The California Board of Registered Nursing files hundreds of accusations each year against registered nurses. The vast majority of these accusations are filed due to criminal convictions or other alleged unprofessional conduct. A small number are filed due to complaints of incompetence, gross negligence or less common alleged violations of the Nursing Practice Act. Effectively defending a California registered nurse takes a great deal of experience and insight into the Board’s past conduct in deciding these matters.
The first and most important consideration in defending against an accusation is that the Board of Registered Nursing’s primary objective is to protect the public. The Board acts on behalf of the public, not registered nurses. Therefore, the Board must be persuaded that the public health and welfare will not be endangered by a nurse who has received an accusation. The role of the license defense attorney is to develop mitigation and rehabilitation evidence, working with the nurse, to address this concern.
The second consideration is that defense counsel must have a detailed knowledge of the Board of Registered Nursing disciplinary guidelines and the past patterns the Board has shown in applying those guidelines. California licensing boards strive for consistency. An attorney who can effectively employ the disciplinary guidelines and similar case histories to argue for license preservation or reduction of discipline can mount an effective defense strategy.
The third consideration is that a registered nurse must adapt to the circumstances of having an accusation pending. Unlike other professions, self employment by nurses is very rare. Nurses are almost always employed by others. A nurse facing discipline must carefully consider his or her employment situation and future employment impacts due to a license discipline case.
We have represented hundreds of nurses successfully to save licenses in danger of revocation, reduce license discipline, and even prevent discipline by early involvement in cases. If you are a nurse with an accusation, or even with a criminal court or workplace issue that may lead to an accusation in the future, please contact us at (949) 557-4888 for a consultation.