What are the Most Common Reasons Nurses are Disciplined by the State Board of Nursing?


Nurses in California are monitored and disciplined by the State Board of Nursing. The State Board of Nursing gets its authority from the California Business and Professions Code Section 2750. Nurses are subject to local and state laws and state Nursing Practices Acts. There is a Nurse Practicing Act for Registered Nurses and Vocational Nurses in California. Suppose a nurse receives a complaint for a violation of law or ethical responsibility listed within a nursing practice regulation. An investigation will commence against that nurse to determine if they should take further action. If the investigation determines that additional facts and findings do not substantiate the complaint,  the complaint will be denied. The investigation will be closed with no further action against the nurse. 

If the investigation finds that the complaint has substance, the nurse can face additional investigative measures and potential discipline. Once a complaint moves past the investigation stage, the nurse will have the option to agree to consent discipline, participate in an informal settlement conference, or defend themselves in a formal disciplinary hearing. Regardless of what stage you may be in, it is critical to have an experienced nursing license defense lawyer on your side if you are facing potential sanctions or loss of your nursing license.


The California Board of Nursing imposes discipline for professional and personal reasons related to the nurse’s conduct. Discipline is imposed after the completion of an investigation and hearing process.

Some of the most common reasons why the state Board of Nursing disciplines a nurse include:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Failing to monitor a patient adequately
  • Lapses in moral character
  • Privacy violations
  • Disciplinary actions by a different state board (if licensed out of state)
  • Negligence
  • Fraud or dishonesty
  • Practicing outside the scope of a license
  • Criminal convictions

The discipline imposed by the Board of Nursing consists of several factors, which include:

  • The severity of the offense alleged
  • The recency of the offense alleged
  • Any evidence of rehabilitation 
  • A nurse’s current ability to practice nursing safely
  • Any mitigating factors on the nurse’s behalf
  • The past disciplinary history of the nurse

The Board of Nursing will use the above factors in determining the appropriate sanction for any violations of a nursing license. If you are facing potential discipline or an investigation against your nursing license, call us at SJ Harris Law to help!


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, your reputation, and your future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

sjharris footer logo

When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


© 2024 by S J Harris Law. All Rights Reserved. | Disclaimer | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Designed by Get Visible

Get a Free 30-Minute Consultation