Nursing is a rewarding profession. Here in the rural areas of Northern California like Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, nurses garner a great deal of respect. And, we recognize that their jobs carry a certain amount of stress.
On occasion, one stress factor is a licensing action by the nurse's licensing agency. Since 2009, the Board of Registered Nursing in California has been adding enforcement staff. Anecdotal evidence tells us that enforcement actions by the B.R.N. have increased significantly in the last three to four years.
Unfortunately, complaints to the B.R.N. about you can be made by any person or organization--substantiated or unsubstantiated. And sometimes, nurses struggling with addiction issues find themselves the subject of B.R.N. investigations.
In the B.R.N.'s complaint process, the investigation is an important step. On rare occasions, the B.R.N. seeks to summarily suspend a nurse's license to practice pending further investigation and hearing. But for the most part, the B.R.N.'s action against a nurse's license follows an investigation.
The first you hear of an investigation may be a letter from the B.R.N. or a call from an investigator. Take these seriously. You may not know all (or any) of the facts that prompted the B.R.N.'s investigation. But you should consider any investigation as having the potential to negatively impact your nursing career.
If you are the subject of a B.R.N. investigation, you should immediately seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in defending licensed health care providers. Please call us here at Janssen Malloy LLP if you need legal advice or representation in a licensing action.