The COVID-19 outbreak has presented California healthcare workers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked with an unprecedented opportunity to advance their careers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic California respiratory therapists (as well as nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and the like) are in high demand.

Our offices at Lucy S. McAllister Licensing Law stand ready to assist California Healthcare professionals such as respiratory therapists who wish to reenter the workforce and reestablish their right to practice their medical, nursing, behavioral health or emergency provider professions at a critically important time as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respiratory Care Board of California Disciplinary Actions

California Respiratory Therapists can have their licenses suspended, restricted or revoked due to Respiratory Care Board of California disciplinary action for the following types of violations (among others):

  • Failing to disclose prior charges, arrests and convictions for criminal activities such as a DUI or DWI
  • Violating and failing to comply with board-ordered license probation requirements
  • Committing acts of negligence in patient care
  • Practicing while impaired (alcohol, drugs)
  • Failing to have another required professional present when caring for a patient
  • Charting omissions/errors
  • Acts of possession, use, or administration to oneself, of any controlled substance or dangerous drug
  • Fraud, dishonesty and corrupt acts
  • Falsifying patient records
  • Unprofessional conduct

You spent years studying to become a respiratory therapist and build your career, and you may now be wondering how and if you can return to your profession. Seeking license reinstatement is actually not uncommon, and many revoked or surrendered respiratory therapist 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 your successful rehabilitation.

The Respiratory Care Board of California (RCBC) license reinstatement process entails submitting a petition for reinstatement to the RCBC, being placed on a waiting list, and then testifying before the Board at a hearing. This process involves six stages as detailed below:

Determining 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.

Requesting a Petition for License Reinstatement

Once eligibility has been met, the petitioner requests a license reinstatement petition packet from the Respiratory Care Board. 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.

Receiving a Notice to Appear

All petitioners are entered onto a waiting list. 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. The petitioner will also receive a deadline to submit any additional materials for consideration to the Board.

Testifying to the Respiratory Care Board (RCB) of California

The petitioner and the petitioner’s attorney will testify before the RCB’s Board members, an administrative law judge, court reporter, and members of the public (such as current respiratory therapy 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.

Decision from Administrative Law Judge

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.

Appeal to the RCB of California

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 a California Respiratory Therapist who wishes to assist those in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic but are currently unlicensed or due to previous licensing board actions, our offices are here to help you. If you have negative licensure/certification actions, our offices at Lucy S. McAllister Licensing Law can assist you get your healthcare license reinstated so that you can practice your profession again.

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.

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully defended a wide range of licensed healthcare professionals including respiratory therapists, 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 legal advice leading to reinstatement of your respiratory therapy license, please contact us today for a consultation about your specific case at (877) 280-9944.