Did you receive a letter from the BRN?
The California BRN sends out very few written letters to registered nurses. You may receive the notice that your license is up for renewal. That’s fine… this one is nothing to worry about. Basically anything else that you receive from the CA BRN should be cause for concern and is a call to action. I’m not saying this to scare you; I’m saying this because the BRN’s has 2 jobs: the first is to license nurses. The second is to investigate nurses who aren’t practicing safely and discipline them accordingly, so if the letter isn’t about renewing your license, it is about revoking it.
There are 3 primary forms of disciplinary correspondence from the BRN: 1.) the letter of investigation; 2.) the offer for the Diversion Program and 3.) an Accusation.
The Letter of Investigation is usually sent out to RN’s who are suspected or accused of making mistakes while on the job, like medication errors, charting errors or care issues. You usually have a given time frame specified in the letter itself in which to respond. Failure to respond can result in an unprofessional conduct charge, but you should NEVER EVER respond without consulting with an attorney and you should NEVER EVER EVER EVER participate in the interview itself without a representative. The investigation is the first step in pending disciplinary action against your license, including revocation. Read this article for more on What to Do If You’ve Received a Letter of Investigation from the BRN or the Department of Consumer Affairs Regarding Your RN License.
The Diversion program letter is received if the RN has been arrested and alcohol or drugs were involved or a complaint has been filed by a 3rd party alleging alcohol or drug abuse or a mental health issue. This letter also gives you a deadline, usually of 10 days. It is imperative that you know that Diversion is voluntary. Calling the Diversion program is also voluntary, even though it doesn’t sound like it. Please do not call to enroll in Diversion without doing your research. Your RN license will be inactivated, you will have to quit your job, it lasts for years and is very expensive to comply with. Read this article for more on The Conundrum Caused by Board of Registered Nursing RN’s Diversion Program Letter : Solving the Diversion Mystery.
The Accusation is the big scary monster. It is the final step by the BRN to revoke your license. This is formal legal action and requires you to comply with all requirements in the time frame specified. You MUST FILE THE NOTICE OF DEFENSE ON TIME!! If you do not, your RN license will be revoked on a default order and you will have no say at all and we cannot help you at all. The Accusation will call for the revocation or suspension of your RN license, but please know that of the thousands of cases we have handled, we have had less than 1% of our clients lose their RN licenses or have them placed on probation. If you have never used a lawyer before, or if you used one for that car crash back in the 90’s and he took you down the river, now is the time to lawyer-up as soon as you receive a letter from the BRN. The BRN has the Attorney General of the State of California working for them to take your RN License… shouldn’t you have someone on your side? For more information regarding the Accusation, read this article: Low Flat Fees for RN License Accusations for California Nurses with DUI’s.