Nursing Licenses and Criminal Conduct
Nurses are frontline healthcare providers who have significant contact with sick, elderly, and often emotionally and physically compromised patients. Moreover, this contact often extends into a patient’s home and quite frequently involves their family and other personal relationships. Access to financial and other personal information may be available to a nurse. For these reasons, an applicant or licensee’s criminal history and behavior is considered highly relevant to the Texas Board of Nursing in determining an individual’s present character and fitness.
Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code and Nursing Board Rule §213.28 are the guiding statutory authorities which govern the Board’s actions, investigations, and determinations regarding applicants and licensees with criminal convictions. These matters are often loaded with highly complicated legal issues that may not be fact specific. Therefore, because the consequences are severe, it is best for a nursing license applicant or nursing licensee to obtain the aid of an attorney / lawyer to help guide and represent them through the process of explaining a criminal conviction. Often times a simple legal showing of rehabilitation can bypass what would otherwise be a long and drawn out legal battle. Furthermore, rehabilitation is best shown by an attorney-advocate and not by the applicant or licensee him or herself since it is their character that is in question by Board Staff per the Nursing Board’s policies, rules, and political stance towards certain criminal offenses.
Finally, Staff of the Board takes the position that uncharged criminal offenses constitute unprofessional conduct and thus frequently request individuals to undergo the rigors of a forensic psychological evaluation and polygraph test. If a nurse encounters this request from Board Staff, he or she should contact an attorney immediately as any unfavorable evidence / conduct discovered through this process is used to restrict the license of the Nurse. The request for a polygraph is not grounded in rule or law and should be challenged by a competent attorney.
If you are a nurse and you are facing the loss of your license due to criminal charges, you may be greatly benefited by rigorous defense. The potential for serious punishment requires serious defense, and the Texas nursing license defense attorneys of the Leichter Law Office may be able to help. Contact us today by calling 512-495-9995 for more information.