Charges Against Your Nursing Nurse License
In some states, it is rare for the Board of Nursing to revoke a nurse's license. In California, the Board of Nursing has recently filed over 1,200+ cases a year against registered nurses. Of those, appro. 1,000 nurses a year have lost their license - either through surrender or revocation!
In 2009, the Board of Registered Nursing requested a three fold increase in its enforcement staff. and received budget approval for 11 new enforcement positions. In 2010, another 37 new enforcement positions were approved. According to a Board publication, from June 2007 to September 2010, the number of investigations started against registered nurses by the Board increased from 563 a year to 8,407. In the same time period, the number of accusations filed against RNs by the attorney general’s office increased from 380 to 787. (See BRN Sunset Review Report 2010).
If you receive a letter from the Board stating that you are the subject of a complaint or investigation, a letter offering an opportunity to participate in the Board’s diversion program, a letter denying your license, or an accusation or statement of issues before the Board, you should immediately contact an attorneywith experience representing nurses in professional licensing matters before you respond. This means yo need an attorney who understands the nursing and medical issues as well as the legal issues - such as a nurse attorney.
An attorney can assist you by speaking to the BRN investigator and/or attorney assigned to the case on your behalf so you don't have to. This is especially important since anything you say to the investigator (who is a usually a peace officer) can hurt your case. An attorney can also:
If a nurse hires us at the beginning of an investigation by the BRN, we can submit a detailed analysis of the allegations to the investigator along with evidence that explains what happened and and addresses the allegations of misconduct.
If an investigator has contacted you, then now’s the best time to seek legal counsel. Remember, anyone – a patient, co-worker, supervisor, family member – can file a complaint against you. The investigator can use anything you say to them as evidence against you! Don't put yourself at risk, have an attorney speak to the investigator on your behalf. What we say to an investigator cannot be used against you in court. We can help you gather and preserve evidence to protect your license and preparing a response in a light most favorable to you.
When you receive a letter investigating a complaint, your first response might be to think you can just explain the situation and everything will be okay. In reality, the investigator who will talk with you is not a healthcare provider - they are a peace officer, and they will be collecting evidence against you. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Do not attempt to handle this legal matter on your own!
This is the point in an investigation when formal charges have been filed against you and your license, and the State is making their case on how you violated the law. If the State proves their case, the Board will decide if you lose your license. Your license is on the line so make sure you do not waive your right to an attorney! If you were to defend yourself, you would need to know the licensing laws and know how to object, cross-examine and enter evidence. This is not your area of expertise, so let us handle it!
BRN Intervention Program
Nursing is a rewarding profession but it also highly stressful. Experts have estimated that as many as 20% of practicing nurses suffer from chemical dependency. The Board offers a rigorous intervention program for chemically dependent or mentally ill nurses. Where a nurse voluntarily enrolls in the program prior to an "Accusation" being filed, sometimes the disciplinary process can be avoided. However, nurses in the program may not practice until the program determines that they may safely do so. We can help you weigh your options.
We Can Help You With License and Application Questions
Are you struggling to interpret and truthfully answer questions on your license renewal application?
This is so important! Did you know that by not answering the questions on your renewal application honestly you could be charged with material misrepresentation and fraud? You might worry about how to answer questions related to convictions, your drug and alcohol history, past disciplinary actions or termination. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals violate the law without even knowing it, just by answering a question improperly.
If you :
- have been contacted by an investigator from the Board of Nursing
- have you received a letter from the Licensing Board or the Attorney General’s office
- have you received an "Accusation" from the Board that an action has been filed against your license
Please contact us immediately for a consultation about your options!
-One Hour Legal Consultation Request
A one hour telephone consultation is available at a special flat rate of $250 for nurses who wish to discuss a legal problem. Please fill out the contact form on this page or send me an email with this information to:email@example.com. Briefly describe the legal matter you wish to discuss (e.g. Board of Nursing investigation or charges, employment matter, etc.), and when you would like to schedule your appointment (usually 1-2 weeks out).
We generally schedule these appointments Tuesday - Thursday in the afternoon between 3:00 - 5:00. I will email you back to set up the exact appointment time. Please pay using the button below. We will immediately receive a notice of your request and payment from PayPal. Review of case facts (in lengthy emails or written documents will be calculated as part of the one hour of service.) Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Client Case Results - Successfully obtained dismissal of charges against RN after Board filed charges seeking to revoke her license and forced matter to trial. (2018) Client remarks: "...very many thanks [Laurie Elston] for all your brilliant work and personal support...Gratefully" D.C. RN
LAW OFFICE OF LAURIE R. ELSTON, P.C.
Nursing Law Center