In the state of Wisconsin, nurses must go through a licensing process before they can begin to practice. Your nursing license represents years of training and demonstrates your expertise. However, the ability to work as a practicing nurse is a privilege based on your performance and behavior. Several circumstances can lead to a suspended license.
Failing to meet professional standards
Nursing is a stressful job with high demands. Some patients can be difficult and uncooperative. Yet, through it all, nurses are expected to handle themselves professionally. Medical facilities will not tolerate abusive behavior toward patients. Behaviors that might raise red flags include:
- Physical abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Patient neglect
Drug abuse is a serious issue in the medical field. The combination of a stressful environment with access to controlled substances can be too tempting for some. Attempting to care for patients while under the influence can lead to deadly mistakes. Selling pharmaceuticals is another path that leads to a lost license.
Nurses have access to private information about their patients. HIPAA rules are supposed to prevent the sharing of this data without patient permission. In the worst case, some nurses have lost their licenses for selling patient information.
Your behavior outside the health practice can also affect the status of your license. Failing a background check can lead to a suspension depending on the infraction.
Nurses must maintain professional boundaries with their patients. While it is appropriate to be friendly and kind, romantic relationships between patients and nurses cross the line. Other ethical issues include:
- Accepting patient gifts
- Fraudulent charting
- Betraying patient privacy.
A single ethical infraction may not lead to a suspended license, but a pattern of behavior may bring extra licensing scrutiny.
A serious concern
Your nursing license represents your livelihood. By following proper procedures and established guidelines, you will minimize the chance of a penalty. However, if you experience a suspension, a health law attorney may help you deal with the situation.