Is It Best to Report All Past Misdemeanors When Applying for Your Nursing License?


If you are a first-time applicant who is applying for a nursing license in California, then you are actually not required to report your prior criminal convictions as of July 1, 2020. Your criminal history will automatically be checked based on your submitted fingerprints. If a criminal history is found, then your application will be sent to the Enforcement Division for additional review. Only convictions within the past seven years will be subject to a full Enforcement Division review. 

The Board will generally not take additional action on any convictions that are older than seven years unless the applicant’s conviction was for a serious felony. Expunged and the Board will not consider dismissed cases in processing a nursing license application. If you have legal questions about nursing licenses in California, then it is crucial to speak to an experienced nursing license defense attorney.


If you are already a licensed nurse but are coming up on renewing your license, then you are required to report if you have been convicted of any crime or if any government-issued license has been subject to discipline from any state agency since your nursing license was last renewed. Any guilty plea or no contest plea to any misdemeanor or felony must be reported, along with any convictions that have been set aside or deferred. You are not required to report convictions for infractions with less than a $1,000 fine unless the infraction involved alcohol or drugs. 

For each license discipline or conviction, you will need to include a detailed written explanation of what happened along with all important dates regarding arrest, the court, and any sentence. You will also need to include all documents that relate to the case, including any complaints, tickets, and/or police reports. You will also need to include any documents and orders from the court. It is a good idea also to include any evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation that you have undertaken after your conviction. 

A failure to report any required information can result in your license being denied, suspended, or even revoked. It doesn’t make much sense to avoid reporting and discipline or convictions because the Nursing Board will find out about it eventually anyway. The smarter approach is to present your disclosures clearly and effectively to demonstrate to the board that your license deserves renewal.


The S.J. Harris Law Office is proud to offer FREE 30-minute consultations to all prospective clients. We understand that licensed nurses are professionals who require representation that values discretion and privacy. The attorney-client privilege will protect anything discussed during a consultation. At S.J. Harris Law, we focus on preserving three things; your license, reputation, and future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.

Author : Scott J Harris