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If you are a nurse, you might be wondering how a run-in with the law could affect your license and career. When you submit your renewal application, you are obligated to report any criminal convictions to the Board of Nursing. Additionally, the Board checks criminal records and if they uncover a conviction it could be problematic, especially if you, as the licensee, failed to immediately report it to them.

There are several factors that the Board will consider when looking at your records. Knowing what these are may help you come up with the right plan of action.

What was the crime?

If the Board finds a criminal conviction on your record, they will consider what it could suggest about your ability to work as a nurse, including character for failure to immediately report the conviction to them. Offenses that involve harming others, intentional or not, could disqualify you from getting or renewing your license. Theft or drug convictions could also cause problems because as a nurse, people will have to trust you with handling sensitive items.

How have you handled the situation?

If you can show that you have taken full responsibility for your actions and are not likely to repeat them, you may be able to keep your license. It is also good to show that you have conducted yourself well in your community since the incident. Recommendations from a supervisor could help with this.

It can be very upsetting to lose a license that you worked hard to obtain. However, you have options. Seeking guidance from a legal professional who knows the law is a good first step.