The place I work provides patients with a form in which they would write down my RN license number if they wanted to file a complaint against me. It has been only a few weeks since the patients have these forms. Am I obligated to hand over my license to a patient?
This practice sounds a little odd. If a patient were to sue you for whatever reason, most state boards of nursing have the name and the license number of a licensed nurse on their websites. The information is available mainly to allow employers to determine if a prospective applicant is really licensed in the state in which he or she is applying for a job. In short, this information is readily available to the public, a particular public member or his or her attorney.
It is unclear why the employer would support this practice. It certainly makes one question the employer’s motive. Is it because the employer is hoping to make it somewhat easier for a patient to include a nurse in any lawsuit against it?
The other problem with this practice is what the former patient might do with your name and license number on the form. Will he or she shred it when the individual decides the information is not needed? Will the information be lost somewhere? Would the lost information be used by an individual who decides to try and pass himself or herself as you and as a registered nurse? Despite the fact the information is available on a state board of nursing’s website, you should protect your license information as much as one can.
You might want to raise this issue with your CNO to determine the rationale behind it and share your concerns with him or her. Another option might be to see if your state board of nursing has written an opinion on this practice on its website. Many boards publish comments, concerns and information about the practice of nursing in the state in addition to disciplinary actions taken against nurse licensees, renewal of license information and more.