The BRN means it when they say that RNs must disclose a DUI conviction to them in 30 days. Failure to do so is considered unprofessional conduct and while we have been able to get around this in the past, it appears the BRN is cracking down. With the new BRN requirements for RNs to resubmit Livescan fingerprints, many nurses are realizing there is a hidden skeleton in their closet and are looking for answers about how to disclose the DUI and save their RN license.
The BRN requires that you disclose the DUI within 30 days of being convicted. They do not want you to disclose it when you are arrested, because if you are Livescan fingerprinted, they will already know. Because the BRN is requiring all nurses in California to submit or resubmit fingerprints if licensed prior to 2008, the BRN should be notified of every arrest within days. This creates a problem for nurses with old DUI convictions who never disclosed them to the BRN. The BRN is now going to see the conviction and they will be aware that you never disclosed it, when you were required to do so. This is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act, is considered unprofessional conduct and is potentially grounds for revocation of your RN license.
There are a few typical reasons that RNs will not have disclosed a previous DUI conviction. The most common is the nurse didn’t realize that they HAD to. Up until just a few years ago, the BRN required disclosure of convictions upon renewal of the license every 2 years. If the RN got the DUI, was convicted, and had the DUI conviction expunged prior to renewal, they assumed that they did not have to disclose it. In fact, many nurses were told by their own DUI attorneys that they did not need to disclose it… which is true for most, but horribly inaccurate for a nurse’s purposes. One does not need to disclose an expunged DUI conviction to an employer, or on the vast majority of applications; the one critical exception for a nurse is the BRN. Convictions, expunged or not, have ALWAYS BEEN REQUIRED TO BE DISCLOSED. But of course, how would Joe DUI Lawyer know that? They wouldn’t.
If you are in the position where you are being required to submit or resubmit Livescan fingerprints to renew your RN license and you have an old conviction to disclose, PLEASE give us a call or fill out the form below. Not only are you going to have to disclose the DUI at this point, but you are going to need to provide a very convincing argument regarding why you failed to do so, previously. If you begin the process 60 days prior to renewal, your RN license should be renewed without a lapse. If not, you may be dealing with an inactive license for a while and will be unable to work. In many, many cases, the BRN has been issuing a citation and fine for the previous failure to disclose and the accompanying unprofessional conduct, however, in some cases, this is giving rise to investigations and potential Accusations against your RN license. (More on Accusations, here… in short… you REALLY want to avoid them)
This new trend is so unfortunate because for many of these cases, the DUI is over 10 years old, doesn’t show up on background checks, doesn’t show up with the DMV, or your insurance and is basically undiscoverable. Having an Accusation filed means that the BRN essentially drags that dusty old skeleton out of your closet and attaches it like an albatross around your RN license for the rest of your career. It is not something to take lightly and I do not recommend you try to handle it on your own. We have handled hundreds and hundreds of disclosures for our clients and for our RN Guardian members, we offer them for a dependable flat fee.