We all know there is a ton of “fake news” on the internet and advice that pertains to RN license defense after an arrest or allegation of diversion, is no exception. Following is a list of the few biggest lies regarding RN license defense and BRN disciplinary action.
BIG FAT LIE # 1. The BRN will take it easier on your RN License if you plead guilty to a crime, rather than pleading No Contest or Nolo Contendre.
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 plea of no contest or nolo contendre means that you DO NOT CONTEST the charges against you. The result at the criminal level is identical. You are still convicted. Using the word “guilty” just makes you look “guilty”, it does nothing else. It certainly doesn’t make the BRN take it easier on you! In fact, it can make things with the BRN worse! 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 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 or is confusing the BRN with the BVNPT. The BRN does not want you to self-report arrests, or they would require you to do so. They want you to report CONVICTIONS, which is why they require you to do so. The BRN does not have time to go wading through a bunch of arrests that don’t go anywhere, and 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 and 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 in G’s name would anyone subject themselves to it? But it only stays confidential under the strictest set of circumstances. An arrest is 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 RN’s license on Breeze. That is what they mean by “confidential.”
Also, 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. You are locked into Diversion 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 RN license 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.
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 can’t be construed as legal advice either, but you can call me, 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 RN license defense attorneys, who actually do know what they are doing, who will be able to help you.