehabilitation including treatment or counseling, letters of reference, evidence of community service work and if you have obtained an expungement.
So once you have a conviction, there are several types of disciplinary actions that may occur after a conviction for a DUI or drug charges.
Disciplinary actions for Nursing Practice Act violations, include: the least serious which is public reprimand, then you your license may be on probation, including drug tests, you may face license suspension and probation, finally for the most egregious of cases criminal charges may result in license revocation.
If you are a nurse facing criminal charges and have questions about the consequences of having a conviction on your license, please call the Defense Lawyer Corporation at 949-347-5478.