Nurses are required to be licensed in the state where they work. State nursing boards are responsible for licensing nurses and providing any disciplinary action for nurses who do not follow ethical or legal guidelines. In some cases, nursing boards may decide to restrict a nursing license. The exact terms of restricted licenses will vary depending on the conditions of the probation and the reason for the disciplinary action. It can be difficult to find employment if you have a restricted license, but some strategies can be employed to help you find a nursing job.
Network with other nurses, especially nurses who have been in similar situations. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your restricted license, consider joining an impaired professional program or AA/NA in your area. Find other nurses or professionals in the medical field and ask them for resources.
Volunteer. Although you may not be able to find a nursing job right away with a restricted license, you can still volunteer at nursing homes or hospitals. By volunteering, you can get a foot in the door and show potential employers that you are dedicated and responsible.
Talk to your state board of nursing. Some nursing boards have resources for nurses with restricted licenses. They may also be able to put you in touch with a mentor or another nurse who had a restricted license.
Research jobs in the nursing field that are not affected by your restricted license. For instance, if you are unable to dispense medication under your restricted license, apply for jobs in the administrative side of nursing such as case management or public health jobs.
Apply for nursing jobs that are in high demand. Home health care or nursing homes are more likely to hire a nurse with a restricted license depending on your demeanor and other qualifications. Be upfront about your license status and take responsibility for the problem.
Enter the addiction nursing field if that is why you have a restricted license. In many recovery programs, former substance abusers are hired and even preferred.
Search for nursing jobs on the American Nursing Association’s website. You can post your resume with the restricted license information and allow employers to contact you if interested.