Firm Helps RN with Disciplinary and Substance Use History To Successfully Obtain Nursing License in Florida

Posted on Firm News, Professional Licensure Investigations by Erin Ferber

The Firm successfully assisted an RN with prior nursing license discipline in another state in obtaining a Florida RN license by endorsement. The client previously faced criminal charges in another state a few years prior to her application for licensure as a nurse in Florida. Her out-of-state RN license was suspended on the condition that she complete treatment for substance use disorder. The client successfully completed treatment and has maintained her commitment to sobriety but chose not to return to her home state and as a result, her license remained in a disciplinary status there. She nonetheless desired to apply for her license in Florida and hired Nicholson & Eastin, LLP, to assist with that process.

In connection with the disclosure of her past criminal charges and nursing license discipline to the Florida Board of Nursing, the firm also assisted in obtaining records pertaining to past criminal cases, gathered letters of recommendation from the nurse’s superiors and colleagues as well as former medical providers and therapists, and hired an expert to conduct a psychiatric evaluation to determine her fitness to practice as an RN. The firm assisted her in disclosing her history to the Board, providing supporting documentation demonstrating her fitness to practice, and explaining why she should be granted a license in Florida even though her license in another state was still under discipline.  After appearing before the Board of Nursing, the Board unanimously approved her RN license with no restrictions.

RN Licensure by Endorsement in Florida

Florida nursing license applicants must disclose criminal, disciplinary, and even some health conditions when applying for licensure. Although certain aspects of the licensure application process may seem intrusive to those with a history of criminal charges and/or substance use, it’s important to disclose them to avoid adverse consequences. Failure to disclose criminal history or past substance use disorder on a nursing license application can result in denial of the application, inquiry by the Board of Nursing, and/or a referral to IPN. Some applicants fail to disclose their history in the hopes that the Board will not find out about their past. These applicants may find their application for licensure denied due to a lack of candor with the Board. To the extent a license is granted without disclosure, the Board can take disciplinary action, up to and including revocation, if the Board ultimately learns of the prior criminal charges or substance use history.  Certain background checks may find past criminal records, even if they have been expunged. Properly disclosing criminal history and/or other nursing license issues will help to reduce delays or further inquiry by the Board in the application process.

While disclosing disciplinary or criminal history to the Florida Board of Nursing is important, it is possible for Florida RN license applicants to over-disclose information that isn’t necessary to disclose. This too may result in denial of the license application. Each case is unique, and applicants for licensure must be proactive in their efforts to obtain their Florida nursing or medical license. Hiring the right type of attorney can help you navigate the process of applying for licensure by endorsement when you are not sure what you must disclose to the Florida Department of Health.