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4 tips for protecting your nursing license

Wanting to go into the medical field may have been a dream of yours since you were a child. When you reached the age of choosing your career path, you may not have hesitated before deciding that you wanted to be a nurse. The idea of helping others, continually learning on the job and feeling accomplished may have bolstered this decision.

When you received your nursing license, you and your family may have felt immensely proud. However, it is important to remember that your license is not a permanent fixture and that you need to work to protect it. Some mistakes -- whether on your part or someone else's -- could put your license at risk and result in an administrative hearing.

How can you protect your license?

In general, you can protect your nursing license by always acting professionally and staying focused on your job. Specifically, some steps you can take to ensure that you do not unknowingly put your license in jeopardy include the following:

  • Never cut corners or follow a request to violate work-related protocols. These protocols and rules are in place to protect workers as well as patients, and if someone asks you to violate the law, guidelines or ethical standards, do not do so.
  • Remember that your social media activity could affect your license. A post, photo or video that casts you in a bad light could also reflect badly on the facility at which you work and on your nursing profession in general, which could put your license at risk.
  • Do not put your responsibilities on others. Nursing is certainly a stressful profession, but if you have a duty to complete, it is best to complete it yourself rather than allowing a co-worker to do it for you because a mistake on his or her part could reflect badly on you.
  • Always practice clear communication. Errors can easily occur when a breakdown of communication takes place, and if you receive or provide the wrong information, problems could quickly arise.

Remaining vigilant about protecting your nursing license could help you avoid negative outcomes.

What happens if you receive a complaint?

Unfortunately, even your best efforts may not prevent someone filing a complaint against you or you catching the blame for a mistake. If you do find yourself at risk of losing your California nursing license, you may want to obtain legal support in efforts to keep your license and protect your career.

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