If you received a letter from the BRN, it is either because you’ve received notice you are being licensed as a Registered Nurse, it is time to renew your RN license, or there is trouble brewing. The California Board of Registered Nursing really only sends out mail for the following reasons:
- confirmation of licensure
- renewal of licensure
- Denial of licensure
- Offering the Intervention Program
- Notifying you that you are being investigated
- Serving you with a Formal Accusation against your RN License
- Follow-up on 3-6.
You will want legal help if you get any of 3-7.
Letter from the BRN Denying You Your RN License
If you’ve applied for a RN license, you may be denied if you have a past misdemeanor conviction that the BRN substantially relates to the practice of nursing… which are most Misdemeanor convictions. You may also be denied if you didn’t fill out your initial application correctly or omitted information. If you have been denied your RN license, you will have the opportunity to appeal the denial and will VERY likely get your license. The only issue will be the type of discipline that license is subjected to out of the gates. There is a ton of info on the blog about the appeal process and how to get your RN license after a denial. Give me a call if you’ve been denied your RN license. We have a 99% success rate in getting our denied clients their licenses!
Letter from the BRN Offering the Intervention Program
If you have received a letter from the BRN offering you the Intervention or Diversion program, the BRN has received a complaint about you alleging that you have misused drugs or alcohol or are mentally unstable. Most nurses receive them following a DUI arrest, but many nurses receive intervention offer letters because they are suspected of diverting medication from their employer, or have been terminated due to medication charting errors. A few nurses get Intervention Offer Letters and they have no clue why they are receiving them. Sometimes compaints are the result of a malicious allegations by an ex, a disgruntled patient or their family member or a mean co-worker.
There is a novel’s worth of information on this blog regarding Diversion or Intervention. PLEASE read it and give me a call if you have received one of these letters. The good news is that many Diversion or Intervention offers do not go any farther than the first or second letter and the case gets dropped there. The other good news is that you can get an attorney involved before any formal action is taken against your RN license and we can advise you from the very beginning of the process. The bad news is that the BRN thinks you are unsafe to practice nursing and they are after you. If you decline diversion for anything other than an arrest, you will likely be investigated and will receive— you guessed it, another letter from the BRN.
Letter from the BRN that You are Under Investigation
The BRN does not investigate arrests that result in a conviction, despite what that nasty little Intervention Offer letter would lead you to believe. They allow the criminal process to work its magic and base their discipline off the final decision of the courts. 95% of the time, investigations are the result of a work-place mistake, typically involving medication, charting errors or patient care issues. 4% of the time, investigations occur as the result of one of those malicious complaints being filed about your misuse of drugs or alcohol, 1 % of the time you are being accused of being mentally unstable.
If you have received a letter notifying you that you are under investigation, you will receive an Authorization for release of Records along with it and a statement notifying you of your rights. It’s at this point that you will want to lawyer-up. Under no circumstances, should you sign anything, especially an “Authorization for Release of Employment Records,” which is so broad and unrestricted, the BRN can access anything! You should also not agree to meet with the Investigator without an attorney present. This is the stage of BRN action when nurses make the most mistakes because they do not understand the severity of the complaint and think they can handle it on their own. PLEASE, do not handle this on your own. There are many articles on the blog that deal with investigations, read them or just call me directly and we can talk through the specifics of your case. The Investigation is the last step before the BRN files an Accusation and attempts to revoke your RN license, which you will receive by way of…. Yep… another letter.
Letter from the BRN Serving you with a Formal Accusation against your RN License
Other than the actual letter letting you know your RN License has been revoked and you are no longer a nurse, the BRN Accusation is the most terrifying letter you will ever receive from the BRN. They are sent via certified mail to the address you have on file with the Board. Did you read that? The address ON FILE WITH THE BRN. If your address is not correct, you will not get this letter and if you don’t reply to it within 15 days, your RN license will be revoked on a default order. Please make sure your address is correct.
An Accusation is a formal legal document, one that has been prepared by the Attorney General’s Office of the State of California, wherein they have established that you violated the Nurse Practice Act and are a threat to the public. The last page of the Accusation calls for the revocation of your RN license. If you did not call an attorney when you got the diversion letter, and did not have an attorney during the investigation, you sure as the sun does shine, need one now. Even though you will very likely be facing some disciplinary action from the BRN as a result of the Accusation, we have more than a 99% success rate in keeping our client’s licenses from being revoked or suspended. For more information on Accusations, check the blog.
The BRN Doesn’t Send Birthday Cards
The reality is if you have received a letter from the BRN and have turned to Google for answers, it probably wasn’t a birthday card and you are probably nervous and searching for help. Lucky you, you’ve found it. RN Guardian is a company based solely on the legal representation of California RNs and LVNs. We have a team of attorneys and owners who are as passionate about protecting your nursing career as you are about being a nurse. If you’ve received a letter from the BRN and would like an explanation of what it is, what to expect in the future and a no-nonsense analysis of your unique case, give me a call.