One of our registered nursing clients suffered a panic attack during an episode of post-partum depression. Her husband phoned the police to help deescalate the conflict, but it unfortunately led to her arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. Although the charges were dropped, our client was questioned by the Board, given employment releases to sign, brought into an investigational interview, and even subjected to a mandatory mental health examination under Business and Professions Code section 820. Although the time and effort spent investigating this matter were financially costly, the nurse was able, with our assistance, to avoid disciplinary charges entirely. The Board of Registered Nursing closed the investigation.
Remember that as a Registered Nurse, the BRN views its professionalism standards (Business and Professions Code section 2761) as applicable all the time, on the clock and off the clock. Whether through DUI, alcohol related offenses, suspected domestic violence, or crimes of dishonesty or fraud, the Board will evaluate the specific actions of the nurse regardless of whether the case ends in a conviction. It’s important to contact an experienced attorney any time a licensed professional has an adverse encounter with law enforcement, so that appropriate steps can be taken at every stage to avoid or mitigate license disciplinary proceedings.