Playing a vital role in private practices, clinics and hospitals, nurses care for patients, administer medications and other treatments, and serve as a go-between between physicians and patients. As a nurse, you must obtain a specialized license to legally practice your duties. Among other qualifications for such licensure, the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing requires nursing professionals to be of good moral character. As such, getting charged with a criminal offense could have serious repercussions on your professional license and employment.

There are several situations that may lead to nursing professionals facing disciplinary action from the Board of Nursing. For example, your professional license may be on the line if you are convicted, plead guilty or receive accelerated rehabilitative disposition for misdemeanor or felony crimes of moral turpitude. You may also face action by the nursing board if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, or if you obtained, possessed, distributed or used controlled substances for reasons that were not medically accepted.

According to Pennsylvania state law, you are required to notify the Board of Nursing of any pending criminal charges or convictions. This is the case regardless of the offenses you are alleged to have committed or were found guilty of. Such notifications must be made within 30 days of the action. Should you neglect to report a criminal charge or conviction, you could face disciplinary action by the Board of Nursing. Criminal charge and conviction notifications may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to evaluate whether to impose professional sanctions, on top of any criminal penalties that may be levied against you.

The preceding information is intended for general purposes only. This post should not be taken as legal advice.