Life presents many challenges. Sometimes those challenges in our personal life seep into our professional life as well. Unfortunately, for nurses, that can lead to serious consequences for your professional nursing license and career. My firm has assisted a number of health care professionals who have been caught at work doing something they should not have been doing, many times because they are struggling with substance abuse issues. I am able to help minimize harm to their professional licenses and careers.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “I was caught doing something bad at work, should I quit or wait to be fired?” In most circumstances, the answer to that question is – quitting is better than waiting to be fired. In this article, I will discuss several reasons why, as a nurse, you may be better off quitting a job before getting fired if you have been caught violating a rule or policy at work.
If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your professional license, then I welcome you to contact me at 1818 – An Advocacy Group. Learn more about what my representation can do for you. Contact me today. I have the resources and experience to get your license and career back on the right path.
First and foremost, quitting is preferable to being fired because, if you quit, you never have to report to any future employers that you were fired. That is a very important consideration for your career in the long term.
Oftentimes, a potential employer will inquire about the circumstances of how you left your previous jobs. If you were terminated, you would need to disclose that information, and you would need an explanation as to why that should not reflect negatively on any future employment. This could be a significant challenge. By quitting your job before being fired, you can avoid those inquiries.
In addition, there is some benefit to leaving your job on your own terms. You are able to prepare yourself and have control over the timing. Being terminated often results in a person being forced to leave the hospital or facility immediately.
In sum, if you were caught violating a policy or diverting drugs from work – so you know that termination is likely – then it makes sense for your overall career to quit before being fired.
Not only do you want to avoid having to report to future employers that you were fired, but you also want to avoid reporting to the State licensing authority that you were fired.
All nursing professionals in the State of Illinois are regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, or IDFPR. If a nurse is fired, then he or she must report the termination to the IDFPR. A failure to report is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action.
Depending upon the circumstances of your work issue, there may be other legal requirements related to IDFPR. Yet, generally speaking, quitting a nursing job does not trigger any obligation on your part to report to IDFPR.
The concern with having to report to IDFPR is that IDFPR may open an investigation or inquire further about the circumstances of your termination of employment. That, in turn, could lead to discipline or might otherwise impact your nursing license. You want to avoid that possibility by quitting your job first and seeking employment elsewhere.
Finally, if you were caught committing a serious violation at work, you should consider speaking with an attorney who understands IDFPR and has represented many other health care professionals in connection with IDFPR investigations and complaints. Your professional license is too important for you to do this alone.
If you have an issue that involves the IDFPR, finding a lawyer with IDFPR experience is crucial. Most attorneys have not practiced before IDFPR, and with your professional license on the line, you need an attorney who has the experience and established relationships with IDFPR investigators.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.