Would you believe that if you have a license, which is expired, the Board can still take action on that license? Unfortunately, many nurses find out the hard way that this is the case. The idea is that, like a driver’s license, if your license gets suspended in one state, they don’t want you driving in another state. Here, they don’t want you to reapply to get your license back. In addition, the Board feels that the public has a right to know if there is a problem.
If you have an investigation or complaint in one state, be aware that other licenses may be affected both active, inactive and expired. If you have a matter in one state, it is important that you research if you are required to report the matter in other states where you hold a license. Many states have mandatory reporting requirements and this is required whether the license is expired or not. Even if you don’t live in that state and never want to practice there again, make sure you follow the mandatory reporting requirements.
Many nurses who have an action against their license in one state and are working in another state erroneously think it is ok to surrender their license in that state or even worse, not even bother to participate in the process. It seems logical that it should not make a difference. However, logic does not prevail. The law prevails. Most states will follow what other states do. They give credit to the actions taken in other states. If you do surrender your license in one state or if your license is revoked, other states may follow suit.
Whatever happens in one state will affect licenses you hold or have held in other states. Don’t lose your most valuable asset by failing to report something you must report. It can be an action in another state or a criminal matter. It doesn’t matter. Know each state’s Nurse Practice Act where you hold or have held a license so you can make sure you are compliant. I am sure this must be especially difficult for travel nurses.