You made a mistake while working as a medical professional, and now you are about to be told off. Public reprimands are a disciplinary procedure that the Medical Board of California (MBC) or Board of Registered Nurses (BRN) could choose to use.

They can only be used for minor violations. They can be given to those who have their license and those in the process of getting their license. When given to an applicant, they are considered non-disciplinary. They do not stop you from continuing to get your license and will appear on it once you have it. If given when you already hold a license, they are considered disciplinary but do not prevent you from working.

 A reprimand may sound equivalent to being pulled in front of the class by the teacher and told not to do it again. However, unlike at school, it is put on your disciplinary record and posted on the internet for all to see. In the case of nurses, it stays on your record for three years. For doctors, 10 years.

While public reprimands are the mildest of all disciplinary procedures that a licensed nurse or doctor could face, they are not without consequence. A potential employer could turn you down when they see one on your record. The general public can also access the reprimand on the licensing board website. 

You may also have to pay fines or undertake coursework as part of the reprimand. It is best to seek legal advice when facing any challenge to your California medical license or nurse’s license. Your reputation and your future are at stake. While preferable to having your license suspended or revoked, do not take a public reprimand lightly.