Laws and Regulations of the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

It is crucial for registered vocational nursing and psychiatric technicians to understand these laws and regulations to ensure they are providing safe and effective care to their patients. SJ Harris provides all nurses and technicians with a fundamental understanding and knowledge of the laws and regulations of the BVNPT that each individual should follow below. 

While there is a myriad of laws and regulations that govern Psychiatric Technicians and Vocational Nurses, there are several that are more common than others. In general, the laws can be found within the California Business and Professions Code starting at section 2840 for vocational nursing and 4500 for Psychiatric Technicians. 

  • Disciplinary Proceedings brought against Vocational Nurses can be found starting in section 2875 of the Business and Professions Code. You may wish to review the code here.
  • Disciplinary Proceedings brought against Psychiatric Technicians can be found starting in section 4520 of the Business and Professions Code.  A review of the Code can be found here.

How Does the BVNPT Define Unprofessional Conduct?

Section 2878 of the B&P Code states:

The board may suspend or revoke a license issued under this chapter for any of the following:

  1. Unprofessional conduct, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  2. Incompetence, or gross negligence in carrying out usual nursing functions.
  3. A conviction of practicing medicine without a license in violation of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000), in which event the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction.
  4. The use of advertising relating to nursing violates Section 17500.
  5. The use of excessive force upon or the mistreatment or abuse of any patient. For the purposes of this paragraph, “excessive force” means force clearly in excess of that which would normally be applied in similar clinical circumstances.
  6. The failure to maintain the confidentiality of patient medical information, except as disclosure is otherwise permitted or required by law.
  7. Failure to report the commission of any act prohibited by this section.

Section 2518.8 of the Code states:

The Board also has a specific regulation related to unprofessional conduct. Section 2518.8 of the California Code of Regulations, title 16 further outlines various conduct that is deemed unprofessional.

  • Section 2519 of CCR, title 16, defines Gross Negligence for vocational nurses. The code reads:
    • As set forth in Section 2878 of the Code, gross negligence is deemed unprofessional conduct and is a ground for disciplinary action. As used in Section 2878 “gross negligence” means a substantial departure from the standard of care which, under similar circumstances, would have ordinarily been exercised by a competent licensed vocational nurse, and which has or could have resulted in harm to the consumer. An exercise of so slight a degree of care as to justify the belief that there was a conscious disregard or indifference for the health, safety, or welfare of the consumer shall be considered a substantial departure from the above standard of care.
  • Section 2520 of CCR title 16, defines incompetence for vocational nurses. The code reads:
    • As set forth in Section 2878 of the Code, incompetence is deemed unprofessional conduct and is a ground for disciplinary action. As used in Section 2878 “incompetence” means the lack of possession of and the failure to exercise that degree of learning, skill, care, and experience ordinarily possessed and exercised by responsible licensed vocational nurses.

It is notable that there are sister regulations that are substantially similar for psychiatric technicians.

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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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