Every certificate holder or licensee, including licensees holding temporary licenses, or licensees holding licenses placed in an inactive status, may be disciplined as provided in this article. As used in this article, “license” includes certificate, registration, or any other authorization to engage in practice regulated by this chapter. The proceedings under this article shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the board shall have all the powers granted therein.
(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1275, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 1995.)
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the board may, in its discretion, accept the surrender of a license through a stipulated agreement in the absence of a pleading when the ability of a registered nurse to practice nursing safely is impaired due to mental or physical illness.
(b) This alternative proceeding shall apply only to cases that would otherwise have been processed pursuant to Section 820.
(c) Until the time that the licensee signs the stipulated agreement for license surrender, he or she may elect to have the disciplinary process conducted pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(d) The stipulated agreement in this alternative proceeding shall specify that:
(1) The license surrender shall be public information and shall be considered a disciplinary action.
(2) The licensee may petition the board for reinstatement after a period of not less than one year after the effective date of the decision.
(3) Any reinstatement proceeding shall be conducted pursuant to Section 2760.1.
(4) Upon seeking reinstatement, it is the responsibility of the former licensee to submit competent evidence of the ability to safely and competently practice as a registered nurse.
(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1011, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2003.)
The board shall discipline the holder of any license, whose default has been entered or who has been heard by the board and found guilty, by any of the following methods:
(a) Suspending judgment.
(b) Placing him upon probation.
(c) Suspending his right to practice nursing for a period not exceeding one year.
(d) Revoking his license.
(e) Taking such other action in relation to disciplining him as the board in its discretion may deem proper.
(Added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 807.)
If the holder of a license is suspended, he or she shall not be entitled to practice nursing during the term of suspension.
Upon the expiration of the term of suspension, he or she shall be reinstated by the board and shall be entitled to resume his or her practice of nursing unless it is established to the satisfaction of the board that he or she has practiced nursing in this state during the term of suspension. In this event, the board shall revoke his or her license.
(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1275, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 1995.)
(a) A registered nurse whose license has been revoked or suspended or who has been placed on probation may petition the board for reinstatement or modification of penalty, including reduction or termination of probation, after a period not less than the following minimum periods has elapsed from the effective date of the decision ordering that disciplinary action, or if the order of the board or any portion of it is stayed by the board itself or by the superior court, from the date the disciplinary action is actually implemented in its entirety, or for a registered nurse whose initial license application is subject to a disciplinary decision, from the date the initial license was issued:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, at least three years for reinstatement of a license that was revoked, except that the board may, in its sole discretion, specify in its order a lesser period of time provided that the period shall be not less than one year.
(2) At least two years for early termination of a probation period of three years or more.
(3) At least one year for modification of a condition, or reinstatement of a license revoked for mental or physical illness, or termination of probation of less than three years.
(b) The board shall give notice to the Attorney General of the filing of the petition. The petitioner and the Attorney General shall be given timely notice by letter of the time and place of the hearing on the petition, and an opportunity to present both oral and documentary evidence and argument to the board. The petitioner shall at all times have the burden of proof to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is entitled to the relief sought in the petition.
(c) The hearing may be continued from time to time as the board deems appropriate.
(d) The board itself shall hear the petition and the administrative law judge shall prepare a written decision setting forth the reasons supporting the decision.
(e) The board may grant or deny the petition, or may impose any terms and conditions that it reasonably deems appropriate as a condition of reinstatement or reduction of penalty.
(f) The petitioner shall provide a current set of fingerprints accompanied by the necessary fingerprinting fee.
(g) No petition shall be considered while the petitioner is under sentence for any criminal offense, including any period during which the petitioner is on court-imposed probation or parole, or subject to an order of registration pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code. No petition shall be considered while there is an accusation or petition to revoke probation pending against the petitioner.
(h) Except in those cases where the petitioner has been disciplined pursuant to Section 822, the board may in its discretion deny without hearing or argument any petition that is filed pursuant to this section within a period of two years from the effective date of a prior decision following a hearing under this section.
(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 308, Sec. 33. Effective January 1, 2010.)
The board may take disciplinary action against a certified or licensed nurse or deny an application for a certificate or license for any of the following:
(a) Unprofessional conduct, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Incompetence, or gross negligence in carrying out usual certified or licensed nursing functions.
(2) A conviction of practicing medicine without a license in violation of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000), in which event the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence thereof.
(3) The use of advertising relating to nursing which violates Section 17500.
(4) Denial of licensure, revocation, suspension, restriction, or any other disciplinary action against a health care professional license or certificate by another state or territory of the United States, by any other government agency, or by another California health care professional licensing board. A certified copy of the decision or judgment shall be conclusive evidence of that action.
(b) Procuring his or her certificate or license by fraud, misrepresentation, or mistake.
(c) Procuring, or aiding, or abetting, or attempting, or agreeing, or offering to procure or assist at a criminal abortion.
(d) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violating of, or conspiring to violate any provision or term of this chapter or regulations adopted pursuant to it.
(e) Making or giving any false statement or information in connection with the application for issuance of a certificate or license.
(f) Conviction of a felony or of any offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a registered nurse, in which event the record of the conviction shall be conclusive evidence thereof.
(g) Impersonating any applicant or acting as proxy for an applicant in any examination required under this chapter for the issuance of a certificate or license.
(h) Impersonating another certified or licensed practitioner, or permitting or allowing another person to use his or her certificate or license for the purpose of nursing the sick or afflicted.
(i) Aiding or assisting, or agreeing to aid or assist any person or persons, whether a licensed physician or not, in the performance of, or arranging for, a violation of any of the provisions of Article 12 (commencing with Section 2220) of Chapter 5.
(j) Holding oneself out to the public or to any practitioner of the healing arts as a “nurse practitioner” or as meeting the standards established by the board for a nurse practitioner unless meeting the standards established by the board pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 2834) or holding oneself out to the public as being certified by the board as a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, or public health nurse unless the person is at the time so certified by the board.
(k) Except for good cause, the knowing failure to protect patients by failing to follow infection control guidelines of the board, thereby risking transmission of blood-borne infectious diseases from licensed or certified nurse to patient, from patient to patient, and from patient to licensed or certified nurse. In administering this subdivision, the board shall consider referencing the standards, regulations, and guidelines of the State Department of Health Services developed pursuant to Section 1250.11 of the Health and Safety Code and the standards, guidelines, and regulations pursuant to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 6300), Division 5, Labor Code) for preventing the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and other blood-borne pathogens in health care settings. As necessary, the board shall consult with the Medical Board of California, the Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Dental Board of California, and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, to encourage appropriate consistency in the implementation of this subdivision.
The board shall seek to ensure that licentiates and others regulated by the board are informed of the responsibility of licentiates to minimize the risk of transmission of blood-borne infectious diseases from health care provider to patient, from patient to patient, and from patient to health care provider, and of the most recent scientifically recognized safeguards for minimizing the risks of transmission.
(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2001.)
In addition to other acts constituting unprofessional conduct within the meaning of this chapter it is unprofessional conduct for a person licensed under this chapter to do any of the following:
(a) Obtain or possess in violation of law, or prescribe, or except as directed by a licensed physician and surgeon, dentist, or podiatrist administer to himself or herself, or furnish or administer to another, any controlled substance as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code or any dangerous drug or dangerous device as defined in Section 4022.
(b) Use any controlled substance as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code, or any dangerous drug or dangerous device as defined in Section 4022, or alcoholic beverages, to an extent or in a manner dangerous or injurious to himself or herself, any other person, or the public or to the extent that such use impairs his or her ability to conduct with safety to the public the practice authorized by his or her license.
(c) Be convicted of a criminal offense involving the prescription, consumption, or self-administration of any of the substances described in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, or the possession of, or falsification of a record pertaining to, the substances described in subdivision (a) of this section, in which event the record of the conviction is conclusive evidence thereof.
(d) Be committed or confined by a court of competent jurisdiction for intemperate use of or addiction to the use of any of the substances described in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, in which event the court order of commitment or confinement is prima facie evidence of such commitment or confinement.
(e) Falsify, or make grossly incorrect, grossly inconsistent, or unintelligible entries in any hospital, patient, or other record pertaining to the substances described in subdivision (a) of this section.
(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 970, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 1999.)
The lapsing or suspension of a license by operation of law or by order or decision of the board or a court of law, or the voluntary surrender of a license by a licentiate shall not deprive the board of jurisdiction to proceed with any investigation of or action or disciplinary proceeding against such license, or to render a decision suspending or revoking such license.
(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 1053.)
A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere made to a charge substantially related to the qualifications, functions and duties of a registered nurse is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this article. The board may order the license or certificate suspended or revoked, or may decline to issue a license or certificate, when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under the provisions of Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing such person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information or indictment.
(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 696, Sec. 3.)