California Nursing License Reinstatement

Has your California nursing license been revoked or surrendered? Do you want to petition for your nursing license reinstatement?

You spent years studying to become a nurse and building your career, and you may now be wondering how and if you can return to your profession. Seeking license reinstatement is not uncommon, and many revoked or surrendered nursing licenses are successfully reinstated in California. Before beginning the license reinstatement process, it is imperative to enlist the assistance of an experienced California licensing attorney who will prepare a comprehensive strategy in an effort to prove a petitioner’s successful rehabilitation.

The California Board of Registered Nursing’s (BRN) license reinstatement process entails submitting a petition for reinstatement to the BRN, being placed on a waiting list, and then testifying before the Board at a hearing. This process involves six steps as detailed below:

1) Eligibility

The petitioner must first be eligible to petition for license reinstatement. This eligibility is dependent on the terms of the Board’s disciplinary decision. A waiting period of one to three years is often required before submitting a petition for reinstatement.

2) Application Process

Once eligibility has been met, the petitioner requests a license reinstatement petition packet from the BRN. The petitioner returns the completed petition in addition to any materials the petitioner and petitioner’s attorney decide to submit for consideration to the Board. Examples of submitted materials include evidence of continuing education, summaries of completion from rehabilitation programs, or character letters.

3) Waiting List

All petitioners are entered onto a waiting list of approximately 11-12 months. The Board will then contact the petitioner to confirm his/her continued interest in pursuing license reinstatement. If the petitioner still wishes to pursue license reinstatement at that time, the petitioner will then receive a notice to appear in approximately 60 days at either the BRN’s Northern or Southern California location. The petitioner will also receive a deadline to submit any additional materials for consideration to the Board.

4) Testifying to the Board

The petitioner and the petitioner’s attorney will testify before the BRN’s Board members, administrative law judge, court reporter, and members of the public (such as current nursing students). The petitioner will not testify about why the license was revoked or surrendered and will focus on what the petitioner has done since the disciplinary action to prove rehabilitation and safety to practice with the public. The hearing is then opened for questions by the Deputy Attorney and the Board, followed by a closing statement.

5) Decision

After the meeting, the Administrative Law Judge writes a decision based on the Board’s wishes. The petitioner is notified of the decision in approximately 45 days. The petitioner can appeal the decision, otherwise the decision becomes effective in 30 days.

As stated on the BRN website, “The disciplinary penalty is determined based on a number of factors including but not limited to: severity and recency of offense, rehabilitation evidence, current ability to practice safely, mitigating factors, and past disciplinary history.”

6) Appeal
The petitioner can appeal the Board’s decision in its entirety or partially, such as required testing or fees. The Board members vote if they want to reconsider the decision. If so, the Board returns to a closed session and the petitioner does not need to reappear.

If you are seeking license reinstatement after your nursing license has been revoked or surrendered, our goal at the Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister is to help you return to your calling and reclaim your profession. The Board must be assured that you have made long-term behavioral changes and will not require future disciplinary action. We have the knowledge and experience to craft a compelling petition and present the strongest evidence the Board needs to consider reinstating a nurse’s license.

For additional information on the nursing license reinstatement process for nurses in California, please visit our Professional License Reinstatement page.

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully defended a wide range of licensed professionals including therapists, accountants, engineers, and medical professionals such as nurses, physicians, chiropractors, dentists, and veterinarians. We are experienced in handling all types of licensing issues and are dedicated to navigating our clients through the disciplinary process to best protect their professional interests. Let us help you protect your professional license, your reputation, and your livelihood.

For experienced advice in reinstating your license, please contact us today at (877) 280-9944.


For Additional Information

NCSBN’s  National Nursing Database: Aggregate data from Nursys® – the only comprehensive national database for the verification of nurse licensure, discipline and practice privileges for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs).

California Registered Nurse Laws and Regulations

California Vocational Nurse Laws and Regulations

California Board of Registered Nursing – Enforcement Program
California Board of Registered Nursing – Reinstatement of a Lapsed

California Board of Registered Nursing – Disciplinary Actions and Reinstatement