Hope for Nurses Applying For or Renewing RN Licenses

Six years ago, the Board of Registered Nursing and the Board of Licensed Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians were happily stamping APPROVED on license applications and renewals coming across their desk for non-work related issues, like DUIs. Those glory days are over my friends. New RN graduates are being flat-out DENIED their ability to sit for their nursing examinations because of petty misdemeanors, DUI’s even wet and reckless convictions.  Nurses reporting a conviction since their last license renewal are being flagged and set aside for further review by the  BRN’s or BVNPT’s enforcement divisions.

Why the change? Well, if you live in California you may have noticed that the Board’s new found concern for the public happens to coincide with a little down-turn in the economy and like any good bureaucratic entity, the BRN, BVNPT , and other professional licensing Boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs, need to justify their existence. So they started imposing fines like crazy and disciplining nurses for issues that were never a problem before because with any discipline comes a fine for the BRN. Brilliant. In fact, they’ve done such a good job at drumming up discipline that they managed to take in well over a Quarter of a Million Dollars this year alone- just in fines.

So what hope does a new nursing grad have with a skeleton in their closet? Is there any hope for unblemished careers in nursing for nurses who may have had a DUI arrest since renewing RN licenses last? There is hope and while this sounds incredibly self-serving- hope is found in people who know the Board and in lawyers who know their lawyers…. like us, for example. On their own, a student nurse may make things worse for themselves when submitting their initial application or in providing evidence for an appeal of denial of licensure. A licensed RN may miss a critical window of opportunity to contact the Board and get the matter dismissed entirely, have a citation and fine imposed, or receive a letter of public reproval instead of probation.

RN Guardian’s track record with nurses with DUI’s has been phenomenal lately. In the last few months alone, our license defense attorneys have had remarkable results:

  • October, 2012: Licensed Registered Nurse with a DUI with a .14% Blood Alcohol Content and an accident involving a parked car receives a citation and a fine instead of ANY formal discipline.
  • September 2012: Student RN received a initial license denial from the Board for an expunged   DUI with a single vehicle accident. Was offered a 3 year conditional license with 19 probation requirements by the Board. Our attorneys had the matter withdrawn completely and the student RN was able to take her exams and given her RN license without restriction.
  • August 2012: Student RN with DUI conviction, initially denied license examination because of a prior DUI conviction. She retained us as soon as she was denied and the Board withdrew their denial and she was allowed to take her exams and given an unrestricted RN license.
  • August 2012: Student RN received a initial license denial from the Board for a DUI with a .18% Blood Alcohol Content.  The Board had set the matter for hearing.  Our attorneys negotiated with the Board and the Student RN was given her license with a letter of public reproval.

But who can afford legal representation that achieves results like that? Student RN’s are bogged down with loans and tuition. Lawyers are expensive.  Even with a nurse’s wage- results like that must cost a fortune.  If a student RN or a nurse was to retain an attorney privately they could expect to pay around $400.00 per hour for expert legal representation that delivers results like those described above. License defense attorneys are hard to come by in the first place, and finding lawyers who have handled hundreds of cases is almost impossible. Under a normal law firm retainer agreement – the nurses and students could expect to lodge a minimum of a $7000.00 retainer. For many that amount would be worth it to keep or begin a career in nursing.  But not one of our clients listed above paid even close to half of that and a few achieved those results for less than a thousand bucks. Not a bad trade off, huh: A thousand dollar retainer for a million dollar career?

If you are a student RN or a student LVN or if you are a nurse who has been denied your nursing license because of a DUI, give us call at 916-851-900.  RN Guardian offers free consultations, free information about the BRN’s process and expert attorneys and legal representation.  We can help you achieve results like those listed and we make it very affordable, even for students.