Finding a Job with a ‘Red Flag’ on Your NP License

Are you a nurse practitioner with a potential warning sign on your license? Such ‘red flags’ may constitute previous termination, a criminal conviction, or anything reported to the National Practitioner Databank. Proactively planning your approach for securing new employment will make or break your chances of finding a job if your record is less than squeaky clean.

Prospective employers will most certainly notice a problem with your license or background when you apply for a nurse practitioner job. The National Practitioner Databank records infractions from untimely renewal of licensure to failure to complete mandatory CME, and more serious breaches of professional conduct. Any reprimand in the databank is enough to give an employer pause. Additional background checks are bound to reveal legal problems unrelated to your career.

If you have a ‘red flag’ on your nurse practitioner license or background, the best course of action is typically to maintain employment with your current company. The relationship you have developed with your employer may be enough to overshadow a mistake like neglecting to renew your license in a timely manner, or even a more serious slip up.

If you must move on, intentionality is the key to explaining yourself in an interview. The best approach to finding a new nurse practitioner job is to be proactive. Plan and practice the way you will present the matter. Be succinct. Be honest. Avoid being defensive. Too detailed an explanation, or a defensive approach are bound to turn a red flag into alarm bells.

Healthcare attorney Alex Fisher focuses her practice on medical providers and issues related to licensure and prescribing. She has coached many nurse practitioners through the process of securing new employment despite a ‘red flag’ on their record. I had a chance to chat with Alex recently about this issue. Here’s what she had to say about finding a job with a ‘red flag’ on your nurse practitioner license.

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Landing a new job with a license infraction or background blunder is difficult but not impossible. The way you approach your nurse practitioner job search and interview process is the key to overcoming such obstacles. Get a plan in place to maximize your chance of success.


Alex Scarbrough Fisher is an associate attorney at Frost Brown Todd LLC. Her practice area focuses on litigation and administrative law. Alex’s administrative law practice’s emphasis is in health care related boards, including the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and the Tennessee Board of Nursing.





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