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Disclosure

– Licensure Issues: Disclosure
With initial licensing and renewals, Alabama nurses are faced with the decision on what to disclose to the Nursing Board. Disclosure is both requested and required when an Alabama Nursing License is first obtained and when renewing or reinstating a nursing license. Some of the issues:

Continuing Education

Current license holders are expected to produce evidence of Continuing Education Credits (CE’s) for license renewal. The specifics are covered under-

Rules 610-X-2-.10(4) of the Alabama Board of Nursing Administrative Code defines continuing education as “planned, organized learning experiences designed to augment the knowledge, skills and attitudes for the enhancement of the practice of nursing to the end of improving health care to the public.”

and the recently (March, 2009) amended rules on the distinction between independent study and attended CE. Currently, the Alabama Board of Nursing examines 2% of CE’s reported, focusing on nurses who have previously failed the requirements.
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Civil Offenses

A civil offense is one where the punishment doesn’t involve jail or a criminal charge – for instance a speeding or parking ticket. Issues that may affect licensure include – invasion of privacy (ie. medical records), negligence or a breach of duty, among others.

Criminal Offenses

These include DUI and alcohol offenses, drug offenses, criminal negligence or harm, and many not directly related to the practice of nursing. They may be current or past cases that appear on your record or even pending matters not yet adjudicated.

Options

Because applications for initial licensing and renewal include statements about current or pending legal action as well as behavior (questions 5-9 on the renewal application) nurses may be tempted to lie to avoid the Nursing Board’s attention. But there is a better option – consulting with a knowledgeable attorney. An attorney can advise you not only on what the strict legal requirements are, but also advise you on ways to mitigate any negative information that you have to report.

Lying may expose you to a harsher reaction from the Board if it is discovered than telling the truth (when legally necessary). A lawyer is the best guide to what should and shouldn’t be reported, what may be expunged from your record and whether any particular offense is likely to affect your nursing license.

If you have any concern that your answers will constitute a failure to disclose, you should talk to an attorney about it.

If your application for an original license or renewal isn’t due too soon, and you have a criminal conviction as an adult (an offense that, unlike a juvenile offense, cannot be expunged) it may be wise to check with a lawyer to see if a pardon should be sought. Pardons that specifically address issues of employment in the nursing field can be the best protection from a denial.

In fiscal 2007-2008 the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles received 692 requests for pardons, granting over 80%.

Since Alabama employers are not restricted from making employment decisions based on arrest alone – even without subsequent conviction – it may also behoove you to get an arrest purged from state records. Generally, an arrest that resulted in you being cleared (or not charged) is able to be removed (Ala. Code § 41-9-625).

Our attorneys at Kreps Law Firm, LLC stand ready, willing, and able to help you and defend your Alabama Board of Nursing matter and your criminal charges, if any have been filed. You should not attempt to navigate the administrative hearing process without an attorney. Our initial consultation is confidential and free. Don’t wait! Call us today to discuss your Alabama Board of Nursing matter (866) 348-2889.

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