Most nurses go through their careers without dealing with the disciplinary section of the California Board of Registered Nurses (BRN). Yet, if you do end up facing them, recent developments might make you fear you will be dealt with more harshly than usual.
The California State Auditor issued a report in June this year that found the BRN failed to investigate complaints against nurses properly. What is even more shocking is that the board falsified documents to cover its lack of thorough investigation.
The report found that some nurses who should have lost their licenses were allowed to continue practicing because no one took the time to look at their cases. It is not good news for all the trustworthy, hardworking nurses out there. As a nurse, you rely on your colleagues and want to know that the BRN weeds out nurses who are not up to the required standards. It could also lead to more suspicion from members of the public who are unsure if they can trust the nurses that attend to them.
There are likely to be changes afoot as the BRN tries to repair its tarnished reputation. One executive board member has already resigned due to a separate scandal, and others are under investigation. One thing that sometimes happens when there is a regime change in any profession is that the new people in charge go in hard to show they mean business.
As a practicing nurse, you may fear if someone makes a complaint against you, the BRN will treat you more severely than normal to show it is doing its job. Hopefully, this will not happen, but it is vital to seek experienced legal help to defend your nursing license and ensure you receive a fair hearing.