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What happens when a nurse is accused of a crime?

There are few professions the public holds in a higher regard than that of a nurse. These professionals spend years studying, training, and preparing for their chosen profession. It is unfortunate that a single error in judgement can put this all at risk.

There are two ways to breakdown a conversation about the impact of criminal allegation on one’s nursing license. The first will discuss alleged crimes that happened in one’s personal life. The second, crimes related to providing care. The discussion will focus specifically on the impact to the accused nurse’s professional license, not the potential for criminal or civil penalties.

Crimes connected to a nurse’s personal life

Whether allegations of drunk driving or tax fraud, a mistake that results in criminal charges will likely trigger an investigation by the local nursing board. Depending on the results of the investigation, the accused could face penalties, suspension, or the revocation of their nursing license.

Crimes connected to the nursing profession

These allegations can be much more heinous as they often involve accusations the nurse misused the power that comes with their profession to commit a crime. This could be a financial crime or one that leads to the injury or death of a patient. These situations will also trigger an investigation by the nursing board with similar potential consequences.

Texas takes the integrity of its nurses very seriously. The Texas Board of Nursing requires applicants have professional character before they will even allow a professional to practice nursing within the state. The presence of a criminal conviction can result in the denial of an application to get a nursing license. As a result, it is important to take any allegations of criminal activity seriously. In addition to defending your innocence to police, you must also defend your stance to the nursing board.