There are six levels of disciplinary action the Louisiana State Board of Nursing can take against a nurse. The least serious is a formal warning and the most serious is a permanent loss of the nursing license. Other disciplinary actions can include probation, temporary suspension, and indefinite suspension. These are the different steps the Board can potentially take, from least to most restrictive.
1. Formal Reprimand
You never want to get a letter from the Nursing Board, but if you do, it would be best to receive a Formal Reprimand. This is a letter explaining what issues the Nursing Board is concerned about. This is essentially a warning, and no official action is taken. However, the fact that the nurse has received a Formal Reprimand is noted in their license file.
2. License Probation
The second least serious form of discipline is License Probation. The nursing license is technically suspended, but the nurse is allowed to continue working under the supervision of a representative of the nursing board. If the requirements of the probation are met, the probationary period will end and the license will be reinstated. If conditions are not met, the license will be fully suspended.
3. License Suspension
License Suspension is the third most serious type of discipline. The length of time the suspension is in affect varies – it can be for a certain period of time, or more seriously, for an indefinite period of time. Generally, suspension lasts from 1 – 5 years. And depending on the type of violation, there can be additional requirements that go along with the suspension. During the suspension, the nurse is not allowed to continue working.
4. Voluntary Surrender of License
The next most serious action is the loss of the nursing license for a period of time. This is Voluntary Surrender of License, which means the nurse consents to surrendering their license for at least two years or maybe more. During this time, they will need to fulfill certain requirements in order to reinstate their nursing license. In this instance, the board is giving the nurse a chance to address the issue — such as undergoing drug treatment or taking educational courses or counseling– in order to get their license back.
5. Summary Suspension of License
If the Board is very concerned about a nurse’s conduct, they can immediately suspend the nursing license and schedule a disciplinary hearing. This is called Summary Suspension of License. The nurse will not be able to work during this period, and their license may be subject to other restrictions.
6. License Revocation
The worst action the Board can take is to completely revoke a nurse’s license. This means that the nurse can never again practice nursing in Louisiana.