Being a nurse can be a difficult job. You truly need to have a passion for helping others to make it in this career.
Every year, dozens of nurses lose their licenses due to various reasons. Although most nurses are undeniably wonderful people, the above fact cannot be overlooked.
The threat of having your license revoked is ever-present, so you need to be well informed on what circumstances can lead to that happening. Below are five of the most common reasons for nurses losing their licenses:
1. Breaching Patient Confidentiality
As you know, all healthcare workers must protect and uphold strict patient confidentiality rules – that includes nurses. Under no circumstances may you share patient information just because you want to.
Thousands of nurses worldwide have lost their jobs and even their licenses for breaking one of the top rules. No matter how tempting it may be at times, you are never allowed to breach patient confidentiality unless you are authorised to do so by the judicial system.
2. Falsifying Records
Many nurses regularly work 12-hour shifts and are exhausted. That means they sometimes forget to record activities like giving patients extra pain medication to get them through the night or forget to complete patient records at the right time and falsify it up later.
Whatever the reason is, falsifying records can get your license suspended. If, for example, you forget to record a patient’s allergy and write down something different instead – that may lead to their death.
Government boards simply won’t accept that kind of behaviour from a nurse, even if you are monitoring your patient remotely and don’t have immediate access to them.
3. Patient Neglect
Patient neglect happens far more often than anyone would like to admit. That can happen when a nurse is intentionally hurting a patient because they want them to suffer, or even just by an overworked nurse making a mistake.
Mistakes do happen from time to time, even nurses are only human – but these mistakes can lead to having your license revoked, so you must try to avoid them. That is difficult during a public health crisis like the current pandemic.
Nurses are run ragged and work exceptionally long hours trying to take care of as many people as possible – mistakes are bound to happen in situations like these. If you get into trouble you need to ask for help to protect your license.
4. Unprofessional Conduct
Understandably, this one can be somewhat confusing at first. Unprofessional conduct is a broad term used by state boards to subjectively choose whether or not to revoke someone’s nursing license.
That term can include but is not limited to; using offensive language around colleagues or patients, having affairs with a superior or junior staff member, and failing to show the appropriate level of professionalism when on duty.
5. Drug Diversion
Slipping yourself or someone else any drug or medication without prior authorization is a serious offence and may lead to your license getting revoked, not to mention possible jail time.
Don’t be tempted to refill medication prescriptions for friends or family members; it simply isn’t worth the risk. If you divert drugs intending to sell them on the black market, you can get imprisoned for several years.
You became a nurse to help people, not break the law – remember that. Nurses are underpaid but that is not the solution.
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