Most people get to keep their work and private lives separate. Yet, if you work as a nurse, you do not have this luxury. Things you do in your downtime could land you with a whole lot more free time than you want.
As a registered nurse, you must abide by the rules the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) sets. In exchange for doing so, they give you a nursing license to earn a living.
You can understand why a conviction for some crimes could lead the board to take away a nurse’s license. Patients will not feel they are in safe hands, for example, if the nurse attending them has a conviction for a violent crime. Yet, even minor crimes could lead to the loss of a license.
How will the BRN know if I have a criminal conviction?
As a registered nurse, you are duty-bound to let the BRN know if you pick up a conviction. It applies to all misdemeanors and felonies. It even applies to infractions resulting in a penalty over $1000 or those involving drugs or alcohol regardless of the level of the offense or the amount of the fine.
If you do not report the conviction to the BRN, they could take action against you for failing to comply with their license requirements. When you do report it, you could still face action from them, so that puts you in a difficult situation.
How can you minimize the impact of a criminal charge on your nursing license?
The BRN will look at each conviction on a case-by-case basis before deciding what, if any, action to take. If a court has convicted you of a crime, you may feel the punishment they gave was more than enough. It is crucial to seek help to protect your nursing license and avoid or limit further consequences. An attorney can help you understand more and strategize with you about your next steps.