Grounds for Nursing License Suspension in Washington DC

Various grounds exist for nursing license suspension in Washington DC. These range from criminal activities, to incompetence, to misconduct involving fraud or deception. Not only can these circumstances result in the suspension of a license, but they might also result in other forms of discipline—including a complete revocation of an individual’s license.

If you are facing a potential suspension, you need to be aware of your rights and the steps that you should take to protect those rights. Engaging the services of a well-versed nursing license defense lawyer who routinely defends nurses in professional licensure actions might be instrumental to a positive outcome of the allegations against you.

Rather than trying to handle this high-stakes matter on your own, you may wish to seek immediate legal advice when you become aware of any complaints against you.

Common Reasons for Nursing License Suspensions

Many different reasons can form the basis for a suspension of a nursing license, but some occur more commonly than others. Some of these grounds include:

  • Unlawfully taking controlled substances and medical supplies from employers—which is often linked to substance abuse issues
  • Patient abuse or neglect
  • Breach of patient privacy by divulging patient information to unauthorized parties or in an unauthorized manner
  • A criminal conviction for a crime of moral turpitude that directly reflects on the fitness of individuals to hold nursing licenses

Other reasons that might warrant a suspension include professional, mental, or physical incompetence to hold a license, making false reports, claims, statements, or records, prescribing or administering drugs when not authorized to do so, and failing to conform to acceptable standards of conduct and practice in a health profession.

However, some of the causes for a suspension in the District, as provided in the District of Columbia Nurse Practice Act, are very generalized in nature, which can cover a broad range of conduct by nurses. As a result, individuals should not hesitate to contact legal counsel for advice about whether the allegations leveled against them might merit the suspension of their license.

Nurse’s Rehabilitation Program

As one of the most common circumstances for nursing license suspensions in the District of Columbia is impairment due to alcohol or drug abuse, the District of Columbia Nurse Practice Act has established the Nurse’s Rehabilitation Program.

Participation in this program is entirely voluntary but may assist individuals who genuinely wish to overcome their addictions and return to nursing. The Nursing Board, colleagues, and employers may refer nurses to the program, or nurses may request admission to the program.

The only individuals who are ineligible for the program are those who caused injuries to others while practicing nursing, are in the middle of malpractice litigation concerning allegations of harm to others, or have been arrested for diversion of controlled substances for distribution or sale to others.

Nurses who fail to comply with the program requirements may be subject to immediate summary suspension of their nursing licenses. Essentially, this program requires admitted nurses to enroll in a treatment program and complete all other necessary therapy and rehabilitation services. Written reports and progress records are available to the committee of the Nursing Board that oversees the program. Participants also will be subject to random drug testing.

Learn More About Grounds for Nursing License Suspension in DC

Nurses who are facing allegations that could lead to suspension of their nursing licenses have specific rights and responsibilities under the District of Columbia Nurse Practice Act.

While your first inclination may be to try to explain yourself and handle the allegations on your own, you may end up making matters more difficult for yourself or giving the Nursing Board evidence to use against you in disciplinary proceedings. Regardless of the grounds for nursing license suspension in Washington DC, you should consider strongly the merits of hiring legal counsel to represent your interests.

Your license represents years of studying, taking exams, and building a career. A single allegation of misconduct could cause irreparable damage to your future professional aspirations if not handled properly. As a result, getting legal advice when the stakes are high can be integral to your ability to protect your future.