Nursing License Reprimands from the North Carolina BON

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:

  • Supervisors
  • Patients
  • Coworkers
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Observer

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
  • Reprimand
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Revocation

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.

Disclosing Reprimands

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?

Reprimands are public, so anyone who has access to state or national licensing databases and looks up your license. The only way a reprimand cannot be seen is if a lawyer has successfully argued for it to be turned into a private reprimand or have the case dismissed.

Are reprimands only issued for misconduct at work?

No, you can receive a reprimand for misconduct outside of work as well. For example, certain convictions must be reported to the Board of Nursing and may result in a reprimand.

Will you lose your license as a result of receiving a reprimand?

In most cases, no, you will not lose your license or even get suspended, for that matter. However, it is essential to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side to minimize the consequences.


Are consultations free?

While we offer a free consultation on traffic matters, criminal matters, and most professional license defense cases, we charge a fee for family law consultations to personalize our consultations to your specific needs. To learn about our fee structure, please get in touch.

Where can I get legal advice?

We recommend meeting with an attorney. While there is free legal help available for North Carolina residents from pro bono resources for civil matters, and public defenders for criminal cases, the best way to access tailored advice is to hire a lawyer.

Can I hire you if I’m in another state?

This is done on a case by case basis if you are involved in a family law, criminal, or professional disciplinary matter that involves another jurisdiction.



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