Every licensing board has a specific set of instructions that a licensee must adhere to if they have committed an ethical violation. The North Carolina Board of Nursing is no exception. In fact, the NC BON is very clear on when a licensed nurse is required to report an infraction to the board. We discuss what those infractions are as well as discuss potentially reportable events and events that are not reportable. We further discuss whether or not reporting an arrest or conviction is required.
The NC Board of Nursing breaks down reportable offenses into three categories. Those are ‘definitely reportable conduct events’, ‘potential reportable events’, and ‘common non-reportable events’. Definitely reportable conduct events include being impaired while on duty, drug diversion, fraud, theft, fraudulent prescription for controlled or abusable substances, just to name a few. A nurse may or may not, depending on the circumstances, have to report events such as failure to supervise, abandonment, exceeding scope of practice, neglect (including sleeping on duty), including other events not named here. A nurse is not required to report the following events, as well as others not named, ‘no call-no show’, ‘refusal to accept an assignment’, ‘rudeness or non-threatening verbal interactions with patient or staff’.
AM I REQUIRED TO SELF-REPORT AN ARREST TO THE NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF NURSING?
A nurse in North Carolina may or may not be required to self-report an arrest to the Board of Nursing. This depends on the crime with which the licensee may be charged. Under North Carolina General Statute 90-171.37C(e), licensees must report any felony arrest or indictment, or arrest for driving while impaired or under the influence. The self-reporting requirement also extends to arrest or indictment for the possession, use, or sale of any controlled substance. A licensee has thirty days from the arrest to self-report the infraction to the Board.
DO I HAVE TO REPORT A CONVICTION TO THE BOARD OF NURSING?
Depending on the nature of the criminal conviction, a nurse may not have to report it. Remember, the criminal arrest lists in the above paragraph already require reporting to the Board. NCGS 90-171.37 requires that a licensee that “[h]as been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any crime which indicates that the nurse is unfit or incompetent to practice nursing or that the nurse has deceived or defrauded the public” must self-report the conviction to the Board of Nursing. 21 NCAC 36 .0217 adds some ambiguity to the answer regarding reporting a conviction. Subsection (4) states that it is an ethics violation if a licensee has a: “conviction of any crime that bears on a licensee’s fitness to practice nursing”.