License Trouble With the Board of Registered Nursing?

  • Are you under investigation by the California Board of Registered Nursing, or afraid you will be soon?
  • Have you recently been arrested or convicted in criminal court and worry  this will affect your nursing license?
  • Is your RN, NP, CRNA, or CNM license being revoked, suspended, or placed on probation by an accusation?
  • Has the BRN denied your nursing license application with a statement of issues?
  • Have you been offered a diversion program?

If so, you’ve come to right website. Our short video will explain to you what you need to now right now — in under two minutes!

Protect and Defend your Livelihood

Your Board of Registered Nursing license is by far one of your most valuable assets. The time, money, and personal effort you have invested in educating yourself and achieving RN licensure by the BRN is significant. When your California Registered Nurse license is threatened with revocation, suspension, or probation by an accusation, or when your application for nursing licensure is denied with a statement of issues, your entire livelihood is threatened. You must act promptly.

You Have Legal Rights

You have the right to defend yourself by demanding a trial before an administrative law judge where you can confront and cross examine witnesses, and challenge the investigative findings of the BRN. You may issue requests for discovery, subpoenas to compel the appearance of witnesses and documents. You may call witnesses in your own defense, including fact, expert and character witnesses, and introduce mitigation evidence to context. You may challenge the BRN’s decision to the superior court.

Don’t Risk Going It Alone

Don’t waste valuable time and risk your nursing license trying to do this yourself. You may irretrievably forfeit important legal rights by simple mistakes, and by not knowing how to approach this crisis. Hiring a knowledgeable BRN license defense attorney early during the investigation stage of your license discipline case can considerably improve the likelihood of a positive outcome for you. Contact our law firm now to confidentially discuss your situation with an experienced BRN lawyer.

California Board of Registered Nursing Defense Attorneys

Are you facing a license investigation, accusation, or statement of issues by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)? Our law firm’s experienced legal team of license defense attorneys, paralegals, lawyers, and professionals can help you protect your registered nurse license.

California Registered Nursing License Attorney

Registered Nurse in CaliforniaAmong the most valued members in the medical world are registered nurses, comprising the largest segment of health care workers. If you are a registered nurse, we know your type of nursing has been taking on larger and larger roles in health care over the past few decades, placing you in a high-demand position.

Your work in promoting good health and preventing illness by educating patients and the public about a host of medical conditions, treating the sick and the injured and aiding in their rehabilitation is an important one. As a RN you are a guardian of the sick and injured. You also provide advice and emotional support to patients’ families as well, keeping them in the coveted role of ‘angels of mercy’ when illness or injury strikes

California RN License Defense Lawyers

Whether we find you in critical-care and intensive care units, emergency rooms, psychiatric wards, clinics, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices or home health care settings, your role is ever-expanding. Some of you visit schools and elder care homes and your knowledge can lead you to specialized settings as well, such as pediatric oncology or as surgical assistants under the direction of physicians. Others act as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, Certified Nurse-Midwives, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, to name just a few paths your careers may take.

As you know, nurse practitioners, unlike general duty nurses, have in recent decades become primary caregivers. Arguments have been made that the current U.S. health care system needs many more nurse practitioners and fewer physicians, since these specialists perform many of the duties of their better-paid brethren at a lowered cost.

As you also know, nursing programs are highly competitive in California and applicants can wait for several years before being accepted. But most who achieve entry believe it to be worth it, citing their careers as extremely satisfying. Licensing is accomplished through the California Board of Registered Nursing. Because registered nurses are the primary point of contact between the patient and the world of health care at clinical, hospital or in outpatient settings, the quality of nursing practice and performance can be deemed subjective in nature by many consumers. Whether accusations are made due to a purported human error or because of the emotion surrounding injury or illness, registered nurses’ licenses can be challenged for a variety of reasons and motives.

Don’t go into a license hearing without the services of a trained license attorney should you be an RN in the position of defending your license or are finding it an uphill battle to obtain your license after so many years of study and sacrifice. Rose Law may be able to help. Call us at (800) 456-3767 for more information.

Disciplinary Guidelines, Laws, and Regulations for the California Board of Registered Nursing

Disciplinary guidelines and information can be found on the board’s website by following these links:

Laws and regulations governing nursing can be found on the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website by following these links:

If you need legal help and consultation to defend your license by an nursing board attorney, call 1-800-456-3767 to speak to a lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions About the BRN Investigation and Discipline Process

1. What types of complaints are jurisdictional to the BRN?

  • Drug/alcohol abuse
  • Gross negligence/incompetence, resulting in patient endangerment
  • Patient abuse and neglect
  • Sexual, violent, or abusive offenses
  • Fraud or theft offenses
  • Mentally impaired and unsafe to practice
  • Other acts or convictions substantially related to the practice of nursing
  • Practicing nursing without a license
  • RNs on probation who have violated their probation conditions

2. What types of complaints are outside the BRN's jurisdiction?

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Employee-employer relations
  • Labor issues
  • Rudeness or impolite behavior
  • Billing disputes
  • Complaints against health care practitioners that are not Registered Nurses
  • Complaints against health care facilities, clinics, or agency operations

3. Can someone file an anonymous complaint against your nursing license?

Yes, the BRN will accept anonymous complaints. However, complaints that do not include the name of the person involved or do not include specific details, including dates and times, list of witnesses or contacts, as well as any documentary evidence are difficult to adequately investigate. If a complainant “confidentially” provides his or her name, address or phone number, the BRN cannot and does not guarantee anonymity if the case goes to hearing because you have a right to confront and cross examine witnesses as part of the appeals process.

4. How will a complaint against a RN be processed by the BRN?

Within 10 days after receipt of a complaint, the BRN sends the complainant written notification of receipt. Enforcement Program staff evaluate the complaint and obtain any additional preliminary information needed. This is done for appropriate prioritization. Depending on this step, the complaint is handled in one or more of the following ways:

  • Close non-jurisdictional Complaints that do not fall within the BRN’s jurisdictional authority are closed and referred to the appropriate agency.
  • Refer to the Diversion Program Complaints involving chemical dependency, alcohol abuse, or mental illness are referred and evaluated for eligibility for the Diversion Program.
  • Refer to the Nursing Education Consultant (NEC) For nursing practice complaints, Board NECs may conduct the initial investigation to further assess the complaint. The NECs and/or outside experts may also become involved in the analysis of DOI reports.
  • Refer to the Division of Investigation (DOI) Complaints which appear to involve a violation of the Nursing Practice Act are referred to the DOI for an investigation.

5. Who conducts the investigation?

The Division of Investigation, California Department of Consumer Affairs, employs sworn peace officers to conduct investigations on behalf of the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

6. What happens during a Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) investigation?

The BRN investigator will interview the Registered Nurse licensee and, as needed, interview the complainant, patient, co-workers and employers. The BRN investigator will also gather documentation, such as patient records, personnel records, etc., from relevant sources. After all pertinent information is collected, the investigator prepares a report for the BRN.

Registered Nurses can and should have a skilled and experienced nursing license defense lawyer representing them throughout the BRN investigation including responding to the BRN’s investigator’s first letter, responding to the request for authorization to release employment records, requests for court or arrest records, requests for a written statement, and the investigative interview.

7. Can a complainant check on the status of a BRN complaint filed against a Registered Nurse?

A complainant generally does not receive status updates or investigative details after the initial complaint is made to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and complaint information is gathered. BRN Enforcement Program staff does not discuss details or give status updates on complaints pending investigation. Complaints to the BRN against Registered Nurses are confidential and are not made public unless an until an Accusation is filed against the Registered Nurse’s nursing license.

8. What does "Accusation Filed" on the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website?

If there is sufficient evidence to substantiate a violation of the California Nursing Practice Act, a pleading is filed by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) with the California Attorney General’s Office. The Registered Nurse (RN) is sent this pleading, which is called an Accusation.

The BRN Accusation an accusatory pleading containing allegations and formal charges against the Registered Nurse’s nursing license. The RN must respond to the Accusation with a Notice of Defense (NOD) within 15 days to challenge the allegations in the Accusation and demand an administrative hearing before the California Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Once filed, the Accusation becomes public and is visible on the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website. The complainant is notified in writing if an Accusation issued resulting from his or her BRN complaint against the nurse.

9. How long will it take to resolve a BRN complaint against a RN?

The amount of time necessary to resolve a Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) complaint or Accusation issued against a Registered Nurse (RN) depends on the complexity of the complaint and the type and scope of investigation and review necessary to address the allegations. It also depends on whether a complaint is substantiated. Therefore, the complaint can take anywhere from months to years to resolve.

10. What does "Closed without Merit" mean in the context of a BRN investigation?

If the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) closes a case against a Registered Nurse (RB) after review or investigation and deems it to be “without merit” then this means there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a violation of the California Nursing Practice Act.

11. What does "Closed with Merit" mean in the context of a BRN investigation?

“Closed with merit” in the context of a BRN complaint and investigation means the alleged violation did not reach a level where the Attorney General’s Office could substantiate the imposition of limitations or restrictions on the Registered Nurse’s professional license. However the complaint will be maintained on file with the Board of Registered Nursing for future reference.

12. What does "Citation and Fine" on the Board of Registered Nursing website?

In lieu of filing an Accusation, a citation, which may contain an administrative fine and/or order of abatement, can be issued by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) for lesser violations of the California Nursing Practice Act.

California’s Premiere Board of Registered Nursing Defense Attorneys