Lately I have been receiving a lot of calls from nurses who either had a criminal problem in their past and are afraid that they won’t be able to get their nursing license or have had a criminal matter after they had obtained their license. None of these nurses ever thought that they would have a criminal matter but somehow they did.
Because the facility where she worked was short-staffed, one nurse forgot to give a medication. She actually worked 120 hours in that pay period. She was afraid that if she didn’t work, who would take care of the residents? No one knew the residents like she did.
Charges were filed against her license for interference with health care. In the meantime, because a criminal matter was pending, action was taken against her nursing license. She ultimately had a jury trial and was found “not guilty” and the charges were dismissed but her matter was also reported in the local newspaper. I can’t imagine all the effects this had on her life or the massive expense of attorney fees she must have had. Regardless, she is through all this now and is doing well.
Sometimes the unexpected happens! The key is “what do we do about it after the fact?” If you are a registered nurse and have a criminal matter, not only seek an experienced criminal attorney but also seek the assistance of a defense attorney who handles license matters as this is the best way to protect your license.
If you had a criminal matter in your past and would like to take the nursing boards, it will be important for you to show the board what you have done since that time to show that you are an upstanding citizen, honest and ethical and capable of taking care of your patients.
You also might want to seek the assistance of a licensed defense attorney, again, so that you can present your matter in the light most favorable to you before the licensing board so that you have the best chance of obtaining a license.
Although none of us expects to have a criminal problem or, for that matter, a license issue, sometimes mistakes do happen. Or, you could simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way that you might end up having a matter, it’s what you do about the matter after it happens that will make the biggest difference.
Be proactive and get the help you need.