As a nurse in the state of Pennsylvania, you are charged with caring for and maintaining the dignity, confidentiality of personal information and the right to privacy of patients. In addition to meeting the necessary educational requirements, the state also requires you to be of good moral character in order to obtain and maintain a nursing license in the state. Therefore, engaging in certain behaviors could result in the State Board of Nursing taking disciplinary action against you, including suspending your license.
According to Pennsylvania state law, as a licensed nurse in the state, you may not knowingly allow someone not licensed to practice nursing in the state to use your license for any reason. Further, you may be considered in violation of the law if you intentionally aid another person in the violation or circumvention of a nursing board regulation or law.
State law also prohibits you, as a registered nurse, from misusing or stealing property, materials, money, equipment or drugs from patients or your employer. For example, this may include taking home items such as gloves, wound care dressings, intravenous fluid bags, or worse, taking a drug yourself that was intended for a patient. You may also face disciplinary action by the board for asking to borrow or borrowing money, property or other materials from a patient or a patient’s family.
Leaving a nursing assignment or abandoning a patient for whom you bear responsibility could also lead to a suspension of your nursing license. State law requires you to follow the appropriate reporting and notification procedures before going on break or off shift or otherwise leaving your duty area.
This post is intended only to provide general information; it is not meant as legal advice.