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Nurse’s License Suspended For Patient Relationship


Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals often spend a lot of time with patients. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for these medical professionals to develop romantic feelings for patients. In some cases, the feeling is mutual, but that doesn’t make it right. In fact, a licensed professional must abide by ethics at all times. As such, they can face licensing issues for having a personal relationship with a patient.

This is what recently happened to a nurse in Washington. On March 30, it was announced that the nurse will have her license suspended for at least 18 months after it was discovered that she had a sexual relationship with a patient. The nurse agreed to the suspension by signing an agreement on February 11.

The nurse’s license was suspended based on her time working at a Bellingham medical center. She provided nursing care to a patient who was receiving medical and psychiatric care at the facility, which the name was not mentioned. The nurse cared for the patient four times.

The nurse allegedly began a sexual and social relationship with the patient around June 2019. In January 2020, she got romantically involved with the patient.

The state has the ability to order a license suspension, impose fines and practice limitations, and require counseling or re-training for those who violate the rules of their professional license. In this case, the nurse’s license will be suspended for 18 months. After that period of time has passed, she can then petition the state to get her license back. However, before her license can be reinstated, she must pay a $1,000 fine and complete a course on ethics and professional boundaries.

But that’s not all. She then faces disciplinary action from the state. She will be placed on probation for at least 12 months for “unprofessional conduct involving sexual misconduct.”

Medical Professionals and Romantic Relationships

Nurses, doctors and other medical professionals tend to work long hours. This gives them little time to pursue dating and romance outside of work. Therefore, it can be tempting to start a relationship with a patient who shows interest in them.

However, pursuing a relationship with a patient can cause a medical professional to lose their license. This is especially true when the patient is receiving psychiatric care. A psychiatric patient is considered to be vulnerable, since they have disclosed highly personal information to their provider. Therefore, a relationship would be considered manipulative and the provider would be disciplined. But the truth is that any type of provider-patient relationship could be considered unethical in the eyes of the law.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer

Nurses must have the skills and personality necessary to do their job well. However, they must also apply ethics, which means refraining from getting involved in romantic relationships with patients.

If your nursing license is at risk of suspension, contact Tampa nursing license lawyer David P. Rankin. We can help resolve any administrative issues you may face. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.