In a typical day for a California nurse, any number of things can go wrong. From simple frustrations, such as a co-worker calling in sick, to a crisis like a recovering patient who suddenly takes a turn for the worse, you must be prepared to deal with matters in a calm and professional way. Sometimes, however, the crisis is personal and may affect your future.
Because you are busy helping others throughout the day, you may not consider that you have to protect yourself too. Your nursing license is on the line every minute that you are on the job and even when you are not on duty. As challenging as it may have been to obtain your license, you can lose it in one careless moment. It is important to know the most common ways you can jeopardize your license and face disciplinary action from the California Board of Registered Nursing.
Your career on the line
One of the most common reasons why a nurse may lose his or her license is practicing under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have a substance abuse problem, there are options available for you to get the help you need, and these programs can often keep you from losing your license. However, issues involving the use or diversion of drugs can result in trouble for you, professionally and legally. Other factors that place your license in jeopardy include the following:
- Falsifying patient records: Whether a careless omission or intentionally covering a mistake, falsifying patient charts can cost you your job.
- Falsifying your credentials: This can include claiming to have the CE credits you need, using someone else’s name because your record makes you ineligible for a nursing license or failing to tell your employer that your license is under suspension.
- Neglecting or abusing your patients: If a patient claims you caused harm or failed to provide adequate care, you may have serious charges to defend against.
- Making mistakes: If you are not feeling well, are fatigued or are distracted, you may not be on your best game at work, and this could have tragic consequences.
Unfortunately, your behavior when you are on your own time can also affect your job. The nursing board may be quick to take action against a nurse whose behaviors off the clock reflects badly on the nursing profession. If you are under investigation for any of the above actions or others, you should not face the disciplinary process without the aid of a legal professional who has experience and success dealing with administrative and licensing boards.