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IL license defense lawyerIt is fairly recognized that nursing school is not an easy path to take. While slightly less rigorous than medical school, those who wish to be Illinois nurses are still required to take intense courses aimed at preparing them for in-field work and the difficult exam, known as the NCLEX-RN, to become a registered nurse. This exam is a national, standardized test to ensure that future nurses are fully capable of taking care of patients and performing other medical duties.

Since many nursing students take their NCLEX exam coming out of college, they will typically receive nursing licensure in the state where they went to school. However, it is unlikely that these medical professionals will never move out of state. For those moving to Illinois, there is a particular process that they must follow to become an Illinois certified nurse.

Out-of-State Licensure

If a nurse moves from one state to another and still intends on working in this field, they will need to receive “licensure by endorsement” in the new state that they are moving to. In other words, out of state nurses must receive license verification and endorsement from the previous state(s) that they worked in. This includes the current state, the original state (if different), and any other state that the nurse has practiced over the past five years. Illinois requires nurses to provide their NCLEX results, either from the state of original licensure or the testing company. These endorsement candidates can be issued a temporary license to begin work while the paperwork is being processed.

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IL license attorneyIn many ways, nurses are integral to a properly-functioning healthcare system. Nurses play an important role in patient care, especially because they are usually the ones who spend a majority of time with the patient. One of the tasks that nurses perform is documenting a patient’s history and medical care, also known as charting. Charting is an essential part of a nurse’s job and mistakes on a chart or an incomplete chart could result in injury or harm to the patient or in some cases, even death. Because of this, your nursing license could be at risk if you make a charting error. If you face disciplinary action related to a charting or documentation error, you should speak with an Illinois nursing license defense lawyer.

Common Documentation Errors

Proper charting and patient documentation are crucial for not only the patient’s health and safety, but also for your sake. Charting errors can lead to a slew of issues such as improper treatments, lack of treatment, permanent damage or even death to a patient. If a malpractice or other legal suit is filed pertaining to your patient and it was discovered that you made an error when you were charting, you could face serious consequences.

Charting and documentation errors can come in many different forms. Even though nurses are not the only ones responsible for a patient’s care, they are typically the ones who have the most contact with the patient and therefore usually have much responsibility for the patient’s wellbeing. One simple charting error could be the end of a nursing career. The most common charting errors include:

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IL defense attorneyThough not as much as a physician, it often takes years of schooling and studying to become a nurse. All of that hard work finally culminates when you apply to receive an Illinois nursing license that enables you to practice in the state of Illinois. If you are a nurse, you are held to certain standards, which if broken, can result in disciplinary action. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the licensing body that oversees all nursing, physician, pharmacist, psychologist and chiropractic licenses, among many others. The IDFPR is also the disciplining body that will take action against your license if you are accused of wrongdoing.

Cause for Disciplinary Action

There are a number of reasons why a nurse could face disciplinary action against his or her license. These reasons include behavior such as “unethical or unprofessional conduct,” or being convicted of a crime. Here are a few common reasons why you may find yourself facing disciplinary action against your license:

  • Being convicted of any crime that is a felony or misdemeanor and contains an essential element of dishonesty or is directly related to the nursing profession
  • Behavior that demonstrates the incapacity or incompetence to safely and lawfully practice nursing
  • Violating any rules stated in the Nurse Practice Act
  • Engaging in dishonorable or unethical conduct that is likely to harm the public
  • Unlawful taking, selling, distributing or manufacturing of any drug or narcotic
  • Excessive use or addiction to alcohol or narcotics that prevents the safe practice of nursing
  • Sexual abuse, sexual misconduct or sexual exploitation of a patient
  • Failing to provide information or purposefully providing false information to the IDFPR
  • Failing to report a suspected case of child abuse or neglect

Types of Disciplinary Action

If you have been accused of any of the above violations, the IDFPR has probably gotten into contact with you about disciplinary actions. There are a number of actions that could be taken against your license. These include:

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IL license defense lawyerMost occupations in the healthcare field require specialized education and training that can take years and years of hard work. The last thing you would want to see happen is for all that work to be taken away from you because of one mistake. In the state of Illinois, there are certain rules and laws that you must follow when you are a nurse. A violation of these rules could result in disciplinary action, such as probation, suspension or other reprimanding actions. For some offenses, you could have your nursing license revoked, meaning it is permanently taken away from you. This can be devastating for those who have made their career from nursing. Here are a few ways in which your nursing license could be taken away:

Refusal to Participate in a Recovery Program

Part of a nurse’s job is to dispense medication to patients. This means they have almost unlimited access to certain drugs, which can be tempting for nurses who have addiction issues. If it is discovered that a nurse has an addiction issue or abuses alcohol, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will often suspend his or her license until they have entered an addiction recovery program. Nurses who refuse to enter a program or who cannot complete the program successfully may lose their nursing license.

Drug Diversion

Drug diversion occurs when a nurse takes medication from the medicine cabinet to use it for an illicit purpose. Some nurses take medication such as opioids to fuel their own addictions, some take the pills for friends or family and some use the pills to make a little extra cash by selling them. Either way, this is a crime and can even result in criminal charges, let alone the loss of a nursing license.

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IL license attorneyHere in the state of Illinois, nursing professionals are monitored and regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), as well as the Illinois Board of Nursing. Nursing can be an incredibly gratifying career path, but also comes with a wide array of challenges.

Nurses are routinely asked to treat for injured and sick patients, provide emotional support and advice to families, assist doctors in the process of diagnosis, and file paperwork. If mistakes are made throughout these processes, nurses can face investigations from the IDFPR or the Illinois Board of nursing, and potentially lose their nursing license. If you believe that your nursing license may be at risk, seek out legal assistance, immediately.

Costly Nursing Mistakes

When a nursing professional acts negligently, the ramifications can be significant. Whether your actions are strictly negligent mistakes or reckless forms of malpractice, an investigation from the IDFPR can ultimately cost you your livelihood. Listed below, are some of the most commonly investigated forms of nursing error.

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