After reading a lot of the stories out there about nurses losing their license you can't help but wonder if it's that easy to lose it and the reasons nurses get fired. So we have examined why nurses lose their jobs and sometimes their license.
1. Making too many medication errors.
Medication errors are serious business and can kill people. It's why there are tons of math test in nursing school. You need to understand nursing math like the back of your hand, your job and license depend on it. If you make too many medication errors you'll very likely be fired and have to answer to the dreaded board that holds your license over your head with a string.
2. Using drugs on the job
I know you're probably thinking "who would risk their license for that?" Well, it's a lot more prevalent than you'd think. Nurses lose their careers frequently because of addiction. While there is a recovery program put in place by the board, if your addiction is bad enough you could face never working as a nurse again.
If you are guilty of diversion you can even see another piece of the pie...Jail. An employer can have you locked up for theft of narcotics. Addiction is something that creeps up on you before you realize it's happening. You get a prescription for hydrocodone for a legitimate medical problem and before you know it you're hooked and it's so tempting to take a few pills from work. Don't do it! You'll get caught, fired and you'll be at the mercy of the board of nursing for a very long time. You may also face criminal charges. Nothing like having the police transport you out of work in handcuffs. I've seen this happen.
3. Social media sharing
If you decide to take pictures of a patient to post on social media in ANY capacity, be prepared to have your license revoked. There have been cases of nurses who thought it was funny to share a picture of a patient while they're sleeping, or maybe you make a poor decision to take a picture of a patient's genitalia and post it on Twitter. You'll be fired and your license will be revoked. Don't even contemplate it. It violates the patient's privacy and even if the patient consents to the picture you should avoid it at all costs.
4. Charting Errors
We all make mistakes and remember in charting: if it's not in writing it didn't happen. Exclusion of information can come back to haunt you. Nurses do get very busy and it sometimes feels like a huge chore to sit down and chart everything that happened, but your license rides on you ensuring that you chart correctly even if it means staying after your shift to get the job done.
5. Verbally or physically abusing a patient
Be very careful with this one, because you can be charged with abuse even if you didn't intend on hurting someone. I know of a case where a patient was in her 90s and the nurse was doing a procedure on the patient. After the procedure, it was discovered that the patient's arm was broken. After an investigation, the nurse was cleared of any wrongdoing but the nurse had a horrible time getting any work again. Because nursing is such a clique profession, word got around that he broke a patient's arm and he never worked as a nurse again.
Control your temper and don't curse patients or their family members. Even if a patient attacks you, call the police and let them deal with it. You can't afford to fight back physically. In the eyes of the board, the patient is always right.
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