As one of our members said, “The California Board of Registered Nursing ( BRN’s) mission is to protect the public. In theory this is both necessary and noble. But in practice and for an agency understaffed and with limited resources, what results is harsh, uncompromising prosecution of good nurses.”
This prosecution of good nurses can be triggered by a complaint and that complaint can be anonymous. Even if the complainant discloses their information and identity to the Board of Nursing, the Board rarely will disclose that information to the accused nurse. If you’re thinking that this could be a recipe for disaster, you’re right.
It is imperative that nurses are aware of this: ANYONE CAN MAKE AN ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT ABOUT YOU TO THE BRN.
Here are some examples of BRN Investigations:
1. We represented a nurse who had a complaint brought against her by an emotional family member of a patient, who didn’t feel that the nurse was paying enough attention to their ill mother. With staffing ratio nightmares, I’m sure you can sympathize with a nurse’s inability to be everywhere at once and give the perceived level of requisite attention to every patient.
2. We were in a year-long battle with the BRN over an accusation from an ex-wife, who had claimed that her ex-husband-to-be was a drug addict and was stealing drugs from the hospital. This seemed pretty cut and dry to us… his charts were right on… but it took us a year to prove it to the BRN.
3. We’ve represented another nurse whose previous attorney had botched a simple “disturbing the peace” misdemeanor. The RN was cleared of the misdemeanor, but because he pled out, the BRN went after his license. Had our Member consulted with an attorney that specialized in RN’s, that never would’ve happened and he would have saved thousands in legal fees.
4. The majority of complaints that we defend are for “Gross Negligence” and are reported by co-workers, supervising Charge Nurses, Doctors, or Physicians Assistants. It is a sad commentary on human nature, but most people will throw someone under the buss to cover up a mistake they made.
It is the BRN’s duty to investigate every complaint that is made. Believe me, they were in hot water a year ago for not investigating complaints and prosecuting nurses, so they’ve now gone the other direction and are investigating and prosecuting even the most frivolous and arbitrary of issues. They’ve also figured out that they can make some money by requiring restitution for investigating complaints. .. but that is a whole other blog piece.
You can read some of these stories yourself, by going to the Testimonials page. You can read an Account of BRN Investigation Tactics, here. You can share your own story at The Forum. We would love to hear from you… even if it is a story about “a friend of yours”.
If you are a registered nurse (RN) dealing with a Board of Nursing investigation, accusation or complaint, our attorneys are here to answer your questions. Our Lawyers are experts in nurses’ license defence. Call today at 916-851-1900 and speak to The Nurse’s License Lawyer today.