Medical professionals depend on their professional licenses to make a living. Acquiring a professional license takes years of education, training and preparation. In Pennsylvania, nurses must even pass a state-administered test before they can legally practice. It comes as no surprise that nurses and doctors take pride in their profession.
However, the law holds medical professionals to a higher ethical standard, and having a license means you also assume the risk of losing it. Because you put in so much effort to get your license, you want to do everything you can to defend it against any allegations of unethical behavior or criminal charges.
Reasons for license suspension or revocation
The licensing board has the authority to issue and revoke professional licenses, depending on your profession. It usually begins when a patient, colleague, insurance company or health care facility files a complaint against you because they believe you did something wrong or unethical. Below are common reasons for license suspension or revocation:
- Substance abuse problem
- Patient mistreatment and abuse
- Drug diversion or misappropriation
- Failure to conform to a quality standard of the profession or unprofessional conduct
- Criminal convictions
- Breach of patient confidentiality
- Inappropriate relationships with patients
It would be a mistake to underestimate the gravity of such complaints even though you know they are unfair. The licensing board exists to protect the public. Therefore, once any person or entity initiates a complaint against you, they will investigate the case and look for any evidence to support the complaint.
Taking the initiative to protect your license
Although you believe the licensing board will not find evidence against you, an investigation could still lead to a formal hearing. Anything you say or do will be under scrutiny and your license is in jeopardy. You must understand your legal options so you can find a way to defend and protect the license you worked so hard to earn.