We all know there is a ton of “fake news” on the internet. Advice that pertains to an NP certification and RN license defense after an arrest or allegation of diversion is no exception. As a Nurse Practitioner, your NP certification is so much more than just your RN license, and it’s important to have an attorney who understands how both are unique!

Follow below as we discuss a few of the biggest lies regarding NP certification defense and BRN (Board of Registered Nursing) disciplinary actions we’ve seen.

BIG FAT LIE # 1

The Board of Registered Nursing will take it easier on your NP Certificate and RN License if you plead guilty to a crime

I don’t know what yahoo came up with this piece of advice on the RN forums but it is flat out WRONG! This is a lie, pure and simple. A guilty plea certainly doesn’t make the BRN take it easier on you! In fact, it can make things with the BRN worse! A plea of No Contest or nolo contendere means that you DO NOT CONTEST the charges against you. The result at the criminal level is identical to a guilty plea. You are still convicted.

A No Contest plea at the criminal level gives your attorney some wriggle room at the BRN level, if the facts in the police or arrest report are off, or if there is evidence on your side that you want to submit. A guilty plea essentially eliminates that option. There is absolutely zero benefit of pleading guilty to a crime.

BIG FAT LIE # 2

You should self-report your arrest to the BRN so the BRN will take it easier on you.

This is completely false, and can actually be very damaging. The only entity that benefits from a Nurse Practitioner self-reporting an arrest prior to a conviction is the BRN’s contracted provider for the Diversion program, Maximus. My guess is whoever is perpetuating that lie on the forums has something to do with Maximus.

Once the case is concluded, you will submit a proper disclosure with the help of your NP and RN attorney. The BRN does not have time to go wading through a bunch of arrests that don’t go anywhere. Plus, they already know about it, because they get notified by DOJ when your livescan fingerprints get flagged. You self-reporting an arrest only accomplishes 2 things:

  1. You tie up the BRN’s phone line unnecessarily
  2. It makes you look guilty. It does not make the BRN take it easier on you.

BIG FAT LIE # 3

The Diversion Program is the only way to save your license and reputation as a nurse.

The biggest draw of the BRN Intervention Program is the underlying issue stays confidential, otherwise why would anyone subject themselves to it? The catch is, it only stays confidential under the strictest set of circumstances. An arrest is a public record and a conviction certainly is, so in that case, it is not confidential. Everyone will already know. There is careful monitoring of the nurse, meaning that the person doing the careful monitoring is going to know the nurse is in the BRN Intervention Program, so that isn’t really confidential, is it? The facility employing the nurse will know that the nurse is in the BRN Intervention Program, so that isn’t really confidential. What the BRN means is that the underlying issue does not get published in an Accusation and attached to the LVN’s license on Breeze. That is what they mean by “confidential.”

If the arrest is for a DUI with a BAC below a .15% and no other extenuating circumstances, there is a high likelihood that you will only get a Citation and Fine of about $750.00 from the BRN, and nothing more. In Diversion, you are locked in for about 3 years with a price tag of about $18,000.00. So while the Diversion program is a sure fire way to ensure your NP certificate will never be dinged, that is a big fat gamble, and the fact that Diversion is totally and completely “confidential”, is a big fat lie.

What does this mean for you?

If you are reading this, you have a leg up on the poor nurses who are just trolling forums and getting legal advice from people who have no idea what they are talking about. Of course, this blog can’t be construed as legal advice either, but you can call me, a real attorney with real experience handling these cases. I will listen to the details of your specific situation, give you a very good idea of what you can expect moving forward and dispel any fake news or misinformation that you may have read elsewhere. If it turns out that you need actual legal representation, we have a team of elite and vetted NP certificate defense attorneys, who actually do know what they are doing, who will be able to help you.

If you’re facing action from the Board of Registered Nurses, you need someone on your side, fighting for your livelihood. Complete this quick form and let’s see what we can do for you.