Nurses are an integral part of the health care system. Whether you are going in for an exam or seeking urgent medical care, a nurse will often be the first professional you are treated by. Because of the vital role they play, though, there are high standards maintained for licensing. There are many missteps that can land a nurse in trouble and result in a license that is suspended or even revoked.
These are the most common reasons for such actions. No matter what your nursing specialty is, it is imperative that you adhere to the standards of your facility as well as the ethical and practical obligations expected of your position.
Taking medicine or supplies
According to the Pharmacy Times, it is estimated that ten percent of nurses may struggle with substance abuse. Nurses, of course, are in a privileged position to gain access to narcotics, so it may be all too tempting to swipe prescription drugs to use or resell. There are other valuable supplies a nurse might steal, but diversion is a surefire way to jeopardize your own license and likely have it revoked.
Patient abuse or neglect
It goes without saying that your primary responsibility as a nurse is to provide the care and treatment your patients need. If you fail to do this-and worse, if you actively harm them-there will be consequences. Allegations of abuse and neglect are not uncommon in health care facilities, though, so it is important to protect yourself against the possibility of untrue accusations.
Breach of privacy
Patients are entitled to privacy, and this does not just refer to physical discretion. Nurses have access to information on patients that is protected by HIPAA, and failure to properly protect these details is a serious offense. Intentionally violating a patient’s privacy to use their personal details nefariously is criminal and liable to cost you your nursing license.
Of course, there are many cases in which nurses face license suspension when they shouldn’t. Individuals in these cases should work with an experienced attorney to protect their livelihoods.