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Board of Registered Nursing Disciplinary Actions

Has the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) initiated an enforcement action against your nursing license? Read more to learn how Orange County professional license defense lawyer William Weinberg can help.

The BRN often commences enforcement action on allegations of unprofessional conduct or a criminal conviction. An enforcement action against your nursing license need not be an existential threat to your career. Attorney William Weinberg is dedicated to helping you protect your professional license and preserve your career. The BRN is known to aggressively enforce disciplinary action against licensees, and you need an equally aggressive attorney. Don’t try to go up against the Board on your own. Mr. Weinberg is dedicated to helping you protect your license and the career you worked so hard to accomplish.

The most common BRN disciplinary actions arise upon allegations of:

  1. Unprofessional conduct. (Examples include false representation of professional qualifications or illegally obtaining, possessing, or administering narcotics.)
  2. Conviction of a felony or certain misdemeanors “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a registered nurse.” (Business & Professions Code §2761)
  3. Mental illness or substance abuse.
  4. Incompetence or gross negligence.

A BRN enforcement action usually commences with a document called an “Accusation”. An Accusation informs the nurse that a disciplinary action has been initiated and why. However, a nurse may become aware that he or she is under investigation by the BRN before an Accusation is filed. If you learn that you are under investigation, it is important to consult legal counsel before any potential Accusation is filed.

While some Accusations are initiated by a complaint, other accusations may be initiated by information forwarded to the BRN by the court or justice department concerning criminal charges or a conviction.

A complaint may come from a patient or a co-worker. In these cases, if the BRN finds the complaint warrants an investigation, the BRN will open the investigation and may contact you for an interview. The prudent response is to politely decline the BRN’s inquiries and immediately consult an attorney who can protect your rights during this process.

Accusations that arise after a criminal action most often do not initiate until after a conviction. (However, some criminal charges may prompt a judge to order the nurses license be suspended or restricted until there is a judgment in the criminal case.) Criminal convictions that are “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a registered nurse” can result in disciplinary action against a nursing license. This rather ambiguous terminology covers a lot of crimes, from serious offenses such as narcotic sales to the less serious conviction of a first-time DUI.

Once an Accusation is filed, the nurse has a short time period to challenge the Accusation. If you have received notice of an Accusation and you have not consulted a professional license defense attorney yet, you must do so right away. Otherwise, a default decision will be issued and all allegations will be presumed to be true, risking revocation of your nursing license. It is never advisable to ignore a notice or to respond on your own as you risk jeopardizing your defense and in some cases, your license. As your professional license defense lawyer, Mr. Weinberg will investigate the evidence alleged in the Accusation to identify evidence in your favor and mitigating evidence. In addition, and with your collaboration, Mr. Weinberg will carefully assemble a mitigation package for presentation at your hearing. He will argue on your behalf with a goal of achieving the best possible outcome available under the circumstances. Attorney Weinberg is hands on and he genuinely cares about each individual he represents.

In most cases, an administrative hearing will take place before the Board with an administrative law judge presiding. The Board will be represented by a lawyer from the Attorney General’s Office. After the hearing, it can take several months before the Board issues a proposed decision, which must be adopted by a majority of the Board members. The decision will either recommend discipline against the licensee or may find no cause for discipline at all.

Discipline can range from public rebuke, fines and probation to suspension of the license and to the most severe discipline, which Mr. Weinberg will aggressively contest: a full revocation of the nursing license. (In all but certain circumstances such as conviction of sex crimes or murder, a nurse may apply for reinstatement of a revoked license after a prescribed period of time. Attorney Weinberg can help you accomplish this difficult process.)

Are You Facing BRN Disciplinary Action? Contact Professional License Defense Attorney William Weinberg for Immediate Help!

Mr. Weinberg will vigorously defend your license and your career. He can represent you before the Board whether your face an Accusation or a denial of your application for a nursing license. He is available for a complimentary review of your license issue and will advise you of your options. You may reach him at his Irvine office at (949) 474-8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

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