Citation By CA Nursing Board: What Does It Mean?

The Board of Registered Nursing issues citations against California nurses for minor criminal offenses.  We have seen citations after convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and alcohol-related reckless driving (aka wet reckless).  We have also seen a citation after a domestic violence arrest where no criminal charges were filed.

What does a citation mean? 

First, a citation is the most minor action imposed against RNs by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).  It is less serious than an Accusation or Letter of Reproval.  The most important fact is that--as of the date of this article--the BRN has not published citations on its Internet website.  When we look up our nursing clients on the Board of Registered Nursing/Department of Consumer Affairs website, there is no record of the citation or any disciplinary action showing. 

Note: We cannot guarantee that this policy will never change.  The applicable regulation states only that citations shall be disclosed to an inquiring member of the public. (See 16 CCR 1435.15 (a).)

Finally, citations are purged three years from resolution (there is an exception for citations issued to people using the title "RN" without a license).

You should be aware that the CA nursing board does disclose citations to the boards of nursing (BON) for other states and to anyone who specifically makes a request for information about your license.  But, a citation does not restrict your license, so you can accurately state that you have an unrestricted license.

The attorneys at Slote, Links & Boreman are lawyers who defend nurses before the California Board of Registered Nursing.

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