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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

When A Personal Mistake Costs You Your Career

When you're a nurse, you dedicate your life to helping others. You spent years training and educating yourself for your career, and you've made plenty of sacrifices along the way. You gave up a normal schedule so you could work overnights. You racked up students loans to get your BSN. But when you look at where you've gotten, you realize it was all worth it. Your career has meaning, and it defines more than just your career - it's who you are.

With nursing, your career carries over into your personal life. And, for good and for bad, your personal life carries over into your career. Unlike many professions, one simple mistake could end your career.

This is a unique aspect to careers that involve professional licenses.

If you worked in marketing and you got charged with a DUI or drug possession, there's a good chance no one at your office would ever even find out about it let alone get fired for it. It is unlikely it would be a career-ender. In nursing, though, it's not the same. That one mistake - one bad choice - could cost you everything.

It's important to remember that you have options.

While it's not required that you hire an attorney for your hearing, it might be the smartest thing you can do. An experienced medical license revocation defense attorney knows the laws - and the loopholes - more comprehensively than most anyone else. They know how to subpoena witnesses and exhibit evidence. They understand the regulations, and they will work hard on your behalf to protect you.

When your career is on the line, so is your financial security and future. What will you do? Even if you find a new career path, how will you explain the change of career to future employers? Hiring an attorney to represent you at an administrative license hearing might be the most important decision you ever make.

Your professional license is your ticket to the career you deserve. Make sure you remember that just because you have an administrative hearing with the nursing commission, that doesn't mean it's over.

If you've already been put on probation

It's not too late for your career, so don't give up hope. The nursing commission takes the terms of your probation seriously, as should you, if you want to have your license reinstated. Make sure you are compliant with every stipulation.

If you aren't clear on the terms of your suspension or you have questions about an upcoming hearing, talk to an experienced attorney.

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