A revoked nursing license can be reinstated! Many California professional licenses can be reinstated after revocation or surrender after a waiting period of one to three years. This waiting period is often required before submitting a petition for reinstatement. Before beginning the reinstatement process, it is crucial to enlist the assistance of an experienced California licensing attorney who will craft a comprehensive strategy to provide evidence of the petitioner’s successful rehabilitation.
To illustrate one licensing agency’s disciplinary and license reinstatement process, the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is responsible for licensing, disciplinary actions, and license reinstatements for registered nurses in California. This disciplinary process is handled by the BRN’s Enforcement Program and involves the following four steps:
California Board of Registered Nursing Disciplinary Process
- Complaint Intake
A complaint alleges that a registered nurse or applicant has violated the Nursing Practice Act. Examples of complaints include patient care, chemical dependency, sexual misconduct, criminal convictions, and license application fraud. After a complaint is received by the BRN, written notification is sent to the complainant within 10 days. If eligible, a nurse may be referred to the BRN’s Intervention Program.
If the BRN needs additional information before making a determination, they may request a formal investigation. The investigation will involve interviews, evidence gathering, report submission, and potential referral to the DA’s office if a possible crime has been committed. The investigator will then submit a written report with their findings to the BRN for further review. If no violation is found, the complainant may be notified that the case has been closed.
- Legal Action
If the investigation determines a violation occurred but disciplinary action is not warranted, the BRN’s Citation and Fine System will process the case. If disciplinary action is warranted, the Attorney General’s Office will review the case. An accusation, which is a legal document listing charges, will be sent to the complainant. An administrative hearing, similar to a court trial, will be held where the nurse can dispute these charges. The case may be resolved by a stipulated agreement instead of a hearing, similar to settling out of court. The BRN makes the final decision on disciplinary matters. A decision can include revoking or suspending a license, putting the license on probation, accepting surrender of a license, or citing and fining.
- Probation Monitoring
If a license is put on probation, a probation monitor will be assigned to monitor the compliance of all probation conditions. After successfully completely probation, the license is often restored without restrictions.
California Board of Registered Nursing License Reinstatement Process
If the BRN’s disciplinary process has resulted in the revocation or surrender of a nurse’s license, that nurse may petition for license reinstatement. The BRN’s license reinstatement process involves six steps briefly outlined below:
The petitioner must first be eligible to petition for license reinstatement. This eligibility is dependent on the terms of the Board’s disciplinary decision and usually involves a waiting period.
- 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, and character letters.
- Waiting List
All petitioners are entered onto a waiting list of approximately 11-12 months. After that time, the petitioner will be contacted by the BRN to confirm the petitioner is still interested in license reinstatement, if so, the petitioner will receive a notice to appear in approximately 60 days to the BRN’s Northern or Southern California location.
- 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.
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.
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 is not required to reappear.
If you have a revoked nursing license, it can be reinstated with our help. The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister are experienced in petitioning for license reinstatement and are dedicated to navigating petitioners through the process to best protect their professional interests. For experienced advice in reinstating your license, please contact us today at (877) 280-9944.
- Reinstatement of a Lapsed Registered Nurse License (8-Year Renewal) – Application Requirements Checklist