As a nurse, you are probably aware of what allegations of misconduct can do to your career. Even a mild complaint can result in an investigation by the California Board of Nursing that can potentially upend your life.
If you are currently facing a California Board of Nursing accusation, you need to have a plan in place regarding how to handle the situation properly, including when to seek legal representation.
When dealing with a California Board of Nursing accusation, you need to be aware that you are dealing with two licensing agencies. The California Board of Nursing is composed of the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and the California Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT).
Despite constituting different boards, both the BRN and BVNPT have similar disciplinary measures.
The BRN calibrates its disciplinary measures in accordance with the specific circumstances of the case in question. Per BRN guidelines, the board evaluates these 11 factors when determining what actions to take against a nurse:
- Whether there is any evidence of 1203.4pc expungement
- General criminal record
- Evidence of rehabilitation
- Number of violations
- Whether the nurse harmed or could have harmed a patient
- The severity of the infraction under consideration
- How much time has passed since the infraction
- If a criminal conviction occurred, whether the nurse complied with instructions
- Evidence of mitigation
- Past disciplinary actions
- Whether the nurse presents a danger to the public
This is why, when facing a California Board of Nursing accusation, having a nursing license defense attorney at your disposal is helpful.
Disciplinary actions against nurses are divided into six stages. The outcomes of each disciplinary action can vary depending on the circumstances described above, the facts of the case, and whether the nurse has retained legal counsel. Here are the potential disciplinary actions the board may find appropriate:
- Staying of a revocation or suspension with a probationary period
- Outright revocation or suspension of the nurse’s license
- Voluntary surrender of nursing license
- Closing the matter without taking action
- Fines and citations
- Judge ordered suspension
- Interim suspension
- Public reprimand
- Stipulated agreement
The board also has the right to seek reimbursement for its investigatory costs. This process is very similar to the actions the BRN takes when issuing disciplinary measures.
How the California Board of Nursing Prioritizes Complaints
The California Board of Nursing divides complaints into four categories, listed in order from the highest to lowest severity:
- Urgent: Egregious harm that could result in the death of the patient
- High: Unlicensed and fraudulent activity
- Routine: Unprofessional conduct, arrest, patient abandonment, misconduct
- Routine: Record-keeping violations, unsanitary conditions, offensive behavior
No matter what kind of complaint you receive, if it leads to a formal accusation, you could be in a lot of trouble. This is why it helps to have a qualified attorney on your team.
If you are subject to a California Board of Nursing accusation, now is the time to seek the assistance of a nursing license defense attorney. When it comes to experience, you can count on S J Harris Law. Contact us today for a consultation.