Registered nurses in Florida have to meet many specific state requirements to get and keep their licenses. The state requires education and testing. You don’t just need to finish nursing school. You will also need to commit to continuing education for as long as you retain your nursing license.
You will also be subject to far stricter rules regarding your personal and workplace conduct than people in less-regulated industries. Sometimes, either because of a job performance issue, anonymous complaints brought by unhappy patients or a criminal issue that may not have even occurred at work, nurses may find themselves facing disciplinary action.
Employers may terminate someone because of ethics issues. Nurses may also face disciplinary hearings conducted by the Florida Department of Health. What are the possible penalties when you face disciplinary action from the state?
Penalties depend on the situation
The state has the authority to take certain disciplinary steps after reviewing accusations against licensed professionals. For those accused of minor infractions, the state may impose lesser penalties. Fines are a common consequence. The state could also issue a formal reprimand.
When the accusation is more serious, the state could restrict someone’s practice. There may be a requirement for continuing education with the nurse remaining on probation until they complete the necessary courses. In extreme cases, such as a scenario where a nurse misuses their workplace authority for personal gains, the state might even revoke nursing/medical licenses over a criminal conviction, poor job performance or direct accusations against that professional.
You shouldn’t wait until the penalties affect your career to react
As someone who has the invested thousands of dollars and dozens of hours in education for your career, you have the right to defend your professional reputation and licensing.
Just as you have the right to mount a defense in criminal court when accused of a crime, so too do you have the right to defend yourself against accusations that could cost you the license that allows you to practice a medical profession. You can have an attorney represent you during disciplinary hearings and for that your own evidence to help demonstrate your commitment to your patients and your career.
Understanding the possible penalties and your rights to defend yourself can help you protect your medical license as a professional facing scrutiny in Florida.