Getting a nursing license is the start of a hopefully long and productive career. It’s a critical part of the process and a nurse cannot practice without one, no matter how well-educated, well-trained or experienced he or she is.

That’s why it’s such a serious blow when a nurse loses their license. A single mistake can completely end their career or at least temporarily put a stop to it. The ramifications are dire.

So, what are some of the main reasons that a nurse may lose their license? They include things like:

  • Alcohol addiction, especially when it leads to things like a drunk driving arrest or alcohol use on the job.
  • The use of illegal drugs.
  • Illegal uses of prescription drugs, such as using or selling these drugs without a prescription.
  • Abusing a patient.
  • Neglecting a patient.
  • Falsifying a medical record or any other patient record.
  • Abandoning a patient who is dependent upon the nurse.
  • Engaging in sexual misconduct.
  • Engaging in unprofessional conduct.
  • Getting arrested and charged with a crime.

In some cases, the revocation of the license is permanent. In other cases, such as while an investigation is ongoing, it may just be temporary.

Either way, it is important for the nurse to know about all of their legal options. When facing a criminal charge, for instance, they need to think about more than just fines and jail time. What could a conviction mean for their career? Could it cause them to lose their license for good? If so, what steps can they take to protect that career? These are all crucial questions to ask.