Listed below please find three common mistakes that have gotten many nurses an appearance before the Licensing Board. And this trio of simple tips will help you avoid making them. These tips seem like common sense but they are so easily overlooked.
- Keep the board updated about your current address. If the Board needs to get a hold of you, for whatever reason, they have to know where to reach you. If you keep a list of all your bills or all your contact information in one place, add the Nursing Board to that list. We have seen nurses whose licenses have been suspended simply because they forgot to notify the Nursing Board about their new address. For example, if charges are filed against you and you’re already at a new address, the Board won’t be able to reach you and schedule a hearing. You won’t know that you have to appear at a hearing to defend yourself. And your license would most likely end up getting suspended. Keeping the Board informed of your current address is a very simple tip that can save you from a lot of headaches in the future. Along that same line, be sure to always renew your license. You should also put your nursing license renewal date on your calendar. Just like a driver’s license, nurses should remember when to renew it. If you fail to renew your license, you can face criminal charges for practicing nursing without a license.
- Be truthful on your license renewal. If the Board asks if you have been disciplined or terminated in your capacity as a registered nurse, be sure to inform them about any and all discipline, including attendance. In Illinois, we renew licenses every two years. I suggest that you keep a list of all disciplinary actions during that period so that you can report it. If it shows up in your employment file and the Board has not been informed, that can be considered a material misrepresentation in obtaining your nursing license. Honesty is the best policy. The Board simply wants to know that you are safe to practice. You are better off telling the truth rather than being called before the Board to answer an accusation of misrepresentation and fraud.
- Be truthful on job applications. If you get terminated from your position, you need to disclose that on future job applications. Again, this is about honesty. If you do not tell the truth, you are misrepresenting a fact on your nursing job application. But you do not have to explain on the application why you were terminated. Just state that you will discuss it in an interview. Any employer wants to be assured that a potential employee tells the truth. Providing false information on a job application can result in fraud and misrepresentation charges against you. Remember, you are your word! Being honest in your practice regarding the good, bad and ugly says a lot for your integrity. For employers, it’s not enough to just have your nursing license. They want an honest nurse with integrity rather than one who conceals the truth.
If you ever find yourself in any kind of of legal trouble please contact Illinois License Defense Attorney James B. Goldberg at 312-735-1185 or visit his website www.goldberglicensing.com