If you live in California and wish to make a living as a registered nurse, a valid nursing license is necessary in order to do so. Regrettably, nursing license applications are subject to denial, and you may have your application for a license denied for any number of different reasons.
Criminal convictions, for example, can prevent you from securing a nursing license, and this may prove particularly likely if your conviction involved drugs or alcohol. The nursing profession, as a whole, has a tendency to frown upon such convictions for obvious reasons, but every case is different, and there may also be leniency for substance-abusing applicants who have demonstrated a willingness to rehabilitate. Previous suspensions or revocations of other professional licenses can also result in an application denial, and so, too, can lying on your nursing license application or behaving in a dishonest manner when taking the NCLEX. Any out-of-state disciplinary measures you may have received can also impact licensure eligibility.
So, do you have any recourse following a California nursing license denial?
The appeals process
The provisions of Section 485(b) of the Business and Professions Code dictate that you may appeal the denial of your licensure application in California, should you wish to do so. The process involves submitting a written appeal to the licensing board within 60 days from the day you receive word about your denial. Should you fail to submit your appeal within 60 days, your license will maintain its denied status. If you appeal the license denial and the board again denies it, you may resubmit your application after one year from the day you received notice of the denial.
Nursing can be a tremendously fulfilling and rewarding profession, but the first step to finding success as a nurse is securing a valid license.