As a nurse in California, maintaining the integrity of your professional license is of the utmost importance. You can only practice or offer to practice nursing in the Golden State if you hold a license in an active status. It is also illegal for any unlicensed or uncertified individual to use a title, sign, card or device to indicate that they are qualified to practice nursing. Your license is your source of livelihood.
When confronted with disciplinary charges related to your nursing license in California, it is imperative not to dismiss them, hoping to continue to practice with your present employer. Disciplinary actions are typically a matter of public record. Prospective employers will likely review your disciplinary history when considering you for employment, so it is best to handle any issues responsibly. It is essential to actively defend and uphold your license, as failing to do so could mean having to give up your position and the ability to practice nursing entirely.
Understanding the consequences of ignoring disciplinary charges
A disciplinary charge refers to any allegation made against you as a licensed and practicing nurse. It is subject to the investigation and determination of the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). If the BRN believes the accusation merits an investigation, they may contact you or inform you that they have initiated a disciplinary action.
The disciplinary process is a legal proceeding, and failing to respond can result in a default judgment against you. This means that the board could revoke your license without considering your side of the story simply because you did not respond. You have rights during the disciplinary process, including the right to defend yourself. Ignoring the charges forfeits your opportunity to exercise these rights and present your case.
Responding to disciplinary charges
If the BRN attempts to contact you for an investigation or interview, you can politely decline and immediately talk to an experienced attorney to develop a proper response. The BRN will only give you a limited period to challenge the formal accusation filed against you. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
You must understand that responding to a notice on your own without knowledge of the law or applicable procedures could put you at risk of jeopardizing your own defense. By proactively engaging in the legal process and getting the professional help you need, you may be able to mitigate the charges or penalties.
Your reputation as a healthcare professional is at stake. Addressing disciplinary charges promptly and professionally can help maintain your standing in the healthcare community.