The Nurse Practice Act enumerates what constitutes grounds for revocation, suspension, or other restriction or limitation on a license based on any of the following:
(a) That the licensee has committed or been convicted of a felony. In the absence of a conviction, the Board may receive evidence to reach an independent conclusion as to the commission of the felony, but the determination shall be used only in making the administrative decision regarding the proposed discipline.
(b) That the licensee has violated a federal, state, or local alcohol or drug law. A conviction is not needed to prove misconduct under this paragraph.
(c) That the licensee is engaging in the practice of nursing when judgment or physical ability is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances and has declined or been unsuccessful in accomplishing rehabilitation.
(d) That the licensee has participated knowingly in the fraudulent procurement of a license for oneself or another person, or has allowed another person to use his/her license.
(e) That the licensee willfully or repeatedly has followed a course of conduct which, by reasonable professional or ethical standards, renders him incompetent to assume, perform or be entrusted with the duties, responsibilities, or trusts which normally devolve upon a license practical nurse or a registered nurse.
(f) That the licensee has had his/her license to practice nursing in another state suspended or revoked or other disciplinary action has been taken against him by another state. In those situations, the action by another state creates a rebuttal presumption that a S.C. nursing license may be acted upon similarly. The finding may be based solely upon the record in the other state, and there is no requirement for a de novo hearing on the facts established in that proceeding. Other evidence is admissible to support or rebut the above presumption.
(g) That the licensee has violated a section of this chapter or a regulation or order of the Board.
Misconduct and unprofessional conduct are further defined in the regulations. A nurse who is under investigation for these offenses may voluntarily surrender his/her license to the Board. The voluntary surrender invalidates the license at the time of its relinquishment and no person whose license is voluntarily surrendered may practice nursing or represent himself/herself to be a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse until the Board takes action.
The surrender of a license may not be considered an admission of guilt by any panel, court, or other entity in disciplining the license of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. The surrender is with the understanding that it does not preclude the Board from imposing conditions on the acceptance of the proffered surrender, which the licensee must meet before the return of his/her license, nor does it preclude the Board from taking disciplinary action.