Your Money or Your RN License?
California has been slashing budgets- laying off teachers and police officers. But the Board of Registered Nursing, a California State agency, has actually hired staff over the last few years. How can the BRN increase their budget and staff while everyone else in the State has to cut back?
It’s called the BRN Shakedown. The BRN has figured out that it can demand money from hard-working professional nurses by threatening to revoke their RN license and the terrified nurse has little to no recourse, if they want to keep their licenses.
The BRN has the ability to call for disciplinary action against their RN licenses. The Board claims that, “Grounds for discipline focus on behaviors that place patients at risk of harm.” In the last few years we have seen nurses severally disciplined for actions that had nothing to do with patient safety. Our offices represented a nurse who got drunk with a friend and was arrested for disturbing the peace… basically for being loud. The Board moved to revoke his license before we successfully defended him.
We have seen the Board use a citation for failure to wear a seat belt against a nurse. The Board’s theory is that failure to wear a seat belt shows disregard for patient safety because nurses sometimes have to strap patients into equipment. Many, if not most of the nurses we represent, have decades of experience and exemplary employment records.
The process of an investigation by the BRN begins with any complaint either at work or because of a run in with law enforcement, such as a DUI. The Board will send you an investigation letter, with their investigation often consisting of simply reading a police report or responding to a frivolous work related accusation. The California Attorney General’s Office will then send you a letter informing you that your license is going to be revoked. You have less than two weeks to respond with a Notice of Defense.
If you file a timely Notice of Defense the BRN then will offer to settle your claim if you pay investigation costs. These investigation costs can run from three to ten thousand dollars. A nurse is then left with the choice of your money or your license.
Throughout this entire process, the nurse has not harmed a patient or put a patient’s safety at risk in anyway. The BRN has done little to no real investigation but most nurses are forced to settle and pay exorbitant investigation costs. If the BRN does enough of these easy, no- investigation cases it can afford to hire more staff and begin the process all over again.
You can stop the cycle by proactively protecting yourself. If you are dealing with a license investigation or licesne dicsipline matter, our attorneys are here to speak with you. RN Guardian Lawyers are experts in nurse license defense. Call today at 916-851-1900