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Nursing Law & Order provides commentary on legal issues facing nurses. This is not legal advice.

June 17, 2009

My Nursing License was Suspended! What do I do now? How do I make a living? Where do I start?

I am receiving more phone calls and emails from nurses who have had their license suspended. Don't walk away from your nursing license!

I know its tough but don't just say "frack it, I don't want to ever deal with a Nursing Board again." The key is finding someone like me, who loves to deal with the Nursing Board to assist you.

I don't know your situation of course, but I know that there is help out there for you if you want to avail yourself to the resources and services out there for nurses in your situation. Yes, its going to cost money, especially to retain an attorney, but what is your license worth to you as nurse?

1. If your license is suspended there may be terms and conditions for the reinstatement of your license. You should receive a copy of this terms and conditions from the Board. If you don't have a copy or can't find your copy, then request another. It is very important that you review the terms and conditions for reinstatement of your license.

2. Consider contacting a license defense attorney in your state or jurisdiction to discuss your options. See Attorney representation, counseling, and advising is important here also.

Attorney representation is not just for the disciplinary investigation and hearing process because if you license is suspended, there will be terms/conditions for reinstatement, and most likely some type of probation and monitoring by the Nursing Board.

Nursing Board probation is no joking matter and it requires strict compliance with the terms and conditions for probation; you don't get to pick which terms you want to abide by when on probation. I see sooooo many cases where nurses are non-compliant with Nursing Board probation and this leads to

additional issues.

I spend alot of my time working with my clients who are currently on Nursing Board probation (which can range from 6 months to 5 years depending on the State Nursing Board and the allegations in the complaint(s).

I am also being retained by more nurses who are suspended, seeing reinstatement, or being monitored and who need assistance with not only the Nursing Board process and procedure but also the professional, employment, ethical, workplace, and sometimes criminal issues that arise.

Remember, the Nursing Board staff works for the Board and are not there to hold your hand or provide you with legal advice or counseling. That is not their role.

Some of the Nursing Board staff are nurses but they are there to protect the public. Don't take it personal as they are doing their job and you need to do your job. Its not a friendship; it is a professional relationship.

They are not their to be your friend and this should not be an expectation that you have anyway in your dealings with Nursing Board staff related to your nursing license.

Also being angry with Nursing Board staff doesn't help. Cursing and swearing at Nursing Board staff is counterproductive. Again if you can't maintain your composure because of everthing that has transpired, retain an attorney, who is an objective third party, to represent you.

3. You cannot practice nursing but that does not mean you cannot work especially in this tough economic times. This is where a license defense attorney, your State Nursing Association, peer support group, or nurse colleagues come in handy. Talk to other nurses about employment options which utilize your nursing background but don't require a nursing license. You cannot work in a position requiring a nursing license and you cannot practice nursing.  

If you are reading this post and your license is suspended or you know a suspension is forthcoming, start preparing yourself now! You can dig yourself out of this hole but you have to take the first step. Start climbing!

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