When you hold a license that allows you to work as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania, certain actions have the potential to threaten that license and hurt your ability to make a living. Certain criminal convictions are among them. If you face a charge for drunk driving, drug possession or any number of other criminal offenses, you have an ethical and legal duty to report it through the appropriate channels.
Per the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin, the following are the notification deadlines you must meet as a registered Pennsylvania nurse facing disciplinary action.
Criminal charge notification guidelines
When you have a pending criminal charge, you must notify the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing within 30 days of the filing of the charge. If you have to complete a biennial renewal application for an expiring nursing license before the 30-day window passes, you must include the information about the charge when attempting to renew your license.
Criminal conviction notification guidelines
You also have to notify the State Board of Nursing within 30 days if you enter a guilty plea, a plea of nolo contendere or an admission into a probation without verdict or accelerated disposition (ARD) program. If you enter into a probation or rehabilitative program without the state issuing a verdict on your case, you also have 30 days to tell the nursing board. Like in the situation described above, if you have to complete a biennial renewal application for an expiring nursing license before the 30-day window passes, you must include the information about the charge when completing the renewal paperwork.
You also have a duty to let the nursing board know if you have disciplinary action taken against you from a licensing authority located in a different state. In this scenario, you have 90 days to make the report from the day you received word about the disciplinary action.