Perhaps you got pulled over while driving and arrested because the officer thought that you were under the influence of alcohol. Maybe you got arrested after leaving the grocery store because you had left something on the bottom rack of your cart and failed to remember it when talking to the cashier.
Whatever the cause, your arrest occurred during your own time and had nothing to do with your job responsibilities. Unfortunately, as a nurse working in Pennsylvania, your professional future could still be at risk.
The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing can take disciplinary action over infractions that violate its standards, including criminal charges and convictions. Unfortunately, you can’t just hide the charges and hope that you won’t face consequences.
You must report your pending charges within 30 days
The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing has very clear policies regarding criminal arrests and convictions. You have to pass a background check to get your license, and you have to maintain a clean criminal record to keep your license.
To optimally protect the patients under the care of licensed nurses, the board requires that nurses report issues that could impact their licensing status, including pending charges, recent convictions and even disciplinary actions faced in another jurisdiction.
Although you likely won’t face punitive measures regarding your arrests or charges until after your conviction or guilty plea, the forced disclosure ensures that the state will know about the issue even before you have your day in court. Mounting a thorough criminal defense could help you protect your state nursing license when you find yourself facing criminal charges as a nurse in Pennsylvania.