Could “cancel culture” cost you your nursing license?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2022 | Professional License Issues |

As a nurse, you have a duty to treat people with dignity no matter what circumstances caused them to seek medical treatment. You need a license to work as a nurse in Pennsylvania, and you have to maintain a good reputation if you want to keep your job.

The way that you comport yourself in your private life could potentially have an impact on your professional future. As some people have learned the hard way, things they say online or to strangers in public can gain an international audience within hours – or less.

Victims of cancel culture don’t just find themselves booted off of social media platforms. Some of them lose their livelihoods when online bullying turns into a real-world campaign that involves contacting employers and licensing authorities. Could your nursing license be at risk if people try to cancel you?

People need a valid reason to file a complaint

Anyone concerned about your personal ethics or job performance could make it a report to your employer or the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing. The more evidence they have to substantiate their claims against you, the more likely it is for your employer or the licensing board to take those complaints seriously.

For example, social media activity that included the use of divisive language or racial slurs could prompt complaints about your treatment of certain groups of patients. Depending on your employer’s social media policy, you might face disciplinary action at work. Complaints to the Board of Nursing should prove less successful, as there would need to be reason to think that your online activity affects your treatment of patients.

If you do find yourself facing a disciplinary hearing, a robust defense could help you protect your license and your career as a nurse. Knowing when and how to defend your nursing license can help you protect the investment you have made in your career.