The purpose of the California Board of Registered Nursing is to protect the public. That. Is It. The BRN is a division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, you know; the same agency you call if your mechanic sabotages your transmission or your hairstylist dyes your hair green and it falls out.
This is taken from the California Board of Registered Nursing’s Website:
The [California] Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is a state governmental agency established by law to protect the public by regulating the practice of registered nurses. The BRN is responsible for implementation and enforcement of the Nursing Practice Act: the laws related to nursing education, licensure, practice, and discipline.
The purpose of the California Board of Registered Nursing is not to protect, advocate or represent you as a nurse. It is SO IMPORTANT for you to understand this if you have been contacted by the BRN either for an investigation, offering the diversion or intervention program, or if you have been served with an Accusation against your RN license. The BRN is your enemy. They are the agency mandated by law to protect the public from you, not to work for you.
When the California Board of Registered Nursing receives a complaint about a nurse, it is their duty, and really one of their most important functions, to investigate the complaint, so they will. They will review each and every complaint against a nurse to see if it has merit. It could be that complaint obviously is vindictive or made out of anger, like an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or an angry family member of a patient, in which case it may be dropped. If it appears that the complaint may have some basis, the California Board of Registered Nursing will assign the case to one of their investigators. This investigator will look into the complaint and eventually contact you for questioning. For more on Investigation tactics, click here. This means by the time you are contacted by a BRN investigator, the California Board of Registered Nursing has already determined that you are a potential threat to the public and you violated the Nurse Practice Act. The same goes for the offer for the Diversion or Intervention Program (more on that here); you are already on their list as a public enemy number one, if this is being offered to you. If you are served with an Accusation, the BRN has proven that you are a public threat and they are attempting to revoke your RN License because you are not safe to practice nursing any longer.
So it amazes me that nurses still willingly dish all that they know to the BRN when they call to self-report, or speak to an investigator, or reply to Diversion or Intervention, or call the Deputy Attorney General regarding an Accusation. What you say in your self-reporting can and usually does, make things worse for you. Everything you tell the investigator is used to build the case AGAINST you, not to help you. Admissions to Diversion or Intervention are confidential ONLY if you enroll in and complete the arduous Diversion program, but the worst, is calling the Deputy Attorney General and speaking to them. The DAG is the BRN’s lawyer. They are your opposing counsel. They are trying to take away your RN license. They are working 100% against you and YOU get billed for their time every time you talk to them!!!
If you have been contacted by the California Board of Registered Nursing for an offer to participate in Diversion, for an Investigation or have been served with an Accusation, please give us a call. Not every case is as dire as it first seems and many nurses are able to have complaints dropped, have alternatives to Diversion and are able to keep their licenses following an Accusation, but that is because those nurses remembered that the BRN was not on their side. Then they found someone who was. You see, while it is the California Board of Registered Nursing’s purpose to protect the public, our sole purpose is to protect you, your RN license and your career. You have an advocate, it’s just not the BRN.