You worked hard to become a registered nurse and have a tireless dedication to your patients. Even though you do your best day in and day out, you’re still human, and mistakes happen. It is impossible to know how serious a public reprimand is until it is too late.
If you are facing a reprimand and are worried about the consequences, it is essential to be informed and take every step you can to protect your license. Here’s what you need to know about reprimands from the North Carolina Board of Nursing from a Charlotte nursing license defense lawyer.
What Does a Reprimand from the North Carolina Board of Nursing Mean?
Reprimands are formal written notices issued from the nursing board for minor violations of the Nurse Practice Act and Standards of Nursing. They are reported publicly on your record in state and national licensing databases. Anybody can report reprimands, including:
Anyone can report a violation to the North Carolina Board of Nursing, including yourself. Violations warranting a reprimand are minor and typically do not have anything to do with patient mistreatment. For example, a nurse may receive a reprimand for saying something off-color to a patient or even a qualifying traffic violation. If you are involved in an incident that goes against the Nurse Practice Act, you are expected to report self-report. Consequences may be worse if the violation is discovered and you fail to report it to the Board of Nursing.
How Do Reprimands Compare to Other Disciplinary Actions from the Board?
With differing severities of offenses, it stands to reason that the North Carolina Board of Nursing can impose various levels of discipline. The levels from least severe to most severe include:
- Warning letter
As you can see from the list above, reprimands are more severe than warning letters but not nearly as serious as other forms of discipline. Although reprimands are the second least severe, it is still crucial to take them very seriously. Although not standard, without proper representation, reprimands can escalate into severe violations with dire consequences, including revocation.
Can Nurses Still Practice With a Reprimand?
In most cases, yes. With a reprimand, nurses are not typically put on probation or suspension. This means you can continue practicing without limitations on your duties. It is less harsh than probation, suspension, or revocation. Depending on the violation, the North Carolina Board of Nursing may impose a penalty such as:
- Completing coursework related to the violation
- Paying fines
Although inconvenient, these punishments are preferable to suspension without pay, losing your nursing license, or probation.
How Do Reprimands Affect a Nurse’s Current or Future Job Opportunities?
By design, the primary downside to receiving a reprimand is that it is a public record. Anyone with access to state and national databases can see the reprimand on your record as well as any additional complaints.
At some point in the job application and interview process, you will have to disclose to future employers reprimands that are on your record. You do not have to on your resume or application unless specifically asked. However, it would be best if you were prepared to discuss it during an interview. How you accept responsibility can impact whether an employer is willing to hire you.
Reprimands affect your marketability. Most employers thoroughly research future hires before extending interviews to qualified applicants. Since they are public records, employers can see reprimands on your record. Furthermore, it is not protected by federal anti-discrimination laws. Employers can legally refuse to hire nurses due to reprimands on their records.
Hire an Experienced North Carolina Attorney to Fight on Your Behalf
Receiving a formal reprimand is understandably stressful and full of uncertainty. Although the chances of it ending your nursing career are small, it is still important to take a serious approach and have the law on your side.
Remington & Dixon, PLLC is your trusted resource to deal with professional licensing issues throughout North Carolina. If you have received a complaint, it’s crucial to know the next steps to take to protect your license. Contact Remington and Dixon, PLLC to set up your consultation.
Nursing License Reprimand FAQs
Who can see a reprimand?
Are reprimands only issued for misconduct at work?
Will you lose your license as a result of receiving a reprimand?
Brandon double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He earned his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Throughout his career, Brandon has received numerous awards and recognition from his peers and agencies that rate attorneys. A few of these awards are from The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyer in 2014, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in 2014, Nation’s Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel in 2015, Super Lawyers: Rising Stars in 2018 and 2019, and North Carolina Business Magazine: Legal Elite in 2019, among others.