Please Do Not Call The BRN for Legal Advice Regarding Your RN License
The Board of Registered Nursing cannot give legal advice, so please do not call them for advice on legal matters that may impact your RN license; here is a recent example.
RN Guardian had a potential client call us regarding a required disclosure of a DUI to the BRN. He had read the RN Guardian blog and we had mentioned that the BRN requires the disclosure of a misdemeanor, certainly one involving alcohol, like a DUI, to be reported to the BRN within 30 days of the conviction. He had read that failure to disclose within a timely manner, could result in an unprofessional conduct charge being filed against the nurse. He had read that getting assistance with a disclosure, especially the disclosure of a Wet and Reckless, would almost certainly result in a citation and fine from the BRN and nothing more. But he was very confused, because he had actually been given different information by someone at the BRN itself.
He had called the BRN to find out when he needed to disclose his DUI arrest that had been reduced to an exhibition of speed misdemeanor conviction, and he was told he did not have to disclose it until he renewed his RN license. This information was correct, only it was correct 4 years ago, and is NOT CORRECT ANY MORE! Whomever he spoke with at the BRN had given him absolutely false and incorrect information. He is now beyond the 30 day disclosure window and could very well face an unprofessional conduct charge from the BRN even though it WAS THE BRN that gave him the wrong information. How can they get away with this?!?!?
One reason: the BRN is not allowed to provide legal advice, and even the answer to a question as simple as “when do I need to disclose a conviction,” is legal advice based on an understanding of 16 CCR 1441. However, 16 CCR 1441 is pretty cut and dry so I am going to tell you what it says, and I don’t even think it requires a legal interpretation. 1441 (c) (1) states verbatim: Unprofessional Conduct is “failure to report to the Board, within 30 days, any of the following: the conviction of the licensee, including any verdict of guilty, pleas of guilty or no contest, of any felony or misdemeanor.”
It is crystal clear: ANY CONVCTION OF ANY MISDEMEANOR MUST BE REPORTED TO THE BRN WITHIN 30 DAYS. It didn’t matter that the conviction had been reduced from a DUI to an exhibition of speed, he was CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR and that MUST be disclosed to the BRN. You would certainly think that it is the BRN’s job to know their own rules and regulations and tell you what the rules are, but obviously, they cannot be trusted to provide accurate advice and there are zero ramifications for them if they give you wrong information. It is however, our job.
If you have any legal question regarding your RN license, please give us a call. We know the codes and laws and rules and regulations and unlike the BRN itself, we are actually culpable if we give you wrong information.