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Jeopardizing Your Nursing License as a Traveler

State nursing boards have the authority to investigate claims against nurses and revoke a nurse’s license for a variety of reasons. Each state has a formal Nurse Practice Act that clearly outlines violations that result in revocation. State nursing boards investigate claims against nurses and only take action when there is a basis for a claim. There are formal and informal processes for addressing claims against nurses, including formal administrative hearings and negotiated agreements.

Nurses have the right to due process, including the right to be informed of allegations, the opportunity to respond to claims and to defense against accusers, and the right to have claims heard by fair and impartial decision-makers. Those in travel nursing jobs should take great care to know the Nurse Practice Acts of every state they work in to avoid violations that could jeopardize a nursing license. It’s far better to comply with state nursing boards than to have to defend against allegations of violations and the possible risk of license revocation.

Impersonating a Licensed Practitioner
Nurses who lose their licenses, or who have been educated but cannot get licensed because of a felony conviction, may be tempted to impersonate a nurse. False documentation, identity theft, and practicing without a license are grounds for immediate revocation of a nursing license, for all nurses, including those with travel nursing jobs.

Nurses are exposed to and entrusted with a huge variety of medications. Nurses abusing narcotics risk losing their license, but may be give a suspension with the opportunity to retain the license contingent upon successful completion of an addiction recovery group. Nurses who have travel nursing jobs may be at greater risk of taking chances stealing drugs for personal habits because of weaker bonds with wider groups of associates and patients.

Falsifying Records
Nurses with the best intentions may be tempted to falsify records, patients’ records or their own. Writing something other than what actually took place in a patient record is grounds for revocation, as well as risky nursing practice. Diverting drugs through false records is another step on this path, and one that can not only get a license revoked, but also get a nurse thrown in jail.

Violating State Board Probation
State nursing boards have the authority and responsibility to oversee nurses’ behavior, professional conduct, work habits, and much more. Offenses that land a nurse on probation with a state nursing board must be taken very seriously. Probation is an opportunity to do better and a risk of complete revocation if a nurse doesn’t comply.

Harming Patients
Causing harm to a patient, whether intentionally, accidentally or through neglect, is grounds for nursing license revocation. State nursing boards field many complaints against nurses and are experienced at determining the validity of allegations. One good defense against allegations of harming patients is professional, accurate records. Another is good communication with doctors, patients and patients’ families.

Travel nursing jobs may be very attractive to young nurses just starting their careers, as well as mid-career and veteran nurses seeking higher pay and travel opportunities. However, nursing is a demanding professional career that requires a large capacity for compassion, patience and kindness, as well as high energy and intelligence. Many nurses fall victim to self-medicating habits to relieve stress and suffer burnout. Traveling nurses may experience these difficulties more because of the challenges of travel and logistics. Having a travel nursing job and being in an unfamiliar area around new people can be stimulating and fun or tiring and frightening. Knowing state nurse practice acts, avoiding violations and staying professional prevent travel nurses from jeopardizing their licenses.

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