How a crime of moral turpitude can affect nurse certification

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | Medical Nursing |

As frontline caregivers, nurses are held to stringent ethical standards to help ensure the well-being and safety of patients. That’s why when a nurse becomes involved in a crime characterized by moral turpitude, the repercussions can impact their professional certification and career trajectory.

The law defines a crime of moral turpitude as an immoral or depraved act that violates the basic duties owed to fellow human beings. Any criminal conviction for any felony can cause nurses to be denied licensing and certification. Furthermore, misdemeanor convictions that involve moral turpitude may also result in the same repercussions.

Legal ramifications for nurses

Crimes involving moral turpitude are typically heinous acts that shock the moral conscience, including but not limited to fraud, theft and violent offenses. When a nurse is entangled in a criminal case involving moral turpitude, the legal consequences can be severe. Legal proceedings may result in convictions, fines or even imprisonment.

Nursing boards and certification bodies take allegations of moral turpitude seriously. The integrity and trustworthiness of healthcare professionals are paramount. Nurses facing criminal charges are often subject to disciplinary actions by these boards, including the suspension or revocation of their certification. This can jeopardize their current position and cast a shadow over future employment opportunities in the healthcare sector.

Rehabilitation and redemption

While the consequences of a crime involving moral turpitude can be severe, the path to redemption is not entirely closed. Some nursing boards may consider rehabilitation efforts and evidence of remorse when evaluating a nurse’s eligibility for reinstatement. Participation in counseling, community service or educational programs can demonstrate a genuine commitment to personal growth and ethical rehabilitation.

A crime involving moral turpitude can jeopardize a nurse’s career, but it’s crucial to remember that allegations of wrongdoing do not guarantee a conviction nor do they guarantee that professional consequences will follow. Seeking legal guidance can help nurses to better understand their rights and options under the law.