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The top ways you can lose your nursing license

You have struggled through almost a decade of specialized schooling and training to get your nursing credentials. You love your job but realize that school did not prepare you for some of the hardships you now face.

Nursing is a noble career, and it is also one of the most closely watched. Rules and regulations abound, and many may seem to come with severe consequences. Losing your license would devastate your present and future. Keep an eye out for these top pitfalls to avoid getting mixed up in a situation that may result in a loss of your nursing license.

Ethical choices

You may face a challenging situation that makes you question authority. If you do not feel comfortable carrying out orders because they seem unethical in some way, then do not do it. Notify a supervisor and document your reasoning behind the choice.


Nurses, especially those in hospital settings, find themselves working long shifts. Sometimes, turning to stimulants such as coffee or energy drinks ceases to work. Some people turn to stimulant medications; however, they do so without medical supervision. The cycle of addiction is real for those in the profession. If you are struggling, get help and complete any mandatory rehab. Failure to do so may result in a suspension and loss of your license.

Serious missteps

Mistakes happen in every profession, but in the medical profession, those mistakes may have fatal consequences. Double-check orders, especially when they pertain to medication changes. Taking an extra few minutes to review a chart may save you from unintentionally harming a patient.

Forging records

If you do make a mistake, never attempt to falsify a patient record to cover your tracks. Instead, come clean and do what you must to rectify the situation. Providing information that you know is untrue on records is forgery.

Protect yourself by making smart choices. There is a good chance you will make mistakes and not always use your best judgment. How you handle these decisions may affect whether you keep your license.