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Reporting Criminal Convictions to the CA Board of Registered Nursing
California Registered Nurses (RNs) have always been required to disclose criminal convictions on license applications and on license renewal applications. However starting in July of 2014, the Board imposed a duty on Registered Nurses to self-report felony and misdemeanor convictions within 30 days. Nursing regulation section 1441 (16 CCR 1441) defines unprofessional conduct to include:
(c) Failure to report to the board, within 30 days, any of the following:
(1) The conviction of the licensee, including any verdict of guilty, or pleas of guilty or no contest, of any felony or misdemeanor.
(2) Any disciplinary action taken by another licensing entity or authority of this state or of another state or an agency of the federal government or the United States military.
(Cal. Code Regs., tit. 16, § 1441.)
NOTE: We question the validity of this regulation because it expands the scope of a statute -- Business and Professions Code section 2761. Section 2761 (a) defines unprofessional conduct without creating an obligation for licensees to self-report convictions. Therefore, Regulation section 1441 may create a duty on RNs that exceeds the authority of Section 2761. By contrast, physicians are required to report convictions (and felony charges) by statute -- Business and Professions Code section 802.1. Nevertheless, we recommend that nurses self-report criminal convictions within 30 days.
We also recommend that an RN consult with a California attorney who has experience in administrative law matters before reporting a conviction.