I have a reprimand on my nursing license. How do I get my career back?

By | 2022-02-07T18:10:32-05:00 August 15th, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I have a recent reprimand on my nursing license for an inappropriate statement made to a patient. A bystander employee of a facility I was working at reported it. At the time a reprimand was issued, I was working as travel nurse, and I was not able to get reassignment through three travel agencies after that. Presently, I do not have a job and insurance, and I am desperate. After returning to my home state, I’ve been trying to find permanent position and been applying to all surrounding hospitals without response. Should I give up on nursing? I cannot find any statistics about the percentage of nurses being unable to find jobs after disciplinary action is taken against their licenses. Should I ask my board of nursing?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Iveta,

There are no statistics on nurses getting jobs after being disciplined, and the state board of nursing cannot help you with this. And, no, you should not give up on nursing. Many, many nurses have been disciplined, fired, and all sorts of other things and still manage to find other nursing positions. You can get your career back on track with some concerted effort on your part. Please read “Picking up the Pieces of Your Career” at https://www.inbusinessnet.net/~cardillo/articles/listing.html. Since you are currently unemployed, you should start volunteering somewhere medical. This is a good way to stay engaged in your profession, make good contacts, hone old skills, and learn new ones. This will also give you recent, relevant experience to put on your résumé. Besides, volunteering often leads to paid employment. Read “The Value of Volunteering” at https://www.inbusinessnet.net/~cardillo/articles/volunteer.html.

You could also benefit form the services of a career coach or counselor. It is ideal to find an RN coach or counselor because they are generally more familiar with the unique skill set of a nurse as well as the diverse career opportunities. Find a coach by asking for a referral from your state nurses association (whether or not you are a member), asking around, and doing an Internet search for “RN career coach.” You can also contact your local community college to see if they offer career-counseling services.

With some persistence and determination, and by doing some of the things I suggest above and in the referenced article, you’ll be able to get you career back on track.

Good luck,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at www.nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.


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