How can an RN with stipulations on license find a job?

By | 2021-05-28T17:40:12-04:00 April 8th, 2015|1 Comment

Dear Nancy,

I was fired from the ICU I had worked in for six years for an error in reporting. The patient’s doctor was angry that I took orders from my supervising doctor, so he reported me to the board. I could not afford representation and was not poor enough to get free representation, so I got two years of stipulations. I managed to keep a job for 14 months, but with 10 months to go, it looks like I am going to be homeless.

I can’t get any interviews because most HR departments seem to look at the fact I have stipulations and assume I have drug or alcohol problems and don’t want to have to deal with it. I have already paid my fees and finished my classes, but cannot find a supervisor who will vouch for my license while I finish my time. I have two young children and fear we’re going to be homeless.


Dear Brant,

You have, and are, experiencing a difficult time in your life, both personally and professionally. Although not easily done, it is important to let any HR department know what the stipulations were for when you were disciplined by the board of nursing.  And, that needs to be a proactive approach on your part. When you fill out an application for a position or get an interview, it may be wise to attach the board’s order or take the board’s order with you so you can set the record straight as to why you were disciplined. You did not say what your reporting error was, but the circumstances you included and the error involved is a basis quite different than a discipline due to drug or alcohol problems.

Insofar as your homelessness goes, this is a problem that might be more difficult to resolve. Is there family or a friend with whom you can stay?  If not, can you exchange some kind of work (e.g., house chores, grass cutting, doing some kind of work without pay) for a room at a boarding house or similar living accommodation until you get a paying job?

Another option is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. The attorney can help you keep your current place of residence and help discharge the current debts you owe.

It also would be a good idea to contact a social service agency to help you and your children obtain shelter and food. Again, you will need to be proactive and seek this help out in your community. Don’t wait too long as any of these potential options take time.

Cordially, Nancy




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About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Laticia Norwood November 25, 2019 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    I have Supervision stipulations on my License, have been hired I have a clean background check and drug screening. I have received offer letters and accepted them. Start date was 11/25/2019. I was actively in orientation, but was called out, due to a stipulation on my license. Can you Help?
    LN San Antonio Texas

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