Florida Board of Health Suspends Nursing, Pharmacist Licenses Due to Defaulted Student Loans
When you think of nurses and pharmacists losing their licenses, you might assume that they did something illegal or unethical to a patient. Maybe they harmed a patient or gave them the wrong drugs. Perhaps they broke the law in some way.
For a professional to lose their license, none of these situations has to occur. In Florida, a person can have their professional license suspended for not paying their student loans.
The average student loan debt is more than $37,000. This is more than the cost of the average car. This means that licensed professionals are often struggling with student loans on top of a mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, medical bills and daily expenses such as food and utilities. Add kids to the mix and it’s no wonder that so many recent college graduates default on their student loans.
Oftentimes, people much choose what bills to pay now and which ones to put off. This means that student loan debt gets put on the backburner. After all, people need to eat and nobody wants to lose their home or vehicle.
However, the decision to delay paying student loan debt can have devastating consequences for licensed professionals. Over the past two years, close to 900 healthcare workers in Florida have been in danger of losing their licenses for defaulting on student loans.
While 13 states in total have the power to revoke the licenses of healthcare workers who fail to pay their student loans, Florida is the only state enforcing this law. four states – New Jersey, Oklahoma, Montana and North Dakota – have repealed laws that would suspend professional licenses for unpaid student loans.
Student loan attorneys in Florida believe the law is going too far. While people have a responsibility to repay debt, taking away their licenses and firing them is not the way to go about it. How will these people be able to repay their student loans if they have no income from a job? They cannot work in their field without a license.
The law does not just affect the workers. It puts a strain on employers and patients as well because health care workers are in short supply. It also causes workers to depend on taxpayer-funded welfare, costing more money in the process. The law causes more harm than good. Instead, people should contact their lender and work out a repayment plan to prevent license loss.
Keep Your License with Help From a Tampa Administrative & Professional Licensing Lawyer
While it is important that people repay their debts, this law is frustrating considering that many licensed professionals commit far worse crimes and are not punished as severely. Plus, preventing them from working does nothing to resolve the debt and only makes matters worse.
Are you in danger of losing your nursing or pharmacist license due to outstanding student loan debt? If so, seek legal help from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. He has decades of experience helping licensed professionals hold onto their licenses. To schedule a consultation, call his office at (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form.