Filling out an application for a nursing license can be a long and taxing process. These licenses are generally state specific, meaning nurses likely need to complete different applications whenever they relocate to a different state.
The application for a nursing license requires more than just information about the applicant’s education and training. It also can require specific disclosures.
What kind of disclosures do state agencies commonly require? The exact requirements will vary depending on which state the applicant wishes to receive a nursing license. The New York Office of the Professions generally requires nursing applicants disclose the following:
- Criminal record. Nurse applicants must disclose the presence of any federal or misdemeanor convictions.
- Current charges. Those who are applying with the state for a nursing license must also disclose any current pending criminal charges.
- Previous professional issues. If transferring from another state or seeking renewal of a nursing license, disclose any prior disciplinary or licensing issues. This includes any previous probations, fines, reprimands or revocations from either a licensing agency, hospital or other employer while performing in an employment position as a nurse.
Why do licensing agencies require this type of disclosure? The Journal of Nursing Regulation conducted a study that focused on the rate of recidivism, or recommission of a crime, amongst nurses. It found 10 percent of nurses with a previous criminal history committed future crimes. This is compared to 3.4 percent of nurses without a criminal history committing a crime while employed as a nurse. The study also found 4.5 percent of applicants with a criminal history experienced professional misconduct issues compared to 1 percent of those without a criminal history.
This study is just one reason why licensing agencies require applicants disclose this information.
A failure to properly complete a nursing license application can lead to allegations of misconduct or fraud. Any nursing professional that faces such allegations is wise to act to protect their interests. An attorney experienced in nursing license issues can review the allegations and help better ensure your rights are protected.