Nursing is a noble profession. It also takes a long time to acquire your nursing license in California. As it happens in life, you can make a mistake in your professional career, which might lead to your nursing license revocation. A patient or another concerned entity might file a complaint against you to the Board of Registered Nursing. The complaint might be about your professional conduct or as a result of a conviction.
The board can ask you to surrender your nursing license due to mental illness or dependency on alcohol or drugs. If you surrender your license, you can undergo rehabilitation and follow the due process to reinstate your nursing license.
In California, the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is responsible for revoking your nursing license. The law also mandates the board to reinstate your nursing license. According to California Business and Professions Code section 2750, the board has the authority to discipline you if you violate the Nursing Practice Act. Disciplinary actions the board can take against you include license suspension or revocation, fining you, or probation.
When you surrender your license, you cannot practice as a nurse for the duration of your license revocation. If the board revokes your nursing license, you can have it reinstated. But the reinstatement process is complex. That is why you need to use the services of an experienced licensing attorney. The attorney has a ton of experience in dealing with the BRN and knows the process of reinstating your nursing license. The lawyer will work with you every step of the way.
Below Is the Process of Reinstating Your Nursing License in California In More Detail
1. Eligibility for License Reinstatement
In many states, including California, you must be eligible for the process of reinstating your nursing license. The process also depends on the terms of the disciplinary action. According to the law, you have to wait for one to three years before you start your petition to reinstate your nursing license. Additionally, to be eligible for your license’s reinstatement, you must not be on parole or probation. You also have to acquire sworn statements from two of your colleagues regarding your petition for license reinstatement. According to the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), the terms of disciplinary action depend on certain factors. These factors include:
- The nature and severity of the act, offenses, or crime that led to the revocation of your license
- The time which has passed after the revocation of your nursing license
- The actual harm or potential harm the action led to your license’s suspension caused or would have caused.
- Mitigation evidence
- If you have any prior disciplinary action taken against you
- The number and variety of current violations charged against you
- Your criminal record
Once you have completed your waiting period, you can submit your petition to reinstate your nursing license.
2. License Reinstatement Application Process
Once you meet the eligibility requirement, you request a “Petition for Reinstatement” form from the Board of Registered Nursing. Once you receive the petition, you should complete and return it to the Board. You might also attach additional material to give your petition for reinstatement more credence. The other material you can attach to give more weight to your reinstatement case includes character letters, evidence showing you have completed a rehabilitation program or undergone continuous education.
The “Petition for Reinstatement” is a set of documents the board mails once you make the request. Once you receive the paperwork, you must fill it as accurately as possible. A mistake in the form filling process might lead to complications in the process of reinstating your nursing license. It’s therefore prudent to employ the services of a well-experienced licensing attorney. The attorney will help you fill the forms appropriately.
If the board has revoked your license due to addiction, attaching a certificate of completion of the rehabilitation program will give your case more weight. The rehabilitation program is under the Board of Registered Nursing.
The rehabilitation or intervention program’s primary purpose is to rehabilitate you as a nurse if your addiction to alcohol or other substances led to your nursing license revocation. The intervention program also helps you recuperate if your nursing license was revoked due to mental illness. The rehabilitation is called the Intervention Program.
As a nurse, the nursing board realizes that you are not immune to substance abuse or mental health issues. You might be susceptible to controlled substance addiction due to your access to these substances. The ease of access might lead to dependence on the controlled substance. Once you become an addict, you can no longer perform your duties professionally. As a nurse, you need to be 100% sober since you deal with patients. One mistake might cost the patient’s life or have other dire consequences.
The BRN has an eligibility criterion for nurses who want to enroll in the intervention program. To qualify for the program, you must:
- Be A Licensed Nurse,
- Reside in California
- Your mental illness or alcohol or drug addiction is affecting the performance of your duties.
But you must note that you are only eligible for the intervention program if you surrendered your nursing license. If the license revocation resulted from the board’s disciplinary action for substance or alcohol abuse, you are also not eligible for the intervention program. Additionally, if you sold drugs or caused harm or death, you do not qualify for the intervention program.
You can enter into the intervention program through self-referral. Here, you contact the program directly. The board can also refer you to the program.
Another document that will give more credence to your license reinstatement process is providing evidence of continued education. According to the California Code of Regulations, Section 1451, California law requires you to complete 30 contact hours of continuing education. You have to complete these hours in the space of two years.
You must have completed these continuing education hours in the past two years before you can apply for the reinstatement of your nursing license. You must take these courses through a continuing education provider whom the BRN recognizes. You can also take these courses in another state, provided the California Board of Registered Nursing recognizes the course provider.
3. The Board Placing Your Name on the Waiting List
When you apply for your nursing license’s reinstatement, the board enters your name into a waiting list. However, you have to wait for 10 to 12 months before the board contacts you. After the waiting period elapses, you will be contacted by the board to inquire if you are still interested in reinstating your nursing license.
If you are still interested in pursuing your license’s reinstatement, the board will instruct you to go to the BRN’s Southern or Northern offices. You will be invited to appear before the board at either of these locations after 60 days or so when you confirm you are still interested in reinstating your nursing license. The board will also give you a date by which you must submit any additional material, which it will consider when deciding whether to reinstate your nursing license.
4. Testifying Before the Board of Registering Nursing
The fourth step in reinstating your nursing license is testifying before the Board of Registered Nursing. At this stage, you and your attorney will testify before the BRN. Your testimony’s main purpose is to show how much you have rehabilitated and become apt again at ensuring safety while dealing with patients.
Other entities present during the testimony include a court reporter, an administrative law judge, and public members. The members of the public can be fellow nurses. During this stage, the Deputy Attorney and the board will ask questions to ascertain your rehabilitation claims.
The hearing after your license has already been revoked is different from the hearing to determine if your license should be revoked. The purpose of the former hearing is to convince the board you can serve as a nurse again. Here, you present evidence as to why the board should reinstate your nursing license.
In the hearing, to determine whether your license should be revoked, you have a chance to cross-examine witnesses who have brought the complaints against you. You can also present evidence to dispute the charges. In the pre-revocation hearing, the burden of proof is upon the board. In the hearing to have your license reinstated, you have the burden of proof. You have to prove you have been rehabilitated and fit to work as a nurse once again.
The hearing does not take place like typical hearings in a court-like setting. The petition for reinstatement of your revoked nursing license takes place in a hall-like setting. The hearing takes less than 15 minutes, and in this limited time, you have to convince the board you deserve your nursing license back. You need to show the board you are no longer a threat to public safety and competent enough to be a nurse once again. Here, you should present facts to the board.
Remember, you will be under a lot of pressure in this hearing. Therefore, it is prudent to employ a licensing attorney’s services to present the facts on your behalf. The attorney has experience in this kind of situation, and they will represent you to the best of their ability. Since you can stay for a year before the board sets the hearing date, you should be working with your attorney on the best strategy to present your evidence before the board.
Your attorney will compile all the necessary evidence to show you are genuinely reformed and are ready to serve as a nurse once again. They will seamlessly present the evidence in the short time you have before the board and the Administrative Law Judge.
5. The Decision by The Board
Once you have testified, you have to wait for a decision from the board on the fate of your nursing license restitution petition. The Administrative Law Judge follows the recommendation of the Board when making the decision. The board will notify you of their decision in 45 days or so after your testimony. You have the right to appeal the decision if it is not favorable. However, you have to appeal the decision before 30 days are over from the date of the board’s decision.
The decision the board reaches depends on certain factors. These factors include but not limited to:
- The severity and how recent you committed the offense
- The rehabilitation evidence you present
- Your current ability to carry out your nursing duties safely.
- Your past disciplinary actions, among other similar factors
However, the most important consideration is your presentation of the petition for reinstatement at the hearing. You must present factual evidence. The evidence must show you have fully rehabilitated. Rehabilitation should be on both your behavior and personal lifestyle. You must also show that enough time has passed without any further incident and that your outlook and attitude on life have changed. At this stage, you need to employ the services of an experienced California licensing lawyer.
The board might have suspended your license due to professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct. These two categories influence the board’s decision on whether to reinstate your license or reject your petition. Some cases of professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct include:
- Obtaining your license in a fraudulent manner
- You were practicing when you are impaired, negligently, or incompetently.
- You were using drugs or alcohol habitually when on duty.
- Chemical dependency
- If you have criminal convictions
- Failing to notify the board of your criminal convictions
- If disciplinary action has been imposed on you by another licensing board
6. Appealing the Decision by The Board
You can appeal the decision the board has reached. You can either appeal the decision in its entirety or a section of the decision. If your license was revoked due to substance abuse or dependence, the board might require you to undergo sporadic tests. You might decide to appeal this decision. Once you appeal the decision, the board members vote to determine if they will reconsider the decision. If they decide to reconsider their decision, they will hold a closed-door meeting. You do not need to reappear for this meeting.
The Reinstatement of Your California Nursing License Take Away
The process of reinstating your nursing license Is called a “Petition for reinstatement.” You have to wait for one to three years after your license has been revoked in California before you can submit your petition for reinstatement. When you are on suspension, you need to engage in rehabilitation as defined by the California Registered Nursing Board.
If the board refuses to reinstate your nursing licenses, you can appeal the decision. When you appeal the decision, the board holds another meeting to deliberate on your reinstatement. In California, you can have a hearing before the board in two instances. You can appear before the board if anyone raises a complaint against you. In this case, the board has the burden of proof. The second instance you can appear before the board is when the board has already revoked your license, or you have surrendered it willfully.
The hearing to determine if the board should renew your license is critical to your professional life. At the hearing, you should use the services of a well-experienced licensing attorney to represent you before the board. The attorney will present evidence of your rehabilitation and present facts about why the board should reinstate your nursing license.
Before the board reinstates your license, you have to follow the laid-out process. The process involves eligibility, the waiting timeframes set by the BRN, the complexity of your case, and the legal consideration of your case.
Call A Professional License Attorney Near Me
If you want the board to reinstate your nursing license in California after it has been revoked or suspended, you need to use the services of a well-experienced license lawyer. At The Legal Guardian, we ensure you have your nursing license reinstated. However, before the reinstatement, you must assure the board you have completely rehabilitated, and you are fit to work as a nurse once again. We have immense experience and knowledge of gathering and presenting the evidence the board needs to reinstate your nursing license. If you need to reinstate your nursing license in Long Beach, California, do not hesitate to contact us at 888-293-0396.