Your nursing license is the key to your career. If it’s suspended or revoked, you could find yourself in a position where you can’t work or maintain the career you see yourself in. Nursing licenses, much like other professional licenses, could be put at risk if you violate the law.

If you have a DUI, aggravated assault or other charges, the medical board in the state may step in and question if you’re the kind of person who should be treating patients. You could have your license taken by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

What should you do if you’re a registered nurse facing the loss of your license?

The first thing to do is to protect yourself. Don’t say or do anything that could implicate you in a crime or seem like an admission of guilt. Your attorney will want to talk to you about exactly what happened in your case and take steps to develop a strong defense for you.

Much of what happens with your license comes down to the charges you face. If your attorney can have the charges dropped or lowered, then you may face no penalties through the medical board. However, if you take a plea, there is no guarantee that the board won’t have its own disciplinary actions in mind.

Of course, you have a right to appeal any decision the nursing board makes and to make sure it fully understands what happened in your case. Not all crimes or charges are the same, and not all will result in the loss of a professional license.