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I Have Been Charged With Petty Theft. Will I Lose My License if I Am Convicted of the Crime?

Nurse talking with patient in doctors office


Dear Nancy,

I have a case pending against me for petty theft charges from a grocery store. Should I report it to the state board of nursing now or after the verdict is rendered? Will I lose my license in my state if I?m convicted? I?m just clueless on what I should be doing right now. I?m currently looking for a job.


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Adele,

Your situation requires an immediate consultation with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who can advise you about the petty theft charge and what should be done if a conviction is rendered. State nurse practice acts vary in many ways, but many do include the ability of the board of nursing to discipline a licensee when a conviction of a crime occurs. In some instances, there is a distinction made if the conviction was for a felony or misdemeanor. In other acts, no distinction occurs. Also, some acts require self-reporting of a conviction.

The attorney who represents you may be able to help mitigate any discipline that may be decided upon by the board by presenting the circumstances under which the charge and subsequent conviction (if it happens) occurred as well as other factors that might help you. It would be a good idea to consult with the attorney as soon as you can so that he or she can collaborate with the attorney you have for the criminal matter so that both have an eye toward any licensure ramifications.