California Board of Registered Nursing
Registered Nursing License Defense
Each year, the board receives thousands of complaints, including self-reports, reports from employers, written complaints from the public and governmental agencies, and reports of certain civil settlements.
If you’re a registered nurse facing a board investigation or disciplinary proceeding, our attorneys have the experience and resources to provide expert representation.
Complaints and investigations
The following represent the most common allegations nurses face before the board:
- Practice issues, including negligence and/or incompetence in patient care
- Conduct involving alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances in and out of the workplace
- Out-of-state nursing board actions or other Department of Consumer Affairs Board actions
- Criminal arrests and convictions
The board reviews and investigates all complaints it receives. It then decides to close the case, issue a citation or lesser form of discipline, or refer the matter to the California Office of the Attorney General for formal disciplinary proceedings. The attorney general may file an accusation or, in the case of an applicant, a statement of issues, which initiates a formal hearing process under the California Administrative Procedures Act. Complaints involving chemical dependency or mental illness may be referred to the board’s intervention program, a confidential rehabilitation program.
Discipline imposed at the administrative hearing may include a public reproval, multiyear probation with complex terms, license suspension, or license revocation. The board will also seek to recover its costs for the investigation.
While each situation is unique, it is generally wise to engage counsel before responding to a board investigator or a request for information. Answering questions, providing documents or evidence, or agreeing to other actions without counsel can be risky. As the holder of a professional license, you have important statutory and constitutional rights and immediately seeking advice from an attorney experienced in healthcare licensing helps protect your reputation and career.
How we can help
Our experienced attorneys will work closely with you to close an investigation without discipline or minimize the discipline that may eventually be imposed. In many cases, we can assist in negotiating an agreed resolution with the board’s counsel without a hearing. We can also aggressively defend you at a contested hearing.
If you are facing criminal prosecution, you should know and understand the consequences that a guilty or no contest plea and a conviction can have on your license. A conviction that results from an incident outside of your professional work that appears to have no correlation with your nursing practice may still have a significant impact on your license.
Whether you have been wrongfully accused of misconduct or have made an uncharacteristic mistake, our attorneys offer the experience, expertise, and resources to aggressively defend you before the board. We will listen, offer advice, and develop a plan to obtain the best result possible.