Are you a Nurse Currently Facing Criminal Charges?
It is a common misconception that the Board of Nursing is only concerned with crimes directly involving the practice of nursing. This is incorrect.
Section 456.072(1)(x), Florida Statutes states that the Board of Nursing may seek discipline against a nurse’s license for:
“Failing to report to the board, or the department if there is no board, in writing within 30 days after the licensee has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction.”Section 456.072(1)(x), Florida Statutes
What does this Statute mean?
This section of the Florida Statutes places a duty on the licensed nurse to report any crime for which the nurse was convicted, was found guilty, or entered into a plea of nolo contendere within 30 days. If the criminal charges are dropped, then the nurse is not required to report the crime.
Do Not Rely on your Criminal Attorney to Report your Crime to the Florida Board of Nursing.
Section 456.072(1)(x), Florida Statutes places the burden on the licensed nurse to report his or her crime to the Board of Nursing. Many criminal attorneys are not familiar with this mandatory reporting requirement. Asserting that you thought your criminal attorney would report the crime for you is not a viable defense for failure to report your conviction to the Board of Nursing.
What is the Penalty for Failing to Report?
|FIRST OFFENSE||Reprimand, $250 fine and continuing education||$500 fine and probation|
|SECOND OFFENSE||$500 fine and suspension||Revocation|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS FIRST OFFENSE||Reprimand||Suspension with corrective action plan|
|FOR TELEHEALTH REGISTRANTS SECOND OFFENSE||Suspension with corrective action plan||Revocation|
What Should you do if you are a Nurse Currently Facing Criminal Charges?
If you are a nurse currently facing criminal charges, it is highly advisable for you to seek the counsel of an experienced healthcare attorney in addition to your criminal attorney. As described above, a nurse must report his or her conviction/adjudication/nolo contendere plea to the Board of Nursing within 30 days. Failure to properly report a crime can lead to disciplinary action in the form of a $500 fine and probation for a first offence or possible revocation of license for a second offense.
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