Earlier this year we were able to persuade the Board of Registered Nursing to drop its demand for a lengthy license probation and instead give a registered nurse a reprimand. Registered nurses are mandated reporters of abuse under California law. A reprimand, also known as a public reproval, does show on the license record but does not require that the RN perform any task other than what is immediately required of the reprimand, usually taking a class or payment of money.
In this case, the RN was charged with gross negligence and incompetence for failing to report a sexual assault in a psychiatric hospital. We handled the matter from the time near the initial complaint, through the investigation and accusation stages, presenting mitigating and rehabilitating evidence to explain the nurse’s actions and placing the incident in the context of an excellent work history. The Board initially demanded placing the nurse on a lengthy probation. However, upon further examination of the facts and negotiation, the Board of Registered Nursing agreed that there were significant mitigating facts explaining the nurse’s decisions and that a low level of discipline was appropriate. We were able to resolve the matter by accepting a reprimand and paying the Board’s costs.