When you face criminal charges or have been convicted, your instinct may be to keep it a secret. You may know that it could impact your career as a nurse in Pennsylvania, but think that you can get away with hiding a misdemeanor or criminal charge from the State Board of Nursing. However, there could be serious repercussions if you do not report criminal charges or convictions.
As a licensed nurse in Pennsylvania, the law requires that you report:
- Pending criminal charges within 30 days of the filing of those charges
- Criminal conviction, guilty plea, admission into a probation without verdict or accelerated rehabilitative disposition program within 30 days
- Disciplinary actions by other states or jurisdictions within 90 days of the action
Who needs to report? Where do you report?
You are required to report if you are a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP), licensed dietitian-nutritionist (LDN) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
To make your report, you can notify the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing online or by mail at P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17105-2649. Be sure to act quickly so that you do not miss the deadline for reporting.
Consequences for failing to report
If you fail to report, you could face disciplinary sanctions, which can impact your future career in nursing. Additionally, the Board can revoke your nursing license for any "unprofessional conduct."
In order to ensure you properly report any criminal matter with the Board, speak to an experienced attorney who handles professional license defense cases. Your attorney can help you understand the reporting requirements you face as a nurse, advise you on whether to disclose this information to your employer and help you protect your license throughout the process.