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What happens if a nurse gets arrested when off duty?

The public holds certain professions to a higher standard than others. As a result, the public often supports laws and regulations that hold these individuals accountable, often through the use of a licensing board. One example: those who choose the nursing profession. Licensing boards throughout the country expect nurses to spend countless hours of learning before they can apply for a nursing license.

Do licensing agencies care about criminal convictions?

Although the licensing agency and particulars vary with each state, it is safe to presume a criminal conviction will trigger the agency’s interest.

In New York, the New York State Education Department grants nursing licenses. New York requires applicants disclose all criminal convictions and disciplinary actions. The agency states the disclosure may not prevent an applicant from obtaining a license, but will take it into consideration. Those who receive their license and are later arrested and charged with a crime may find themselves under investigation by the licensing board.

Does the type of crime matter?

All crimes will likely receive a review, but the agency will focus on whether or not the conviction impact’s the individual’s ability to perform within the profession. Examples can include driving under the influence or other crimes.

A nurse out of Staten Island was recently arrested and charged with third-degree stolen property possession and third-degree grand larceny. The charges were in connection with an alleged real estate scam. Upon facing these charges, she agreed to a plea deal. The deal came with the requirement that she plead guilty to two felonies. In addition to the sentencing that will come with this conviction, she could lose her nursing license if the board determines the crimes she agreed to plead to negatively impact her ability to continue as a nurse.

In most cases, an arrest will trigger an investigation. As a result, nurses are wise to act to protect their interests. An attorney can review your case and build a defense in the event of an investigation, working to help better ensure you do not lose your nursing license.

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