If you work in the healthcare industry in Pennsylvania, you may be feeling a bit uneasy. 149 hospitals in the state were recently penalized by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for high rates of patient injuries. Although hospital-acquired conditions have declined 21 percent since 2010, Pennsylvania hospitals still account for one in five facilities on the list nationwide.
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.
Many hospitals and healthcare providers perform annual employee evaluations. As a nurse or medical resident, it is important to request a copy of each evaluation which you should save for your records.
If you are a nurse, doctor, dentist, pharmacist or other healthcare worker and have been arrested for driving under the influence or any other criminal charges, the arrest could jeopardize your healthcare license.A DUI arrest, even one that does not result in a conviction, can have an impact on your license. If you are arrested for DUI, you may be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition Program (ARD). This is a preliminary probation program which will allow your record to be expunged after successful completion of the ARD program; however, you may still be required to notify the licensing board of this arrest.Up until recently, the Licensing Board would typically learn of an arrest when a licensee disclosed the arrest on the biannual renewal of the license; however, recently, the licensing boards are learning of the arrests of healthcare professionals by doing their own investigations.
On a regular basis, I receive telephone calls from physicians and nurses asking me if discipline from another state can affect their Pennsylvania license. The answer is yes.