Criminal Arrests And Nursing Licenses
For a nurse, a criminal conviction may result in the loss of a nursing license, job, or career.
To obtain a nursing license in Oregon, you must pass a national criminal background check, and any “hits” (arrests or convictions) are investigated.
For applicants, the Board states that all arrests and convictions (misdemeanors and felonies) must be reported, except for minor traffic violations. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) must be reported. All prior or current disciplinary action against a healthcare-related license must be reported, whether they occurred in Oregon or in another state or territory. And offenses must be reported even if a court diversion program has been completed and charges were dismissed.
A conviction does not mean an applicant cannot obtain a nursing license. According to the Board, each application is reviewed on an individual basis. The Board reviews arrests and convictions that may be related substantially to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a nurse or nursing assistant and considers the nature, severity, and timing of the offense(s), as well as rehabilitation and other factors.
When renewing your nursing license, you should read the renewal questions carefully to answer them accurately. Renewal questions may change over time. You are now required to disclose any and all arrests and convictions (misdemeanors and felonies), with the exception of minor traffic violations. Even if you did complete a court diversion program and all the charges were dismissed, you will still need to report the offense to the state board. It’s important to note, also, that even though minor traffic violations do not need to be reported, all types of alcohol-related traffic violations must be reported.
If your nursing license application or renewal is denied by the OSBN, you have the right to appeal that decision and receive an administrative hearing, and that’s the point at which the services of an attorney who has experience working with nurses can be vital.
Do you have questions about how a criminal arrest or conviction could impact your nursing license? Please contact us to schedule a free legal consultation. Our phone number is (503) 232-9280, or e-mail our office at .
Please note: Kevin Keaney, represents nurses in Oregon, Washington, and Texas. Kevin Keaney is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington, as well as Texas, where he can also help nurses who need an attorney in matters concerning their nursing licenses.