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Criminal Convictions and Your Nursing License

November 30, 2022

Nurse in hallway distressed over criminal conviction and nursing license. Tennessee Board of Nursing requirements.

Tennessee law grants the Tennessee Board of Nursing the power to deny, revoke or suspend a nursing license or certificate or otherwise discipline a nurse if there is proof that the nurse is guilty of a crime. The same applies if the Board finds that the nurse is guilty of unprofessional conduct or mentally incompetent, among other things. If a person is accused of a crime or grounds for discipline, the Board of Nursing or Division of Health Related Boards of the Tennessee Department of Health may file a written notice of charges against the nurse. Additionally, the Board of Nursing may receive a complaint from a variety of sources that results in an investigation into the nurse. Regardless of the source of the complaint, when a nurse is convicted of a crime, the Board of Nursing will conduct a contested case hearing.

What is a Contested Case Hearing?

A contested case hearing is essentially a trial. An administrative judge presides over the hearing and the Board of Nursing acts as the jury. Because of this, it is vital that the nurse is represented by a healthcare attorney who can protect the nurse’s career in the long term. If the Board finds that the nurse was indeed convicted of a crime, the Board may revoke or suspend the nurse’s license or put the nurse’s license on probation. However, the nurse is still entitled to appeal the Board’s decision to the Chancery Court for Davidson County. The Chancery Court will then review whether the Board’s decision was supported by substantial and material evidence. The reviewing court must find that a “reasonable person would necessarily draw a different conclusion from the record” before it can reverse the Board’s decision.

Why Should You Contact a Healthcare Attorney?

Overall, a criminal conviction can potentially result in you losing your nursing license. It is critical that you do not move forward or sign any deal without first having it reviewed by an attorney. These decisions can have a lasting impact on your career. Therefore, if you are facing discipline from the Board of Nursing be sure to contact an experienced healthcare attorney today.

Trusted Lebanon TN Healthcare Attorneys

For more information about how a criminal conviction can impact your nursing license, you can speak with the best healthcare attorney in Lebanon, TN by contacting Hagar & Phillips for a confidential consultation at 615-784-4588.


Tenn. Code. Ann. § 63-7-115 (West 2022)
Miller v. Tennessee Bd. of Nursing, 256 S.W.3d 225 (Tenn. Ct. App., 2007)


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