California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) License Defense

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Is Your Nursing License Under Investigation?

If a Nursing license is being investigated, then it typically starts with a complaint that a licensee engaged in illegal conduct that is related to his or her professional responsibilities. A complaint can allege things such as gross negligence or incompetence by the nurse, or can allege unprofessional conduct, or some type of alleged substance abuse. The Board does not have authority over fee or billing disputes, a nursing business practice, or issues that deal with other state-licensed professionals. Complaints can be filed online, and they require the complainant to describe in detail what the allegations are. Complaints should include specific dates and times along with any documentary evidence that could be helpful. A complaint will make its way through an intake before it is investigated by a Nursing Board investigator.

How To Find Out If A Nurse Is Under Investigation

The general public will not know if a nurse is being investigated and is not entitled to know anything about nursing license investigations unless they are involved. All complaints remain confidential by the Board while they are being investigated. If a complaint ends up in some type of disciplinary action against the nurse in question, then the Board of Nursing will post appropriate documentation online to inform the public of the disciplinary actions taken. If a nurse is disciplined by the Board of Nursing, then the records of their disciplinary case will remain on file in their permanent record. This record can be disclosed to the public as well as any other jurisdictions who may consider an application for licensing. Some disciplinary actions are even private in nature and will not be released to the public. 

BRN Investigation Process

Once the Board of Nursing receives a complaint about a licensee, the Board will send a written confirmation of receiving the complaint within 10 days of receipt. The complaints that are considered the most serious and have the greatest potential consequences are given priority by the Board. Complaints are then forwarded to the Department of Consumer Affairs Division and/or the Board of Nursing investigators. These agencies will investigate the complaint to determine if a violation appears. If the investigative agencies cannot substantiate the complaint filed or find some level of misconduct, then the case will be closed and the person who filed the complaint will be informed. If a complaint is substantiated and it is shown that the licensee may have violated the rules and requirements of the Nursing Practice Act, then the licensee can be subject to disciplinary proceedings and an administrative formal hearing. If a licensee appears to have violated state or federal criminal laws, then the appropriate law enforcement and prosecuting agencies will be notified. 

If there are allegations of substance abuse on the part of the licensee, then the Board of Nursing’s Intervention Program may be a viable option towards both rehabilitation and resolution of the matter. If you are facing an investigation from the Board of Nursing, then you are entitled to have an attorney represent you through every phase of any proceeding. Making sure you understand the process and what you are potentially facing are invaluable tools towards maintaining your nursing license.

Compassionate, Experienced Nursing License Defense

Obtaining your nursing license is a key component of your career. Having to face your nursing board can also be extremely stressful. With the possible denial of your application for licensure or the loss of your license due to allegations made against you in an accusation, your career and reputation are on the line.

As a result, it is important to work with a legal team that has experience with professional license defense issues and can help you defend your nursing license and career.

Revocation of your nursing license would most likely mean the end of your nursing career. At S J Harris Law, we understand the importance of high-quality, focused professional license defense. As a former Deputy Attorney General in the Licensing Litigation Section, founding lawyer Scott J. Harris has handled many cases involving nurses, including RNs, LVNs, and nurse practitioners. At S J Harris Law, you will work with an experienced nursing license defense attorney who will do everything possible to help you retain your license.

Many of our cases involve abuse of alcohol or drugs, often in relation to an arrest for DUI (driving under the influence). In most cases, the substance abuse issues are the subject of the investigation, or they contributed to the problems that led the board to action. At S J Harris Law, we do not consider it our job to judge clients. Our job is to hear their concerns and help them retain their licenses and careers.

We also represent nurses in cases involving deficient record keeping and standard of care issues.

Representing Nurses Throughout California

There are a wide variety of types of nurses, many with separate license requirements and procedures for investigatory and disciplinary action. We represent:

  • California Board of Registered Nursing / CA BRN Accusation License Defense
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Licensed Practicing Nurses
  • Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians License Defense
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists

With the varied types of nursing licenses and practices, as well as the varied license requirements and standards, license issues can be confusing and even frightening for people. We understand what you are going through, and our No. 1 goal is to help you retain your professional license.

We offer comprehensive legal counseling with a focus on economy, judiciousness, and respect.


The California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN) has the right to investigate your license. If you are contacted by the nursing board or the Division of Investigation, you should contact an attorney.

Accusations And Statement Of Issues — Right To Administrative Hearing

A BRN accusation is a case filed against a nurse for issues involving criminal convictions, drug and alcohol use, drug diversion, gross negligence, or incompetence. Similarly, the nursing board may file a Statement of Issues to deny an application for licensure for the same reasons. Any time a licensing agency files an Accusation or Statement of Issues, you are entitled to an administrative hearing which will be held before an Administrative Law Judge. Attorney Scott J. Harris has participated in scores of administrative hearings and understands the unique evidentiary issues, strategic nuances and important legal issues to address at hearings.

It is important to take proactive steps in protecting your license. An appropriately addressed response to an investigative inquiry may avoid the issuance of an Accusation or Citation. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney like Scott J. Harris can help guide you through the process.

California Nurse Misconduct Defense Attorney

We represent professionals in the Greater Los Angeles area, and throughout California, from San Francisco to San Diego. For a free 30-minute consultation with an attorney from our firm, call 323-302-4024, or contact us online.

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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.


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